How To Decorate When Your Home is For Sale

Home Stager

How To Decorate When Your Home is For Sale


When providing Home Staging Consultations for sellers during the holidays, one question they have is…

Can I still decorate for the holidays?

My answer has always been YES… with one caveat…KEEP IT SIMPLE

Creating the feeling of home with a holiday spirit can help your buyers picture themselves there. Remember…buying a home is not just about the numbers. An emotional connection plays a key role. 


The goal is to add light touches of “HOLIDAY” in your home without overwhelming the buyer. They still need to see the SPACE!



~Avoid going overboard!  Well-placed holiday plants and a welcoming wreath rather than blowups, candy canes, and reindeer covering the yard. 

~Avoid oversized decorations that make it difficult for buyers to enter the front door.



Everything Doesn’t Have to Be Red! (or Blue)

When we think of Christmas or Hanukkah the colors that come to mind are red or blue. But what if they don’t go with the rest of your house?

There’s nothing etched in stone that says that either of these colors has to be used.  Complement the colors you do have. Consider white poinsettias instead of red.



home staging for the holidays


Don’t Block the Paths That Will Allow Your Buyers to Navigate Through and Around Your Home.

Sometimes we have to tweak some furniture placement to make room for our tree.

Keep traffic patterns open for your buyers.  

Make sure electrical cords that light up the tree will not be a hazard to anyone walking by.


Preserve the View

Whether it’s a view of your pool area, large patio, or wooded area, don’t block the view with a large Christmas tree.




Don’t Hide Your Home’s Chief Selling Points!

If you have a beautiful fireplace and mantle let your buyers see it. Don’t cover it up with so many stockings, holly, and candles that buyers won’t even know it’s there.


holiday home staging


Have some sense about your holiday scents!

Some buyers may not be able to handle strong holiday scents...too much peppermint, balsam, fir can overwhelm them.


Have a large kitchen island? Make sure they can see it...don’t have every inch covered in Christmas Cheer!



Just because your house is for sale doesn’t mean that you have to pass on the holiday spirit. Just remember to…




holiday home staging


This is the time to let your HOUSE shine...not the decorations!


Posted by

Kathy Streib
Retired Home Stager
and Interior Redesign

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Comments (21)

Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

This is a tough one. A beautiful home is usually a good thing, unless it is so beautiful it detracts from the viewer seeing the home for what it is. Good post.

Nov 28, 2023 06:37 AM
Kathy Streib

Hi Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty Simplicity is important!  You want to remove anything that will distract or detract!

Nov 28, 2023 05:14 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Kathy,

Great suggestions for a seller when selling during the holiday season. You can still have Christmas decorations as long as you remember its ALL ABOUT THE HOUSE SHINNING!

Nov 28, 2023 07:15 AM
Kathy Streib

Exactly Dorie Dillard Austin TX The center of attention has to be the house and its space, not the things in it. 

Nov 28, 2023 05:15 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

Kathy, When marketing your residence during the holiday season, bear in mind that now is the moment to let your HOME stand out... not the embellishments! Therefore, keep it uncomplicated. Great advice!

Nov 28, 2023 07:20 AM
Kathy Streib

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 I consulted on a home years ago. Every inch of the home had Christmas decor...even the shower curtain in the hall bath. 

Nov 28, 2023 05:16 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is timely advice for home sellers. I will share your post on Twitter.

Nov 28, 2023 07:43 AM
Kathy Streib

Thank you Roy Kelley I appreciate it. 

Nov 28, 2023 05:17 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Kathy,
Excellent tips for decorating a home that is For Sale.  As Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty said:
"A beautiful home is usually a good thing, unless it is so beautiful it detracts from the viewer seeing the home for what it is." 

Nov 28, 2023 09:59 AM
Kathy Streib

Carol Williams A client had a gorgeous wreath on it but it was so big the agent had a hard time with the lock box and we kept knocking into it when we went through the door. 

Nov 28, 2023 05:18 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

I had to laugh when I saw your saying - What fireplace!!  I've seen some homes that are so over the top decorated that people can't see the main features by a long shot.  One house was still decorated like that in May.  Go figure!


I'm with you on this one Kathy - Keep it Simple!

Nov 28, 2023 10:08 AM
Kathy Streib

Anna "Banana" Kruchten that same house had every inch of the hall bath decorated in Christmas stuff, even the shower curtain!!! They also painted the exterior in marine blue!!!

Nov 28, 2023 05:25 PM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

'Keep it Simple' is very much an all around rule for me.  The last pic is an excellent example of showing off the season and the house.  m

Nov 28, 2023 10:10 AM
Kathy Streib

Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho  The older I get, the more I appreciate simplicity!  You can still decorate but keep it simple. 

Nov 28, 2023 05:25 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Kathy keeping it simple is great advice even during non-holiday times.

Nov 28, 2023 02:22 PM
Kathy Streib

George Souto I couldn't agree more!!!    I know that when agents refer their sellers to me, their biggest concern is always all of the "stuff."

Nov 28, 2023 05:26 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Excellent advice, Kathy.  I remember touring a home during the holidays.  It looked like a virtual Santa's workshop inside.  It was hard to focus on the home itself, for the busy holiday display that monopolized attention.

Nov 28, 2023 08:01 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

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

Nov 28, 2023 08:02 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Awesome advice there were a few homes I sold over the holidays and my advice was to limit the decorations, Endre

Nov 28, 2023 10:35 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Keep it simple is great advice for staging during the holidays but also for life, it's a rule that I try to live by, haha.

Nov 29, 2023 04:49 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Kathy Streib - You make some excellent points about selling during the holidays.  I have had a few go on market this time of year and those points have to be stressed.  I especially like not blocking the paths.  A real challenge is taking the pictures because, there is a good chance those pics will have to be retaken after the holidays are over. 

Nov 29, 2023 08:51 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

I never thought about this issue but your answer to it seems like a good one!!

Nov 29, 2023 09:10 AM
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

It’s a great post. Thank you for sharing!


Have a super fantastic week!

Joe Jackson, Realtor-KWCP

Nov 29, 2023 09:23 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Kathy:

These are all excellent suggestions for dealing with a home for sale during the holidays. Sellers certainly will want buyers to be able to view the features of the home and not get distracted by all the holiday finery and too much clutter.


Nov 29, 2023 09:42 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Additionally.... re shoot after the holidays or the house will look dated!  

Nov 30, 2023 09:07 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Most appropriate information when it comes from someone that was once an excellent professional stager.

Dec 03, 2023 07:26 AM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Kathy Streib very valuable detailed report about how to decorate when a home for sale.

Dec 03, 2023 08:49 AM
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

Absolutely spot on and I agree. That is certainly my viewpoint on the subject. Simple sells!

Dec 06, 2023 12:58 PM