Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays - Home Staging Rockland

Home Stager with Kates Home Staging and Interior Design Owner & Lead Designer

Any professional home stager will tell you that a six foot Christmas tree can be a distraction in a home, so what should you do if you are trying to sell your home during the holidays?

My motto during the holidays (and for home staging in general) is "KIES." In other words, Keep It Elegant and Simple. Your holiday decorating must be kept simple and nondenominational (no religious items).  "KIES"also applies to your front yard.  Under no circumstances should you setup a twelve foot nativity scene that spans your entire front yard or a six foot tall Chanukah menorah that lights up at night.

Just enough external Holiday decor if you were selling your home.

                                                             Picture from Houzz

Outside Holiday Decorating Tips:

Using plain white lights on your trees and bushes look very festive and really does not scream any specific holiday. White lights can also help to illuminate your home at night and help potential buyers take a better look at your property. When you are decorating your home while it is on the market, think WINTER not Christmas or Chanukah.

A seasonal pine wreath on your front door is another nice touch and smell great when a potential buyer enters your home.  Please stay away from the new blow up holiday decorations that require a blower and constant power to look nice; if a potential home buyer drives by your home during the day all they will see are "deflated balloons" all over your front yard! That really does not scream fantastic curb appeal.

Inside Holiday Decorating Tips:

Holiday decor that is not religious. Holiday Decor from Houzz

Your inside decorations need to be kept to a minimum.  For Christmas, a six foot Christmas tree in the corner of one room with white lights and blue and silver balls is all you should setup. A taller, thin tree is ideally what you should use. Stick to two colors for your Christmas theme, such as blue and silver or even gold and silver.  Remember, less is more when your home is on the market.

Elegant and Simple holiday decor. Holiday Decor from Houzz

A few empty presents that are wrapped under the Christmas tree will finish your holiday look.  Please only leave your Christmas tree up for about 10-14 days and it must be down before the New Year.

Vanilla candles with seasonal pine and pine cones are also great for centerpieces on tables and will leave your home smelling fantastic during this Holiday season.  Glass jars filled with blue and silver holiday balls also make great centerpieces and you can find everything you need to decorate at the local dollar store.

Incorporating nature into your Holiday centerpiece is another excellent idea. Holiday Decor from Houzz

If you cannot bear the though of not having your holiday religious items out, please buy a large plastic container to have on standby.  If you receive a call to show your home during the holiday season, quickly pack away your religious items (e.g., menorahs and nativity sets) and store them out of sight.

Keeping Your Buyer's Comfortable:

1.) New York winters can get pretty cold, so please keep the temperature in your home set between 68-70 degrees.

2.) Please shovel any snow and ice off your walkways and driveways to make it easy for a buyer to get into your front door.

3.) Make sure you have an extra large floor matt so buyers can wipe their feet after they enter your home.

4.) Make sure you leave out both paper towels and tissues since cold winter weather causes noses and eyes to run. When a buyer is walking through your home, everything should be easy.

5.) Please leave your outside lights on after 5:00 pm, if a buyer cannot locate your home how are you going to sell your home?

Final Thoughts:

Some home stagers will disagree and tell the homeowners not to put out one holiday decoration. In my opinion, this is not a realistic goal for a family that has celebrated every previous holiday in a home that they love. By explaining to the homeowner where to place their tree and the time-frame to keep the tree up, most homeowners are very receptive to the idea. Selling a home is a very stressful time in a person's life and having a small Christmas tree up for a week will most likely not delay the sale of their home.  An exterior of a home decorated very well with white lights might even attract some additional positive buyer attention.

 - Kate Case, owner/designer at Kate's Home Staging and Redesign.

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Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

You gave us some good tips for selling a home during the holidays. I think that is a great time of year to show homes. Most of the time the beauty and warmth are helpful.


Nov 12, 2012 01:01 AM #1
Shanna Day Team Leader AZ & UT - Call 480-415-7616
Keller Williams Realty EV (AZ) & Keller Williams SLC (UT) - Mesa, AZ
Top 0.33 percent of 39,000 Realtors in our MLS

Nice post.  It will be very helpful to all of us with sellers this holiday season.   Another item - maybe you have blogged on it or maybe not, but I'm curious about family photos - do you suggest leaving them out or putting them away?   Thx.  Shanna

Nov 12, 2012 01:01 AM #2
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Kate, I like the KIES method! I have my own home for sale now. Christmas is my very favorite holiday. The home is huge (6214 sq. ft) and we have two trees with two different color concepts. Our front room, where you enter is quite dark ESPECIALLY IN THE WINTER, and having some color and ambient light against the woods, slate, stone and leather furniture that are all natural wood hues really adds that POP that the room needs.


I won't be doing blue and white. Not sure I go along with that choice. I know that all white can be very simple, clean, elegant. Blue doesn't strike me as a tonal color that goes with everything. Gold and silver is quite lovely, but some men aren't into that. We live on a lake, and natural types of Xmas decor seems fitting. Love the wreath smell--you are so right.  As to the blow-up holiday decorations--oh dear--screams Christmas Vacation--where's Chevy Chase??


Nov 12, 2012 01:10 AM #3
Kate Talarico
Kates Home Staging and Interior Design - Goshen, NY
RESA, Top Orange County Home Decorator & Stager

Betty - Thanks for your kind words.

Shanna - I try to encourage that the family photos be put away or to limit the photos to only one or two.

Gayle - I love the Chevy Chase comment, those blow up decorations make me crazy.

Nov 12, 2012 01:52 AM #4
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Kate Talarico

RESA, Top Orange County Home Decorator & Stager
Not sure how to start decorating your home?

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