As a realtor, the holidays are a double-edged sword when it comes to staging and decorating. On the one hand, the holiday season gives ample opportunities to show off the coziness of a home through sights, sounds, and smells. The risk comes from potentially alienating a demographic or two if you lean too hard in one direction. 

The primary goal is to help people visualize themselves living in your client’s home. This means removing anything that is too reminiscent of the current occupants. The living room, master bedroom, kitchen, and bathrooms are the key areas of a home. Those are the focal points when it comes to staging. Clean the house thoroughly, and then think about decluttering. In addition to downsizing the furniture, remove excessive wall decor, photos, and personal accessories. Another critical step is to remove all rugs. The clients want to see flooring and rooms appear larger when they are opened up vertically as well as horizontally. Removing thick curtains and replacing them with sheer fabric or an open window view also helps to give the impression of a larger space. Paint the wood trims a white or cream color, and coat the walls with light neutral paint colors.

That being said, the adage less is more doesn’t have to mean skipping the holiday season entirely. You can incorporate the spirit of the season without getting too specific. Small accents geared toward winter can generate a nostalgic, warm feeling. A lot of care goes into choosing the right smells for an open house. A bowl of scented pine cones, freshly baked cookies, cinnamon sticks heated in cider, and lemon Pledge are key scents that entice prospective buyers. 

For holiday lighting, remember that neutral tones help buyers form a mental picture of their own. It is also jarring to see any color scheme that is too loud. Skip the clashing red garland and use white snowflakes or a silver glass ball wreath. For pops of color, rich accents in hues like cranberries, forest greens, and gold are good in small doses. 

Much like a fresh coat of paint can be a game-changer, the right accessories will highlight your home’s most remarkable qualities. Refrain from obstructing stunning views or an attractive fireplace. 

Curb appeal is vital and makes an indelible first impression when people are looking at your home. Take advantage of the season by incorporating tasteful lighting to highlight your house’s architectural features. String lights in warm colors are instantly inviting. If you have any landscaping features, emphasize their beauty with stage lighting.