How to Stage Your Home for the Holidays

When staging your home for the holidays, create a warm holiday ambiance and keep décor neutral and tasteful.

When staging your home for the holidays, create a warm holiday ambiance and keep décor neutral and tasteful.

By Patricia L. Garcia

Now that you’ve purchased a newly built home, it’s time to sell your old one. Sounds easy, right?

In this buyer’s market, it may not be as simple as placing a “For Sale” sign in your front yard. You have to woo home shoppers into loving your old home as much as you do. Staging is one way to find a buyer – and a way to possibly get more than you anticipated selling your home for, says John Lazenby, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

“According to the National Association of Realtors 2015 Profile of Home Staging, the majority of Realtors who responded to the survey believe that buyers most often offer a 1 percent to 5 percent increase on the value of a staged home,” he says. “A smaller group of Realtors believe the increase is closer to 6 percent to 10 percent.”

If you plan to stage your home, consider the time of the year. You don’t have to be a Grinch and get rid of all of your holiday décor, but you do need to be cognizant of just how jolly your home will be. Lazenby offered a few tips on how to stage your home for the holidays:

NHS: How do you stage a home with holiday décor with going over the top?

Lazenby: The keys to staging a home with holiday décor are restraint and elegance. Like holiday party jewelry, it’s important to limit the number of pieces to avoid over doing it. In addition, staging with simple decorations that complement the home’s architectural style (think shiny for modern or natural for Tudor) enhance the home rather than overwhelm it.

NHS: What are some “neutral” décor and colors to use in your holiday staging?

Lazenby: Neutral, tasteful decorations do not fall into “childlike,” “cartoonish,” “highly religious” or “highly personal” categories. Something unobtrusive, such as an evergreen garland or a string of white lights in an unexpected location, acknowledges the season without distracting buyers.

NHS: Seasons come and go – why should you stage your home for the holidays?

Lazenby: It is important to acknowledge the season with decorations to add warmth and interest to the house and to excite potential buyers with examples of how they could garnish the home if it were their own.

NHS: Do you need to spend lots of money to do so?

Lazenby: Sometimes the best decorations are free! Head to a tree lot and ask for an armful of the extra lower branches that have been shaved off, then place them in glass vases or hang them over the edges of cabinetry. If you’re lucky enough to live in a wintery location, incorporate winter berries or seed pods from ornamental grasses.

NHS: When should sellers not stage for the holidays?

Lazenby: Sellers should not stage their homes for the holidays if they are not going to be available to take the decorations down in a timely manner. A home still decked out in its holiday finery weeks after the new year passes is not appealing to buyers.

Patricia L. Garcia is content manager for

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