Stage the House with Boughs of Holly! A Dozen Holiday Staging Do’s & Don’ts

Merry Christmas!
While many home stagers (and Realtors!) recommend removing excess clutter from a home on the market, this doesn’t have to strip you of your Christmas spirit! If your home is for sale this holiday season, you may still decorate! However, you should keep it tasteful by following these helpful holiday home staging tips:


  1. Be Subtle. Trade bright banners or religious symbols for simple & natural winter pieces such as holly, poinsettias, pinecones, mistletoe and evergreens. The subtlety of these natural pieces is less likely to distract buyers from the details of your home. The Stager’s Mantra: Less is more!
  2. Make Compromises. Instead of using your towering tree, swap it out for a slimmer, shorter tree. You are trying to make your home look as wide, open, and spacious as possible. If you need to rearrange furniture to accommodate the tree, you may need to remove pieces such as end tables to avoid crowding.
  3. Choose Complementary Colors. If your walls are painted a khaki shade, traditional colors such as green, gold, and red will look nice.  However, if turquoise is a dominant color in the room of your tree, swap out clashing red ornaments for soothing and subtle silver. Complement, don’t clash!
  4. Capture the Buyer’s Attention. This is a great time to use décor to your advantage. Accentuate an arched doorway with mistletoe or string lights and evergreen garland on the pergola in the backyard. Draw attention to your home’s best details without covering them up.
  5. Cozy Up. If you have a gas fireplace, leave it burning for the showing if you will be coming back home. If you do not have a fireplace or will not be home to check on it, adjust the thermostat just a couple degrees higher than usual instead. When buyers walk in from the chilly winter wind into your home, it will instantly feel welcoming and warm.
  6. Stimulate Senses. Instrumental music played softly in the background, sugar cookie Scentsy or simmering cider on the stove, silky or velvety fabrics used in décor…these are all great ideas to get started on staging for the senses! Remember to be subtle, you may love the smell of cinnamon but a buyer may find it overpowering. The more comforting your home feels to buyers, the longer they may linger and note your home’s key features.


  1. Don’t Display Your Family. Frequently, stagers will request that you take down family photos all times of the year and this rule of thumb carries over into holiday keepsakes. Don’t display family Christmas ornaments on the tree or put up the stockings with family names on them. This not only protects the privacy of your family but will help the Buyer imagine their holidays in the home.
  2. Don’t Distract the Buyer. Set Christmas lights steadily on, not flashing. Leave your dancing and singing Santa collection in the attic this year. The buyers are trying to assess your house, not gauge how thorough you can decorate for the holidays. The Buyer needs to be able to picture your home as their new home and imagine how they would decorate it for their own holidays.
  3. Don’t Hide your House. If every inch is covered in lights, tinsel, and garland, are the features of your home still evident? Be realistic with yourself with what is or is not “overdoing it.” Always remember, less is more!
  4. Don’t Leave Gifts Out. This is a good idea not only for protecting your private property, but presents under the tree are taking up valuable floor space and adding clutter. Store the presents creatively: under beds, stacked in closets, trunks of cars etc. A few beautifully wrapped, empty, decorative boxes under the tree are acceptable.
  5. Don’t Go Crazy with Lights. Say no to flashing lights, music synchronization, and giant inflatable lawn ornaments. Cut back on lawn decorations and instead highlight the architectural qualities of your house by outlining the roof with string lights or hanging icicle lights around the wrap-around porch.
  6. Don’t Keep Christmas Until July. Promptly remove your holiday decorations on or before New Years! If you’re planning on listing your home during the holidays, allow your Realtor to come snap photos before you decorate so the photos will not be outdated in a few weeks.

You may not be able to go all out this year while your home is on the market, but think about how compromising your decorations this year may speed up your home selling process. Remember your end goal and focus on how you will decorate your new home next year!

If you need help selling a home or buying a home in the OKC Metro, we’d love to help! Call The Allen Group and “Let Us Open Doors for You!”

Anya Taschereau
Licensed Realtor & Assistant
The Allen Group Real Estate

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