(630) 945-0362 carolyn@styleithome.com

It’s now December and if you have a home to prepare for sale during the holiday season, you likely have a lot on your plate… And if you aren’t selling your home this year, but might like ideas for a more minimalist and less stressful decorating plan, keep reading for simple tips. 

The task of selling at this time of year is interesting, many times it’s also the last time you’ll be celebrating with family in this home that may be full of wonderful memories. It’s sometimes challenging to enjoy your home during and between showings,  but I’ve got easy steps to help keep your selling goals on track while keeping you comfy and cozy for this year’s staying home festivities. 

Why is this topic of holiday decorating so important when selling your home?  There are two main reasons.   

1. Your home’s listing photos need to appear timeless as far as a date that your home entered the selling market.  There should be no holiday decorations in place during this photo session.  Photos need to appear the same in the summer as they do in the winter. This eliminates the visual on the internet and to the world that basically stamps your photos with a date of listing! It’s a visual red flag! 

A photo with a Christmas tree tells a potential buyer viewing this online in April that the home has been listed for 4 months. As stagers or stylists, we’re marketing your home to help you sell quickly and in the event that this doesn’t occur, seasonal photos translate into a visual red flag that lower sale prices and sometimes eliminate home showings all together. Some buyers even question what might be wrong with the home and most will make lower offers because that’s what is often, unfortunately, expected after months of being on the market.  Yikes, let’s avoid that!


2.  We see many serious house hunters and buyers touring homes during the holiday season and let’s just say it’s not a typical time to browse homes out of curiosity because of the other demands on time. So, after the listing photos are taken, keep your holiday decorating simple. We don’t want you to loose serious buyers because the home was over decorated and they couldn’t see the important details of the home or easily visualize themselves in the home (see my marketing objective list below). We really don’t want you to miss out on an opportunity to sell at the highest potential selling price!  


After those photos have been taken, follow some of my favorite tips for a simplistic holiday decor plan: 

  • For Christmas, limit your home to one Christmas tree, if that’s part of your tradition. Use only non-flashing, white lights. Keep the base narrow in smaller rooms and the height at least 2 feet lower than the ceiling. Decorate in one room and coordinate color if possible.
  • Remove personal or décor items prior to placing holiday décor. Less is more.
  • Pick only a few strategic locations to decorate. A simple table centerpiece or vignette on the mantle are great options!
  • Use neutral and natural elements whenever possible. Evergreen branches, mini evergreen trees,  pinecones, holly berries or winter berries. 

  • Use pretty bowls or trays to group items.
  • When religious items are used, stow away before showings.

For exteriors too: 

If you like to use lights, keep them white, non-flashing and in 1 strategic location to compliment your home. Large trees or the roof line are great options. 

Or try a front door wreath to welcome guests all winter long. We love this handcrafted wreath from www.twoinspireyou, a St. Charles, IL company who specializes in unique, elegant and beautiful wreaths.

And, whether you are in the Midwest or most any other part of the world, you could also use, to scale, beautiful pots full of natural winter arrangements to flank the front door.

Some things to avoid during this season while selling your home: lawn décor, inflatables (yup, no blow-up snowmen), and anything that hangs. 

Remember: Only 10% of buyers can envision what they cannot see.

How can we help the other 90% of buyers? By keeping homes fresh and simple. When you follow these recommendations for your home you will likely achieve the same goals we use all year long when helping to market your home: 

  • To help buyers easily see themselves living in your home.
  • To help your home look more high end or pulled together. Luxurious, if I may.
  • To accentuate the positive features of your home.
  • To draw attention to the architectural details of your home, help them stand out and to be memorable after viewing several homes online or in person in a day!
  • To show calm and spacious rooms.

If you keep these tips in mind, your home is sure to make a merry and bright appearance to potential buyers while you avoid that “low-price” red flag. A win-win!

If you enjoyed this post, leave a comment and tell me what other tips you’ve found helpful for showing homes during the holidays!

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