The Real Estate Report: 8 Staging Tips for Holiday Decorating

This week Dave and Robert give 8 decorating tips for holiday staging if your home is on the market. Listen to the show or read the tips below.


Well it is finally starting to feel a little more like the holiday season around here with this snow! Even though you don’t typically think of this time of year as the best for buying and selling your house, the few brave house-hunters who do venture out are serious.

Staging your house correctly for the holidays season will help them imagine ringing in the new year in your home! We’ve done some research and discovered some tips form HGTV to help you hit the mark when you start decorating.

“Holidays can be personal on a lot of levels, but you want to make sure your decor is neutral,” advises Amy Powers, owner of Accent Home Staging & Interiors of Atlanta. “You want to romance your buyer, not invite them to your Christmas party.”

1. Clean and stage your house before you even start to decorate.
If your living room is already piled high with clutter and tchotchkes, your ceramic reindeer collection is only going to add to the sense of overcrowding. This will make your home less appealing to buyers and will make areas of your home seem smaller than they really are. After you’ve cleaned and staged your home you can move on to the actual decorating.

2. Create a cozy vibe.
Keep things simple with subtle decorations. Like a bowl of pinecones, a wreath, or even bake some cookies right before a showing. These little things create a warm and festive feeling in your home. You want buyers to picture themselves in your house and the best way to do it is to make your home inviting, warm, and cozy.

3. Complement your existing color palette when choosing decorations.
Before you start untangling your tinsel, make sure your holiday collection matches your current decor. If your living room is painted blue, skip the clashing red garland and opt for white snowflakes or a silver wreath. If you’ve got an earthy color scheme, try rich tones like cranberries, forest greens and gold.

4. Decorate the outside of your house only with lights.
Step away from the inflatable snowman, Clark Griswold. One man’s “merry” is another man’s “tacky,” so tone down any light displays you might like while your home is on the market. Instead, use simple string lighting to play up your home’s architecture or draw attention to the tree in your front yard.

5. Accentuate the positive.
Too many trimmings may distract buyers, but the right ones can draw attention to your home’s best features. Decorate an arched doorway, or display something on the ledge of a bay window. Just make sure you accentuate the positive and don’t hide them. Be careful not to block a beautiful view with stick-on snowflake decals or clutter an elegant fireplace with personalized stockings.

6. Be an equal-opportunity decorator!
Powers said to leave the life-sized Nativity scene in storage this year. Overtly religious flourishes may be off-putting to some buyers and you want to decorate so your home sells, not turns buyers away. She also said “You want to keep neutrality throughout, so you can attract any type of buyer.”

7. Mind the tree!
Again, make sure the tree is accentuating positives of your house and not the negatives.A tall Christmas tree can help you show off your two-story great room, but make sure the wide base won’t overwhelm the floor space. If your living area is on the small side, save space with a skinny tree. A big tree will make the space look crammed and unappealing to buyers.

And another area where it’s good to keep things neutral—don’t decorate your tree with overly personal ornaments. You want to make sure buyers can picture themselves in your home, not feel like they are intruding on your holiday. Pick a color scheme that matches your other décor and decorate the tree with simple ornaments.

8. Clear the clutter.
A few decorations can show holiday spirit, but don’t feel obliged to hang every last ornament. Usually when people decorate, they tend to use all the extra space in their house. Don’t do this! You want your house to look as spacious as possible. Decorate to create holiday spirit, but stash your extra decorations in the basement for now.

If you start to miss your Santa figurines, just remember that with a little luck, you’ll be celebrating next year’s holidays in a new home. And you can decorate that place any way you please.