10 Tips for Decorating for the Holidays While Selling Your Home

As a homeowner, we take a lot of great care when it comes to how we decorate our homes. We painstakingly choose colors, patterns, and decor that appeals to our personal style and aesthetic. Even during the holidays, we put a lot of thought into how we decorate for the seasons’ festivities. 

When we decide to sell our home, we’re often told to remove personal decor and make everything as neutral as possible so potential buyers can have a blank slate, if you will. It makes sense too because it can be hard to visualize your own belongings in a house if the seller’s design style is different from your own. 

But with all of that said, the holidays are here and just because you’re selling your home, that doesn’t mean you can’t be festive! In fact, we have 10 festive decorating tips that’ll allow you to celebrate the holidays without scaring off potential buyers. 


1. Clean and declutter before decorating

Long before you start breaking out the holiday decor or having potential buyers walk through your house, you’re going to want to make sure every inch of your house is clean and clutter-free. This is the perfect chance to start going through your belongings and decluttering and packing the things you don’t need right now. 

Note: If you don’t have the time to deep clean your home, you can always hire a professional cleaning team to come by and work their magic. 

2. Depersonalize your holiday decor

As much as you may adore the holiday decor that your children made throughout their school years, this isn’t the time to put them on display. You want buyers to focus on your home’s features rather than the cute paper mache snowmen or clothespin reindeer. 

3. Classic winter decor vs holiday specific decor

In the name of neutrality and appealing to as many buyers as possible, we recommend keeping your holiday decor neutral. What we mean by this is to not focus on the religious holidays but decorate for the season. Instead of decorating using religious symbols like mangers, menorahs, or kinaras, stick to snowmen, snowflakes, evergreens, and the like.

4. Choose decor that is the appropriate size

When you’re choosing your decorations, you’ll want to take into consideration the size of the decorations in comparison to the rest of your house. For example, if you’re putting up a Christmas tree, make sure the tree isn’t so large that it’ll make your family room feel cramped. The name of the game here is to make your house feel festive without obstructing the square-footage or the best features of your home. 

5. Skip the hosting duties

If you’ve always hosted get-togethers at your place around the holidays, you may want to pass on the hosting duties to another family member this year. As much as you may enjoy having company and throwing holiday parties, it’ll just be another stressor added to an already stressful time. You don’t want to have to worry about deep cleaning after a party because you have a last-minute showing in a few hours! By removing yourself from playing host this year, you can keep your home neat, organized and in showing condition. 

6. Be mindful of your color palette

Although you may have some amazingly vibrant holiday decorations, you’ll want to tone it down and be mindful of your home’s color palette. If your home features a neutral palette, then of course you can deck the halls with reds and greens, but if you have a pale blue family room, those colors aren’t going to appeal to buyers. If you need some color inspiration, The Spruce has 21 holiday color schemes that aren’t red and green. 

7. Choose seasonal fragrances

We don’t know about you, but when you walk into a house that smells of cinnamon, spiced cider, or baked sweets… It just feels like home! During this time of year, opt for rich fragrances that are commonly associated with winter instead of fruitier scents. 

8. Highlight the positive features of your home

When you’re decorating for the holidays while selling your home, you don’t want to overdo the decorations - especially when it comes to the best features of your home. For example, if you have a large window that you normally put your tree in front of so you could see it from the street, consider hanging a wreath in the window instead. 

9. Don’t neglect curb appeal

Curb appeal is important when selling your home because it’s going to be the first thing potential buyers will see when they come to your house. So, of course you’re going to want to make a good first impression. You’ll want to make sure the leaves and debris have been removed from the lawn. You’ll want to take time trimming the hedges and removing any dead plants in the flower bed. Also, if it snows, make sure all of the walkways have been shoveled and salted for safety reasons. 

10. Take your neighborhood into consideration

It’s very common for people to decorate their yard for the holidays and while you may have gone all out with lights, inflatables and other decor… You’ll want to look at your neighbors’ yards as a guide in regard to how involved your decorations can be. If everyone on your street has simple white lights, perhaps skip the over-the-top setup you normally opt for and follow their lead. Likewise, if no one on your street decorates, you might want to keep your decor to a wreath on the door and call it a day. 

You can still decorate for the holidays when selling your home

When you’re selling your home during the holiday season, making your home feel festive while appealing to buyers can be challenging. You don’t want potential buyers to get distracted by your decorations but you still want to embrace the holiday season. If you need inspiration for neutral holiday decor, Pinterest is an excellent place to get ideas. 

But remember, before you start decorating, you need to make sure your house is spic and span! If you don’t have time to clean your house on your own, we can connect you with a cleaning service near you that’ll get your house ready for holiday festivities and for potential buyers!

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