How to Stage a Home for Sale for the Holidays


Despite the ongoing debate, the holiday season is an excellent time to list and sell homes. Amidst the hectic festivities, are buyers still looking to start the new year with a dream house. Plus, highly-motivated buyers and agents mean the best possible deals for sellers. Discover how to stage a home for sale for the holidays to maximize the potential of this joyful season.

Remain Neutral

With as many holiday traditions as there are people, remain neutral when staging a home for sale. Avoid decorations that celebrate a specific religion or event. While sellers want to enjoy the season, potential buyers must visualize themselves living in the home. Tuck personal decorations away before showing the house, such as holiday cards and ornaments with family photos or sentiments. Choose decorations that celebrate the season rather than a particular holiday. Less is more, and a little goes a long way when it comes to holiday cheer.

Taking It To the Street

Showing houses during the warmer month of the year means flowering gardens and lush trees. Greenery is sparse during the winter, offering less visual appeal to passersby from the street. Vamp up the curb appeal with festive pine wreaths, potted pine trees, poinsettia plants by the entrance, and lighted garland at night. Focus on adding touches of green and life to the front of the house to stand out from the rest.

Focus on Features

Showcase holiday-friendly features of the home. If the house has a fireplace, light a roaring fire before the buyers arrive. Lure them into an inviting kitchen by baking apples or cookies to fill the house with favorite holiday scents. Open the drapes to a back deck with a panoramic view of snow-capped mountains. Remember to have the walkways shoveled and salted if it snows to help prevent slipping and injuries. Take professional photographs of rooms celebrating the winter season to entice more buyers to schedule a showing. Virtual staging is a viable option during inclement weather and quarantining so buyers can visualize themselves in the home without venturing outdoors. As more buyers make offers without entering homes, virtual staging is a way to remain profitable during the year’s slower months. Better Homes and Gardens® affiliated real estate agents have access to an impressive collection of professional images to improve their listing presentation.

Classic and Traditional

Classic decorations, such as wreaths and white lights, always show best. An undecorated house might look odd on a street of highly decorated homes, making buyers question the situation. However, avoid over-the-top decorations, such as inflatable Santas, rooftop Grinches, and endless rows of colorful lights. Decoration should be generic, simple, and classic to appeal to all types of visitors. Put presents away to avoid theft, loss, or other issues that could impede a possible deal.

Clear the Clutter

Holidays bring in decorations, gifts, cards, and other clutter that starts to linger around the house. Parties and gatherings add to the mess, making the home look untidy and small. Remind sellers to clear up the clutter before potential buyers view the house. Removing personal items and keeping everything clean means the house shows better, and it only takes a few minutes to make a big difference.

To Tree or Not to Tree

Decorated trees are a popular sign of the season but not part of everyone’s celebrations. While lighted trees outdoors look traditional, an indoor tree often detracts from the home’s appeal. Most houses don’t have a designated space for a tree, which means it takes away from the space in a room. Unless the house has high ceilings and a great room that showcases a tree and living space, it’s best to take it down when showing the property.

Emotional Appeal

The holidays offer a unique opportunity to appeal to the buyers’ emotions during a season of joy and contemplation. Avoid the temptation to overdo decorations, focusing on how a buyer feels rather than visual elements. Soft music in the background with a crackling fire and freshly baked cookies bring the warmth to life. When buyers enter, they instantly feel welcomed and see the potential to entertain themselves in the future. 

Wrap It Up

When the holiday season ends, pack away the decorations and festive lights. If the season lingers too long, buyers may wonder how well-maintained the home is and if the sellers are on-task. Plus, people are ready to embrace the new year and all its possibilities once the presents are unwrapped. Clear the decks and return the rooms to the simple, tasteful decor without personalization.

Knowing how to stage a home helps agents remain profitable and active during months often considered slow in the industry. Savvy agents recognize having a home for sale during the holiday offers unique opportunities to market and connect with buyers when they are motivated to find their dream home. 

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