5 Tips for Holiday Decorating When Your House is for Sale

Santa has arrived at the mall, the calendars are filling up with holiday parties and you’re starting to think about who’s been naughty and nice. ‘Tis not the season for real estate...but what if it is? That just happens to be the case for some sellers -- timing around the holidays isn’t always an option. So how do you show off the best of your home to potential buyers, but still maintain a festive spirit for your family who are still living there?

Try these 5 ways to get house-hunters into the buying (and holiday) spirit:

1. Less is more

Too many decorations will make your home seem less spacious and could hide some of its beauty. Opt for a few hints of holiday flair rather than filling every open space. Subtle touches like a bowl of pinecones, vases filled with Christmas balls, an evergreen wreath, some twinkle lights and decorative branches will keep the holiday spirit alive without detracting from your home’s beauty.

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2. Complement your existing decor palette

If your home’s decor is a modern grey hue with pops of orange and blue, then traditional decorations in red and green aren’t going to look so hot. Skip the clashing red garland and opt for white snowflakes or a silver glass-ball wreath. If you’ve got an earthy color scheme, accent with rich tones like cranberries, forest greens and gold. Be sure the decorations also match the style of your home, i.e. contemporary, rustic country, modern industrial, traditional, etc.

3. Show off the best features

Yes, less is more, but the right accessories can actually draw attention to your home’s best features. Hang a beautiful wreath above your fireplace (but ditch the personalized stockings), dangle mistletoe from a high arched ceiling, place twinkle lights on the ledge of a bay window.

4. Keep the tree in check

A tall Christmas tree can help you show off your high ceilings, but make sure the wide base doesn’t overwhelm the floor space. If your living area is on the small side, try a skinny tree instead. Trim your tree in a complementary theme to the rest of your decor with sophisticated ornaments that reflect light and sparkle, such as icicle lights, glass balls and snowflakes.

5. Be mindful of different traditions

Not every prospective buyer may celebrate Christmas, so consider leaving the overtly religious nativity scene in storage this year. We aren’t suggesting you ditch what matters to your family and traditions, but try to keep it in check. Subtle holiday decorations that accentuate and complement your home will keep the holiday spirit alive, and still be festive enough for you to enjoy.

If you start to miss your giant Santas and snowmen, just remember that you’ll be celebrating next year’s Christmas in a new home...and you can decorate that home any way you please.

Adrienne Alexandersellers