Snow Globes and Villages and Bright Colored Lights, Oh My!

Home Stager with House Dressing

The Holidays are coming and what is a home seller to do? Decorate or not? 

The answer is --it depends.  If the street is one of those with every house out decorating the next an undecorated house will look out of place.  Walking into a house during the holidays without any decoration can also feel uncomfortable and a bit sad.

Decorating for the season rather than the holidays can solve the problem.  Evergreen boughs, holly, pine cones and candles say winter rather than a specific holiday and can stay in place through January.  Choosing silver, gold, brown, green or even blue decorations and apple centerpiecewhite lights keep the holiday display neutral.

What about a Christmas tree or a Menorah?  For sellers with young children put up the tree a few days before Christmas and take down before New Years.  Limit the decorations to one or two colors, use white lights and keep the children's charming handmade decorations packed away for the new house.  A tall, thin tree will not make a room feel small and a tabletop tree would be the best choice for small homes or condos.  Keep wrapped gifts out of sight in a closet.

A simple. tasteful Menorah can be placed on a sideboard or buffet. If a nativity is important to the seller a simple nativity can be enjoyed for the few days surrounding Christmas and then packed for moving.

Avoid MLS photos being taken with holiday decorations.  The house will look shopworn by the middle of February.

If a buyer walks into a house, at any time of year, and it feels like a church or temple they will not envision themselves living there.

Posted by

Deb Brodhecker

House Dressing Real Estate Staging & Interior Redesign, Sussex County, NJ

Comments (7)

Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Hi Debra - These are good, timely tips for the upcoming season.  Your photo represents seasonal, not religious, decorating - perfect for any house.  Happy Staging - Julie

Nov 16, 2009 05:06 AM
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

I agree with you, a homeowner really needs to think about how they decorate if their home is on the market. Your tip about using evergreens and pine cones is a really good one. Trees and other large decorations really take up a lot of space and will make a home feel smaller. Great topic!

Nov 16, 2009 10:08 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Well put.  Keep it simple and inviting.  Decorating for the season as opposed to the holiday is excellent advice.

Nov 16, 2009 12:07 PM
Debra Brodhecker
House Dressing - Branchville, NJ
House Dressing, New Jersey

Julia, Sharon and Cathy, Thanks so much for your kind comments.  My very first staging client called me early in Dec. with this very issue.  She really thought her best approach was to decorate like the homes on the Holiday Tour and I wonder how many sellers have that same thought.

Nov 16, 2009 10:24 PM
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

Another tip I've shared with clients is that before they bring out any Christmas decor they need to declutter again and remove as much as possible.  Hard to see the home with too many distractions and clutter!

Nov 16, 2009 11:43 PM
Ana Hitzel
AccentPositives Home Staging - Corona, CA
Professional Home Stager Inland Empire

Great post Debra, these are all great tips for sellers and Margaret's additional declutter advices is great also.


Nov 17, 2009 07:18 AM
Patty Hill, Broker Associate
Local Homes and Land, Inc - Summerville, SC
Local Homes and Land, Inc

Debra, great point about taking photos during the holidays.  Nobody wants to retake photos to update for the seasons.  Thanks for sharing.

Nov 30, 2009 12:55 AM