How to Stage a Home for Holidays

Mantel decorations are a simple way 
to give a nod to the seasons. Country Living photo.

Your home is on the market. You're staging it to make it anyone's dream home.

So far, so good.

Then along come a bunch of holidays. Whammy, Halloween! Whammy, Thanksgiving! Whammy, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years, Whammy!

Not only do the accompanying traditions throw your household into a whirlwind, but there's the decorating thing.

Let's make sense of how to handle holidays in the middle of a staging situation.

Let's remind ourselves that the real estate market pretty much grinds to a slower pace before Thanksgiving and doesn't pick up speed again until after January starts.

 Expect that home tours are going to be less frequent.  Folks are busy spending money and time in other ways.  

You may be one of those talented people who love to deck the halls. You know who you are when every occasion does not even exist if you do not bring out the appropriate placemats, door wreath, and mailbox flag.

I love, love, love decorating my own home for the holidays, and I would hate missing that annual ritual.

However, my advice to people marketing their homes is to keep seasonal decorations to a minimum this year.  If your home is already lovingly staged, the decorations may be a major distraction.

Next year at your new home you can go all out!  Let that soothe your decorating soul for now.

It goes without saying that not everyone celebrates the same religious and cultural traditions, so just as with the rest of your home staging, keep it generic. People like to buy from people they share values with, so be the enigmatic and universal person.

If you are one of those who looks on seasonal decorations as a chore, you have a pass this year. You can guiltlessly keep it simple. Here are some examples.

Because it's red, a wreath like this will carry you from November through January. photo. 
A smart stager can simply substitute a bright holiday item for a piece of art. photo.
What could be more lovely than a classic entrance trimmed in evergreen 
and moss? Or a wreath made of pinecones
Above: Martha Steward photo.

You can create this kind of mantle accessorizing, using real or faux greenery and 
vessels you have. photo.
Greenery that's indigenous adds local appeal, sure to be noticed by people 
relocating from elsewhere. photo. 

The default decorating color option is white, so go with that. My favorite blogger, The Nester, shows us all how to make a wreath and holiday tree from coffee filters.

So, remember to keep your inflatable Santa packed away this year, and enjoy your pared down, staged home.  I would love to hear about how you stage your holiday home.

Need more specific advice about decorating your home? I offer three rules for doing tablescapes right, and five formulas for dressing the mantel in my eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and for Top Dollar.

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