8 Staging Tips to Help Your Home Sell During the Holiday Season

Decorating and staging your home during the holidays can increase its appeal to potential buyers. But how do you display your holiday spirit without overwhelming them?

It’s important to strike the right balance so the beauty of your home shines through. Our eight tips will help potential buyers imagine celebrating their future holidays in your warm, inviting home.

1. Enhance curb appeal

No matter the season, updated landscaping can help boost your home's first impression. The National Association of Realtors includes well-maintained landscape features and lighting among the top recommended curb appeal features.1

Here are some more ideas to enhance your home’s curb in a festive, yet neutral way.

  • Dress your doorstep for the holidays with an evergreen wreath or planters with poinsettias for pops of color.
  • Add silver accents that will catch the sunlight, making your home sparkle.
  • Ensure your home and holiday décor is also appealing during the day and evening for showings. (But think more Martha Stewart and less Clark Griswold. Avoid too many lights and inflatables that might clutter the aesthetic.)

2. Deck the halls (discretely)

Less can be more. Go with a familiar, natural theme using items like eucalyptus, garland, pinecones, burlap and ribbon for your holiday decorations. Fresh nuts and fruits — apples, berries, oranges, and pears — can add visual and aromatic spice to seasonal décor. These elements bring the beauty of nature indoors, creating a cozy and welcoming ambiance without overwhelming the space.

3. Stage the dining room

Highlight the heart of your home by setting a festive holiday tablescape in the dining room. Utilize elegant place settings, tasteful linens, polished crystal and seasonal centerpieces to highlight your entertaining space. This creates an inviting atmosphere. By creating an elegant scene, you make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves gathering in your home to make their own memories.

4. Declutter and organize

Buyers want to envision their own belongings in your home, so it’s important to declutter and organize your space. Use this as an opportunity to purge and in anticipation of your move.

Remember to:

  • Remove family photos or other items that personalize your home.
  • Clear out unnecessary items, including excess holiday decorations and gifts, to create a clean and open space.
  • Put away wrapped gifts as they not only can make a home feel too private but may also attract thieves if visible from doors or windows.

5. Choose subtle scents

Strong room scents may be off-putting to sensitive people. Instead, comfort potential buyers with delightful aromas2 that evoke a warm and inviting atmosphere before a showing. Simmer a few apple slices with cinnamon, bake a batch of cookies (with a note for buyers to sample!) or light a vanilla candle. Again, winter foliage such as bay garlands and pine boughs will add festive, nostalgic scents.

6. Complement your home’s palette

When selecting holiday decorations, select colors and elements that complement your home’s palette, such as whites, silvers or earthy tones. This approach will create cohesion and enhance your existing style. If your home has a neutral tone but you'd like to punch it up with a bit of color, accenting with red bows or candles can brighten the space.

7. Highlight the best features

Accentuate your home’s unique selling points with tasteful holiday accessories. Be mindful not to obstruct beautiful views or overwhelm elegant architectural details. Place a candelabra or candles in cut glass to accent an arch window.

8. Optimize your tree

If you have a Christmas tree, don’t let the tree distract from your home. Select one that suits your space. A tall tree can make a statement in a two-story great room, while a slim tree works well in smaller living areas. Or simply use a tabletop tree to add a festive feel without taking up too much space. Decorate the tree with a cohesive theme, such as specific color schemes or ornaments, to create an elegant focal point.

Planning a move soon — or in the new year? Remember that RBFCU’s preferred real estate partner, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty, is here to help you move beyond your expectations toward an extraordinary real estate experience.

To get started, contact us today by emailing realty@rbfcu.org or completing a simple online form now.

Information in this article is general in nature and for your consideration, not as financial advice. Please contact your own financial professionals regarding your specific needs before taking any action based upon this information.

This article was last updated in December 2023.

Kuper Realty Holding Company, LLC dba Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty is a subsidiary of RBFCU Services LLC. RBFCU Services LLC is affiliated with Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU).


The following sources were last accessed in October 2023.

1“Most REALTORS® Recommend Improving Curb Appeal, and Homeowners Can Benefit Financially and Emotionally by Remodeling Outdoor Features, NAR-NALP Report Finds.” www.nar.realtor, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/most-realtorsr-recommend-improving-curb-appeal-and-homeowners-can-benefit-financially-and.

2Gordon, Lisa Kaplan. “How to Decorate Your Home for the Holidays without Hurting a Sale.” Real Estate News & Insights | Realtor.com®, realtor.com, 7 Dec. 2016, https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/decorating-selling-your-home-during-the-holidays/.