The Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Staging

The Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Staging
November 10, 2016 Pearl Insurance

The Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Staging

It’s that time of year again.

Holiday music is filling the airwaves, and twinkling lights are making every street shimmer. But amidst the holiday cheer, realtors are faced with a challenge—how to survive real estate’s off-season.

While it’s true that home sales tend to drop off between November and January, thriving in a slow real estate market is possible. The fact is, buyers are always looking. And holiday buyers tend to be more serious.

Plus, with fewer homes on the market, your client’s home has a better chance of standing out. As a real estate agent, your challenge is to ensure your client’s home is standing out for all the right reasons.

This list of dos and don’ts for holiday staging will help your clients keep their homes tasteful, elegant, and simple this holiday season.

Creating Curb Appeal

Do: Create curb appeal with simple decorations. A live wreath for the front door, and white string lights that accentuate the home’s architecture is all you need.

Don’t: That giant inflatable snowman you got on sale last year? Leave it in storage. Too many yard decorations can distract potential buyers and make your lawn seem smaller than it is.

Making Buyers Feel Welcome

Do: Offer tasty treats. A plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies (or store-bought—we won’t tell!) and a carafe of warm apple cider is a great way to make buyers feel welcome.

Don’t: Go overboard with scented candles, potpourri, or air fresheners. Doing so can cause adverse reactions in people who suffer from chemical sensitivities or allergies. Instead, stick to subtle holiday aromas, like baked goods and live greens.

Using Accent Pieces

Do: Use accent pieces like pillows, lamps, and rugs to add a touch of holiday cheer. Opt for pieces that are neutral while still being festive, like a gold lamp or solid red pillows.

Don’t: Overdo it. A good rule of thumb is to remove one non-holiday accessory for every seasonal piece you add.

Accentuating the Positive

Do: Accentuate the positive features of your home with seasonal décor. A tall Christmas tree can help show off high ceilings, for example, and a few well-placed holiday adornments can draw attention to an elegant fireplace.

Don’t: Get overly personal with your decorations. Personalized objects, like monogrammed stockings or holiday cards, can make it harder for buyers to envision themselves in the home.

Playing with Colors

Do: Use decorations that complement your home’s current color palette. If your home is furnished in shades of gray, try silver, blue, and white. If your color scheme is earthy, opt for rich tones like cranberries, forest greens, and gold.

Don’t: Use holiday patterns. Pillows covered in candy canes and rugs dotted with reindeer will almost always clash with your year-round décor.

Being Mindful of the Season

Do: Keep holiday décor up for a limited time. Holiday staging can begin 2 weeks prior to Christmas, and should be removed 2 weeks after Christmas.

Don’t: Avoid all festive decorations. During the holidays, people expect some seasonal décor. Without it, you run the risk of your home feeling cold and stark, rather than warm and inviting.

Remembering the Staging Ground Rules

Do: Remember to keep basic staging rules in mind. Ensure your home is clean, free of clutter, and all necessary upgrades have been made.

Don’t: Go in with a decorating plan right away. Holiday staging should always take a backseat to the basic staging process.

When in Doubt

If your clients are concerned or confused about staging for the holidays, remind them that less is always best.

What are your tips for holiday staging? Share your thoughts in the comments!

This article is for general information purposes only.


Petrie, Shannon. “Selling During the Holidays Is Not All Bad.” HGTV. HGTV, n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

BPT. “Sell Your Home Fast with These 3 Often-Overlooked Home-Staging Tricks.” House & Home. House & Home, 8 July 2016. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

Ballinger, Barbara. “Rules for Tasteful Holiday Décor.” Realtor Mag. National Association of Realtors, Dec. 2008. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

HGTV. “7 Ways to Stage Your Home for Sale This Holiday Season.” HGTV. HGTV, n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

Lazier, Danielle. “Holiday Staging: How to Make Your Home a Neutral Zone.” Inman. Inman, 21 Dec. 2015. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.