Holiday Decorating When You’re Selling Your Home

Home Stager

Holiday Decorating When You’re Selling Your Home


Thanksgiving was last week, so the holidays are right around the corner. Many have already decorated their Christmas tree and hung their outdoor lights. 

This is one of my favorite times of the year; nothing makes it more festive than holiday decorations. 

Many sellers ask if they can still decorate their house for the holidays…and the simple answer is YES.



Just remember the basic principles of styling your home for sale…

  1. Let the buyers SEE your space
  2. Allow the buyers to feel and see themselves living in the house. 

Tips for Decorating Your Home for the Holidays When Selling Your House


-Keep It Simple 

You don’t want to distract your buyers with so many festive decorations that they can’t see the features of your home. 

If your tradition is to put out your 100+ piece Dicken’s Village, consider 3 unique pieces to display instead.

too much


-Don’t let your decorations block the key features of your house.

For example, the fireplace is one of our favorite areas to decorate, especially for the holidays. However...your buyers are not there to judge your decorating skills...they need to be able to see the fireplace!


christmas staging

-The Tree

Nothing is more festive than a beautifully decorated tree. However, if yours will block the window that looks out on your patio, or block a pathway across the room...consider a smaller tree. 

You don’t want your tree to overwhelm everything else in the room. You also don’t want it to block the natural light that enters through a window!

-Don’t overwhelm your buyers with holiday scents.

Personally, I love the holiday scents...nutmeg, cinnamon, pine, and gingerbread. But, some buyers may be allergic to these. Keep it simple and fresh!


-Be safe with flameless candles

Never leave lit candles when you leave your home. You can still set the mood with flameless candles.



-Color still matters!

We usually think of the colors of Christmas as red and green (or blue and white or silver for Hanukkah)  However if you’re like me, too much red, for example, would clash in my home. Think of alternatives…white poinsettias instead of the traditional red ones, for example. 


-Curb appeal Matters

It’s the first thing that will catch your buyer’s eye so save the big blow-ups for your new home. Deflated during the day, they look as if someone left trash all over the yard. And even if they are fully inflated all day, how can your buyers see your home?



Don’t forget the impact of a single wreath on your front door. 



-Hide your presents!

It goes without saying but any time that your house is on the market, you’ll want to hide any valuables and for the holidays, that includes your holiday gifts!


Selling your house during the holidays doesn’t mean you have to turn into the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. 


KEEP IT SIMPLE to get your house sold!


Posted by

Kathy Streib
Retired Home Stager
and Interior Redesign

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Comments (21)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Kathy - when a home is on the market for sale, regardless of when that happens, a buyer should feel overwhelmed with motivation to purchase.  

Nov 29, 2022 05:19 AM
Kathy Streib

Michael Jacobs you're matter when you're selling, just remember the basic principles. 

Nov 29, 2022 01:51 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Fantastic tips, Dorie. I hate those blow-up decorations regardless of whether a home is being sold or not. They do nothing for curb appeal in my opinion. I always tell my clients less is more and not to have their home look like Christmas threw up all over the house.

Nov 29, 2022 05:30 AM
Kathy Streib

Nina Hollander, Broker Blow-up things can be cute at night but that's it. 

Nov 29, 2022 01:52 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Kathy - this is a perfect post for my daughter.  They are listing their home this week.  I sent them your link.

Nov 29, 2022 05:39 AM
Kathy Streib

Grant Schneider I'm sure they'll do a good job. No need to forget that it's the holidays. 

Nov 29, 2022 01:53 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Kathy,

Great tips on decorating for the holidays when your home is on the market. KEEP IT SIMPLE is the best advice!

Nov 29, 2022 05:46 AM
Kathy Streib

Thank you Dorie Dillard Austin TX There's no need to "Christmas" every inch of your house. 

Nov 29, 2022 01:55 PM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

One can't go wrong if they stick to the basic principles that you have given!

Nov 29, 2022 05:51 AM
Kathy Streib

Brian England I know it's hard if sellers have young children but you can still decorate if you keep is simple. 

Nov 29, 2022 01:56 PM
Eric Bouler
Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La. - New Orleans, LA
Listening to your Needs

Pretty Blog you did today. Have a great year in 2023. My mother and me in 1948...

Nov 29, 2022 06:00 AM
Kathy Streib

Eric Bouler what a beautiful photo!!!

Nov 29, 2022 01:57 PM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

I agree to keep decorating simple Kathy. Last year we were trying to show a condo to a family, but they were more interested in every Christmas item they saw in the unit then actually looking at what it offered.

Nov 29, 2022 06:06 AM
Kathy Streib

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 that happened to me when I was looking for a home except the agent and I kept looking at all of the photos that were everywhere. 

Nov 29, 2022 01:57 PM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

I guess less is better, you don't want a buyer to not see the house because all they see is Christmas. Happy Taco Tuesday. bill 

Nov 29, 2022 06:13 AM
Kathy Streib

Bill Salvatore - East Valley that's exactly right. You have to let the buyers see your space. 

Nov 29, 2022 01:58 PM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

We really must walk a tightrope when selling an occupied home during any holiday that has lots of decorations. 

Nov 29, 2022 06:48 AM
Kathy Streib

Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty I remember one house that had a wreath so big on their front door, we could barely walk in! You can imagine what was inside. 

Nov 29, 2022 01:59 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Eric Bouler  What a beautiful photo of you and your mom. You are so lucky to have it. I don't know what the actual color scheme was when taken, but here is my attempt at colorizing the photo. I can send you the full size if you contact me with an email address.

Nov 29, 2022 07:41 AM
Kathy Streib

Sharon Tara that was so sweet of you to do!!!!

Nov 29, 2022 02:03 PM
Kat Palmiotti

How wonderful Sharon Tara !!!

Nov 30, 2022 04:55 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Kathy and great information to share with us here in the Rain.  Make it a great Tuesday!

Nov 29, 2022 07:46 AM
Kathy Streib

Will Hamm Thank you. Hope you're catching up from your trip. 

Nov 29, 2022 02:03 PM
MaryKay Shumway
The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948) - Sister Bay, WI
Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert

Very timely and informative post, Kathy!  Thanks for sharing.  

Nov 29, 2022 09:29 AM
Kathy Streib

MaryKay Shumway Thank you and hope you can share tips with your clients. 

Nov 29, 2022 02:04 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Kathy,

As usual, your tips are spot on.  I love the pictures illustrating how "not to" decorate your house.  Your safety tips are essential as well.  I bought a flameless candle where the flame moves back and forth.  It looks so natural even when you are up close. 

Nov 29, 2022 10:46 AM
Kathy Streib

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® that's all I have in our home now. I had real candles in a staged home. Someone lit them and the wax burned down onto the mantle. 

Nov 29, 2022 02:05 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Kathy this is a tricky time of the year for selling a house.  You want to still enjoy what you have done in the past, but not distract from Buyers seeing the house.  It can be a challenge.

Nov 29, 2022 10:47 AM
Kathy Streib

George Souto it is, especially if there are young children in the home. If they remember to keep it simple and not cover every inch in decorations, then it helps. 

Nov 29, 2022 02:06 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Those are excellent tips for holiday decorating while marketing a home, Kathy.

Nov 29, 2022 01:14 PM
Kathy Streib

Myrl Jeffcoat Thank you. Sellers need to recognize that buyers won't be able to see their space if too much is out there. 

Nov 29, 2022 02:07 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Kathy, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Nov 29, 2022 01:15 PM
Kathy Streib

Thank you Myrl Jeffcoat 

Nov 29, 2022 02:07 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is timely information to share with home sellers.

Have an outstanding week.

Nov 29, 2022 03:17 PM
Kathy Streib

Thank you Roy Kelley Christmas decorations started going up last week in many houses

Nov 29, 2022 08:30 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Kathy oh the homes I've seen over the years that are so over the tip holiday nightmare looking - and on the market.  I actually saw a multi-million home on the market a year or so ago in full Christmas mode.....wait for July.

Excellent tips on Holiday Decorating - SIMPLE!

Nov 29, 2022 08:14 PM
Kathy Streib

Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker makes you wonder if they got a jumpstart on the holidays or still have the previous Christmas decorations up!

Nov 29, 2022 08:32 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Excellent tips for decorating when selling a home - you can certainly decorate, just keep it simple and make the house the star!

Nov 30, 2022 04:56 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kathy why am I not surprised this post got featured? over the decades I have been giving the same advice decorate just cut back do not overwhelm Endre

Nov 30, 2022 10:31 PM