Staging for Selling During the Holidays

By Scott Kelsey  |   December 4, 2017

In Southwest Florida, ‘tis the season for real estate.  Buyers that are searching for a property are typically serious and want to “ring in the new year” with a new home in paradise.  As a seller, you can enjoy decorating your home for the holidays and still manage to keep your house staged for selling.  You may even be able to create a warm, cozy feeling when showing your property if you incorporate the four senses with enticing trimmings:

1)    Sight — make sure your home is sparkling clean and not sparkling with lights and tinsel.  The number one rule for staging your home is to de-clutter and remove your knick-knacks.  Don’t add clutter on top of clutter with your child’s homemade macaroni ornaments, rigatoni garland, or your snow globe collection.  Also, it is common knowledge to use neutral colors when selling your home – keep this in mind with the holiday décor and remember less is more.  Instead of having a blow-up Santa in the yard, hang an evergreen wreath on the door to welcome buyers.  Use white lights (not too many) around the tree instead of multi-colors, and steer clear of religious artifacts like nativities.  No matter what your religion, you are not going to be offended by nature, such as reindeer figurines or pinecones.

2)    Sound – background music can be soothing and helps to create an emotional connection.  Once again, think diversity when it comes to music – remember, not all buyers come from the same religion so you may not want “Away in a Manger” or “Silent Night” playing as buyers tour your home. We are in Southwest Florida, and the weather couldn’t be better this time of year!  Sell the lifestyle by opening the windows to hear the water feature trickling in the backyard or the birds singing.  If you want to show off your sound system, play something neutral.

3)    Taste – food is always comforting and expected during the holidays.  Baked cookies,  apple cider with cinnamon sticks, and individually wrapped candies are excellent to offer buyers.  It is essential that buyers leave your home with a warm and festive feeling.  Baked goods and aromatic beverages (sense of smell, which is discussed below) are received by the part of the brain which sends messages directly to the centers where they influence emotions and memories (limbic system structures) and “higher” centers where they modify conscious thought (neo-cortex).  These brain centers perceive taste and especially odors and access memories to remind us about people, places, or events associated with these olfactory senses.

4)    Smell – mentioned above, triggers us to remember experiences both positive and negative.  Keeping it simple to avoid smells that could potentially be off-putting to buyers is vital. For example, pine scented candles may not appeal to everyone’s sense of smell and stir up warm, cozy images of loved ones sitting around the Christmas tree.  The person may associate the smell with car freshener that may not create good memories.

Too many holiday touches can be distracting to the senses, but the right accessories can draw attention to your home’s best features.  Consult with your Southwest Florida REALTOR® to help you stage your home during the holidays.

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