5 Tips on Staging Your Home During the Holiday Season

Selling your home often comes down to how well it is staged and presented. Key elements of staging include removing clutter and even buying matching bathroom towels and flowers to put on the dining room table. The holidays, however, present special challenges to staging your home. Here’s how you can pull it off while keeping your holiday traditions intact.

1. Stage First, Decorate Second

The most important point is that you should stage as you normally would:

  • Pack up any knickknacks.
  • Touch up (or replace) exterior areas such as faded doormats and mailboxes.
  • Trim trees that are overgrown.

Only with these tasks complete can you properly lay the groundwork for holiday-season staging.

2. Limit Decorations Inside and Outside

Keep exterior decorations such as giant reindeer and inflatable snow globes to a minimum. Holiday lights draped across your house are fine, and a door wreath can be incredibly welcoming and cozy. Interior decorations are okay, too, but they should be used sparingly and wisely.

If you have a gorgeous view from the living room window, try to avoid blocking the view with a Christmas tree.

3. Leave Space

The holidays are often a season for using every available square inch. A ceramic tree may be set next to the sink in the hallway bathroom, while a holiday village proudly rises up on the counter top. For staging your home, forego these touches to avoid presenting a cluttered or crowded interior to prospective buyers.

4. Coordinate Dates with Your Real Estate Agent

You may feel frustrated with advice such as not hanging stockings above the fireplace, even if you understand it is best to let buyers envision themselves living in the house.

One solution is to coordinate showing dates with your real estate agent. For example, you can agree to hold off on hard-core decorating until, say, December 23 and to take the decorations down December 26. Ditto if you have a yearly holiday party at your home. Make clear to your agent that the house is off limits on certain dates, and have fun bringing out all the decorations. Just be sure to put them away when you are finished.

5. Promote a Cozy Feel

Days get shorter as the holidays approach, so natural light is not always possible. However, with touches such as candles, a bowl of pine cones or freshly baked cookies, you can maintain the spirit of the holidays while marketing your house.