When listing a home during the holidays, it's important to keep in mind that if the seller still needs to live in their home, they will surely want to feel comfortable and in the spirit of the season. That's why it's important to focus on staging the home properly to maximize seller comfort as well as enhancing buyer appeal!
First things first - start with a clean slate! Encourage your client to go through their home just as you would any seller at any time of year - removing any clutter and deep cleaning inside and out should be the primary focus before any decorating begins! Remove any dated or out of style items like the flower print curtains or ancient throw pillows, and pack away as many personal family photos or collectibles as possible.
Choose where to make improvements. Decide with your seller what their budget and time committment will realistically be when getting the home ready for sale. Focus on making changes where they'll be most impactful - new hardware in the kitchen or bathroom; an eye catching accent wall; updated doors, mailboxes, house numbers, or landcaping can all pay huge dividends with just a small investment and some elbow grease!
Now that everything is fixed up and tidy, choose decorations to complement the decor! Don't go crazy with the neon red and green if your living room is decorated in shades of blue! There are lots of great options that will match your existing style - white snowflakes, a touch of silver tinsel, a pinecone wreath or mistletoe garland will feel cozy and festive while remaining neutral enough to not detract from the room. Be sure to accentuate the positive - if the home has a gorgeous fireplace, highlight that feature with some holiday candles and a few tasteful nutcracker figurines to draw the eye in that direction!
Keep the outside light! And by that, I mean lights only! Advise your client to stay away from the giant inflatable Santa, or the 8 light up reindeer taking flight from the roof. While the neighborhood kids might adore the display, some potential buyers might find it tacky or distracting. Hang a few sets of nice white icicle lights along the eaves, frame out the windows, and add a nice wreath, and the home will feel tasteful and full of holiday cheer!