How to Stage Your Home During the Holidays
If you are preparing to sell your home in November or December, you can still put up holiday decorations and keep your home attractive to buyers. Some real estate agents think it’s best to pack up decorations altogether. I recommend keeping the house neutral and impersonal.
Lights and accents are cheerful and inviting, but buyers need to envision themselves with their own tastes in the home. I advise clients in any season to come up with a plan, beginning with de-cluttering and de-personalizing. Necessary updates, repairs and cleaning follow.
A spotless home that feels bright and spacious will produce the best results. Here are guidelines if you are going to list and also want to decorate during the holidays. The key: de-personalize. Your personal life should not be featured throughout the home. Look at items and ask, “Does this add value to the sale?”
Refrain from displaying an abundance of personalized items and decorations like family photos, Christmas stockings, ornaments, religious symbols and holiday cards.
Exterior: Too many exterior decorations can be distracting and take away from the property’s curb appeal. Hang an elegant wreath on the front door instead of wrapping it in gift paper, for example. If you hang lights, don’t aim to emulate Clark Griswold. Simple, smaller LED white lights add a festive feel without distracting buyers.
Tree: No tree is preferable. If you have one, medium size is better. Too big distracts and can make the room seem small. It also can block the flow and make your space feel crowded. Too small can appear awkward. Think Charlie Brown’s Christmas.
Cards: Holiday cards hanging up or displayed on a table make the room look messy.
Scents: The smell of some fresh-baked vanilla sugar cookies will be a delight for your prospective buyers. If you don’t bake, consider having some vanilla or cookie scented plug-ins that are a neutral scent and not too overpowering.
Powder rooms: Carefully select scented soaps and a few tasteful holiday-themed towels to generate a festive feel.
Gifts: Don’t stack gifts under a tree or put them on display. The last thing you want is to take up more space. Consider a few empty wrapped boxes in some stylish colors just for display. Hide the real presents.
Photography: It’s so important to photograph your home for listing before any decorations go up. That’s because chances are the home will still be on the market after the new year. Dated holiday photos will signal to buyers that the home has been on the market since last year.
Ultimately the most important holiday decision you'll make is whether to place your home on the market during the holidays. You’ll have fewer buyers, but usually more motivated buyers are looking to find their new home for the new year.
Steve Vitani, a Realtor with RE/MAX Elite and certified luxury home marketing specialist, has been a multi-million-dollar producer each year since 2000. He was inducted into the RE/MAX Hall of Fame in 2016 and recognized for being in the top 100 out of 5,500 RE/MAX agents in Florida. He and his wife, Kim, reside in Viera.
You can reach Steve at 321-749-9394