Holiday Decorating tips while your home is for sale

Holiday Decorating while your house is on the market – Yes or No?

Thanksgiving is the official kickoff to the holiday season which brings me to a question that I often get asked as a home stager from sellers  –

“Should I decorate my house for the holidays while my house is on the market?”

Some people just love to adorn their home with an abundance of seasonal glitzy décor and twinkling lights so you can see the house lite up from blocks away. I call it the “Clark Griswald syndrome. “ Remember the main character played by Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?


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Who doesn’t love the holidays and decorating? It is ok to all go out with the holiday decorations but not while your home is for sale.  The last thing you want to do is turn off potential buyers.

It is a misconception that buyers aren’t looking for homes during the holiday season. Showings and open houses do tend to slow down during the holiday season however motivated buyers will definitely be out looking.

With that being said the answer is “YES” it is ok to decorate your home with festive holiday décor but just don’t over due it.

Too many decorations will be a distraction and overwhelming to buyers. Do you want buyers to see the features of your home or all of your beautiful holiday decorations? Less is definitely more when it comes to holiday decorations.


Here are some tips to help you decorate for the holidays without turning off buyers and dampening your holiday spirit.

Depersonalize the decorations:

Avoid the decorations that appeal mostly to you and your family. It is important that your home’s design appeals to as many different homebuyers’ tastes as possible. Buyers need to envision themselves and their holiday traditions in the home not yours and they can’t do that if your decorations dominate the stage.

• Named Christmas stockings
• Religious tokens and symbols
• Photos of your baby’s first Christmas

Keep it simple
A simple wreath on the front door is all you need. Avoid large inflatable Santas and Snowmen on front lawns.  If you want to put lights outside use white lights which are always elegant instead of strings of multicolors.


Highlight architectural features like the fireplace, mantle, windows and staircase.


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Be consistent with a color scheme through out the house like touches of red which is an appealing cheery color.

Box up Holiday cards – tons of holiday cards on tables or hung up make a room look messy and creates visual clutter so place cards in a nice basket instead.

Don’t opt for the largest tree that could fit in the room, gear toward the smaller size.  Having a tremendous tree will crowd the room, block flow and make it look small.  Consider a table top tree instead.

Freshen the house and delight the senses with wintery seasonal scents of evergreens & pinecones.

Light a fire – make it welcoming and inviting. A roaring fire during showings is a great way to celebrate winter and warm visitors as well.


Photo credit – faux

If you are not sure you if you are over doing it, you can always call us to help you – we offer holiday decorating services this time of year in addition to our regular home staging services.

The holidays are suppose to be fun and festive, not stressful, so enjoy and follow these tips to help with the sale of your home.