Staging Your Home During the Holiday Season

In the weeks between Halloween and New Year’s, many homeowners like to decorate their home with seasonal style and holiday flair.

But what happens if you’re also trying to decorate your home to get it sold?

You don’t have to choose between holiday festivity and proper home staging, though you should be strategic. Make sure you incorporate your seasonal decor in a way that makes your property seem altogether more spacious, appealing, and inviting.

Here are a few holiday decorating tips for anyone who’s trying to stage and sell their own place.

Staging Your Home Over the Holidays

  • Start with the front door. Begin your seasonal staging at the front entrance. You always want to make house hunters feel welcome, like they’re truly coming home, and that’s doubly true during the holidays, when many of us feel particularly sentimental over favorite holiday memories. Play into that sentimental streak with a generous holiday wreath and perhaps a big bow, helping buyers get into the right spirit before they even enter your foyer.
  • Remember curb appeal. In addition to the door itself, you’ll also want to devote some attention to the entire front stoop or entryway. The goal is to make things feel festive but not cluttered, and to that end, some urns with seasonal plant life or some miniature Christmas trees can go a long way. After decorating, step back and take a long look at your home. Have you overdone it? Or have you not done enough at all?
  • Take a minimal approach to outside decorations. There’s nothing wrong with hanging up a string of lights or wrapping holiday tinsel around your mailbox, but remember: With home staging, less is more. This is doubly true of outside decor. Giant inflatable Santa Clauses should probably wait until after you’ve sold the place.
  • Inside, keep it simple. The same principle holds true inside your home. While you want to make your home feel warm and festive, you don’t want to make it seem cluttered or chaotic. Strive for something fairly minimal. We would especially recommend that you not hang stockings from the mantle; leave that important space unencumbered and allow your buyers to imagine themselves hanging those stockings.
  • Don’t accumulate. If somebody gives you a new piece of holiday decor that you’d really like to use, by all means do so… but don’t add it to what you already have on display. Instead, replace. Don’t add anything new without removing something. This is a good rule to follow as you seek to avoid clutter and accumulation.
  • Use some greenery. Fresh holiday greenery is always a good idea, especially in the kitchen or dining room. This is a simple, naturalistic way to freshen up the look of your home, and potentially to freshen the air, as well. Just be sure you’re vigilant about keeping that greenery fresh. If you see anything start to turn brown, toss it!
  • Be careful with candles. We’re not going to tell you not to use candles, but definitely be safety-focused when you light them; remember that candles can be fire hazards, especially if you leave your home for a while as house hunters come to tour it.
  • Keep your collections in storage. Do you collect Santa dolls, holiday nutcrackers, or other seasonal trinkets? Proud though you may be of these collections, we’d generally recommend keeping them in storage. What’s treasure to you may seem like clutter to your buyers.
  • Think carefully about religious decor. For many, the holiday season has religious implications. There’s nothing wrong with displaying decor that has a connection to your spiritual beliefs but do use some discretion. One Nativity scene is perfectly reasonable; a dozen Nativities scattered across the home may make your guests feel uncomfortable.

These are some of our top house selling tips with regard to holiday decor and end-of-the-year staging.

Learn More About Selling Your Own Property

For more house selling tips, claim your free seller’s report from In it, you’ll get a personalized recommendation for meeting your real estate goals, whether by working with an agent, selling to an i-buyer, or selling your own property FSBO-style. Get your report today!