Written by: Olivia Forgette

Listing your home for sale during the holidays can be tricky. Calendars are packed with festive parties, and budgets are tight with gift purchasing galore; but this doesn’t mean it’s not the right time to sell your home. Finding a balance between being tastefully festive and spreading too much holiday cheer can make staging your home to sell difficult. Look no further for our expert tips for selling your home during the holiday season.

Clean slate

Before you decide to let holiday cheer into your home with decorations, it’s important that you first start with a clean, staged home if you’re wanting to sell during December.

Declutter your space as if it was springtime and you were about to list. If your space is already feeling cluttered, snowman figurines and fake Christmas trees are only going to add to the disorganization and untidy feeling.

Some tips for decluttering include:

  • Create piles for keep, donate, sell, trash, or memorialize (passing it on, or taking a photo)
  • Declutter in sections so you don’t feel overwhelmed
  • Follow through with your donations or trash right away
  • Try sorting by category (clothing, kitchen items, décor, etc.)

When you’re staging your home, be sure to update your curb appeal (we’re talking before adding holiday decorations and lights). Also, ensure your furniture isn’t overcrowding the space.

Other things to be sure you complete before listing are depersonalize the space by removing family photos and religious items. Erase signs of pets, dirt, and grime, and accessorize minimally in groups of three.

Now that your home is staged for selling, it’s time to chat about seasonal décor and listing your home for sale.

Holiday decorations

The key to selling your home during the holiday season is to not go overboard with holiday decorations as this can turn buyers off. It can easily add clutter to your home, and also hide features that would otherwise help sell the property.

Tasteful, classic, and minimal are some adjectives you should be using to describe your holiday decorations when you’re listing your home during the holiday season.


Regarding the photos of your home, it’s best not to have any seasonal decorations present. This is because it easily dates your listing.

Buyers will be scouring the internet looking for homes, and stumble upon your listing. Hypothetically say it is January. Suddenly that Christmas tree is shouting to your potential buyer, “I’ve been sitting on the market, we are desperate to sell! Place a low offer!”

It’s important that your cleanly staged home is the one the buyer sees upon first impression in the photos. So, if you can help it, get those pictures taken before you sprinkle your holiday magic all around your space.

Minimal is best

Once your photos are taken sans seasonal cheer, you can decorate your space for the holiday’s. Try to keep things minimal. It’s best to depersonalize your decorations.

This means avoid handmade ornaments or artwork from children, named stockings, or religious tokens. These items, although precious to you, will make your potential buyer feel like they are intruding on your home, rather than imagining themselves living in the space.

Instead, decorate with festive colors, and remember not to cover-up the beauty of the bones of your home. Holiday décor is a great way to highlight the architecture of your space, but too much can end up covering the stunning features of your property.

Try adding pops of metallic as an easy and inviting way to add some holiday sparkle without going overly festive.

A holiday tree is okay to have, but beyond that, it’s best to choose one focal point and stick to it. Decorate your fireplace mantle or banister and leave it at that.

Remember, classic and minimal are always best. Also, choose appropriately sized holiday items (including your tree) to ensure the space doesn’t feel smaller than it is.

Inside decorations you should avoid include:

  • Overpowering holiday scents (subtle cookie scent is good, super strong pine is bad)
  • Don’t place presents under the tree (to avoid sticky fingers)
  • Religious tokens (this could offend a buyer)
  • Holiday cards from friends and family
  • Any decorations that could block natural light from entering the room
  • Oversized decorations that will make the room feel small

Outside holiday decorations

Again, once the photos are done, it is okay to have some tasteful outside holiday decorations. A classic evergreen wreath on the door, and simple white lights are the way to go.

The goal is to give a joyful, inviting look to the house’s curb appeal, not scream Christmas Vacation at potential buyers.

Outdoor decorations to avoid include:

  • Inflatable decorations (these look messy during the daytime and are not part of the classic aesthetic you should be going for)
  • Over-the-top lights (remember, minimal is best)
  • Figurines
  • Flashing lights


Selling your home during the holiday season can feel like a balancing act between celebrating your family traditions, while still appealing to the buyer of your property. We hope you feel more enlightened about what you should try to do and try to avoid in your holiday decorations when selling your home.