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5 Home Staging Tips for the Holidays

shutterstock_78866188Realtors constantly struggle with getting buyers to look past the home decorating decisions of sellers. They also know that little things like less-than-clean kitchens or the smell of kitty litter can turn off a prospective buyer from a listing that otherwise meets all their criteria. Help your sellers get the most of their showings during the holiday season with these staging tips:

1. Keep Seasonal Decor Tasteful

The goal with seasonal decor should be understated elegance. Think white lines trimming the home’s exterior, a wreath on the door and an impeccably trimmed Christmas tree during the holiday season. For fall, this may mean a few pumpkins on the porch and a wreath of autumn leaves in the entryway. If your sellers are the type who insist on setting up their entire collection of Dickens Village houses in the living room or turning the front yard into Santa’s Workshop, warn them against the negative implications this may have for prospective buyers. Check out Inside Columbia magazine for a “tacky vs. tasteful” look at holiday decorating. And if there’s ever any question, take it down a notch or two.

2. Always Add Flowers

Fresh flowers have an uncanny way of infusing any space with an undeniable exuberance. Encourage sellers to add fresh floral arrangements throughout the home during both the photography session and for an open house. Check out the seasonal arrangements from FTD; they add a tasteful touch and an element of comfort to a space without the kitsch that often comes with seasonal decor flourishes. The ideal places for arrangements are in the entryway, on the kitchen counter, and on the dining room table. Be sure to also look for any bare corners that could use some livening up. A fiddle leaf fig tree and ficus are two beautiful and low-maintenance options that can add life to a great room or master suite.

3. Set the Table

For homes with formal dining rooms, make sure the table is set with the client’s best china for the staged photos and during the open house. This reminds potential buyers of what a wonderful atmosphere this house makes for entertaining, and they will picture themselves there with their friends and family. Attention to these types of details can really help to sell the lifestyle that goes along with living in the house. This Real Simple article has further guidance on how to set a pretty table.

4. Accentuate With the Shades of the Season

Homes decorated in neutral tones can really pop when you use the colors of the season for accessorizing the space. For instance, add throw pillows in bold holiday jewel tones to a solid neutral couch or top a beige chaise lounge with a burnt orange chenille throw.

5. Minimize Clutter

Encourage your clients to make time for deep cleaning and decluttering to maximize their home’s selling potential. Piles of unread mail, stacks of old magazines and excessive amounts of personal photos should all be sidelined for staging if the seller is serious about selling the house. Remind your seller to remove kids’ artwork, family photos and decorative magnets from the refrigerator to depersonalize the space. Your goal is to encourage an environment that enables house hunters to visualize themselves living in the home.


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