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Selling a home over the holidays is different than other times of the year. Most buyers don’t want to see your holiday collections or decorations – let them envision their own. On the flip side at the time of year buyers do expect to see a home that is appropriate for the season, and careful holiday home staging can help set a magical impression in their minds.

Here are some top tips for holiday home staging that sells.

  1. Create some front door appeal. A simple, live wreath on the front door is classy and understated. Add a big elegant bow for major home staging impact. Let buyers know this is the entrance of a house they will love during the holidays and throughout the year.
  2. Curb appeal is also important. What will your buyers see as they drive up to your house? This is where their excitement starts. Add a colorful mat (preferably a non-holiday one) outside the door. A big urn or two next to the front door is preferred. You can add fake or real Christmas trees and decorate them if you like, just keep it very simple.

Stand back and get a full picture of the front of your house. Have you overdone it? If so, remove one thing and keep paring down until you get the right look. Unsure? Instead of guessing call in a home staging professional to help ensure you get it right. This is the first impression would be buyers will have of your home, it has to be good.

  1. Keep outside holiday decorations to minimum. Yard decorations, outdoor house lights, and holiday collections are very distracting and should be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether. Home staging is always about less versus more. This is especially true outside.
  2. You should make use of minimal decorations holiday decorations inside, too. One simple Christmas tree is okay, with simple white lights and standard ornaments in one color if possible (or no tree at all is preferred). Remember, not everyone celebrates Christmas. The more distracting your tree is the less of your house the buyers will see.
  3. No stockings hung with care! The mantle should be free and clear and uncluttered (as always). Let your buyers visualize decorating the mantle themselves.
  4. Replace, don’t accumulate. Wherever you add holiday decorations, the other decorations should be removed. Remove what you have then add new.
  5. Fresh displays of flowers or holiday greenery can be added in the kitchen and dining room if desired. Go for one big, well-executed display versus lots of little things.
  6. Be careful with candle displays and lit fireplaces – they can cause accidents.
  7. Stow your holiday collections. Definitely don’t get out your collections of nutcrackers, Santas or other holiday display items that will distract your buyers. These are the reasons buyers leave a house and ask their Realtor, “Was there a fireplace in the living room? I was so busy looking at the stuff, I don’t remember.”