Five Tips for Holiday Home Staging in Portland

professional home staging portland

Selling a home during the holidays? There are some special challenges this time of year. Among them: The fine art of home staging.

Buyers’ agents agree that staged homes sell faster than unstaged homes, but, according to a study by the National Association of Realtors, “Where things get interesting is that 38 percent of buyers’ agents said that staging positively affects a home’s value if the home is decorated to the buyer’s taste.”

Because every buyer has their own individual tastes, the fundamental rule of home staging is to go for the broadest appeal, especially when it comes to holiday decorations. When buyers walk in, you want them to easily imagine your home as their own Portland getaway — no matter who they are.

Stumped? Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it.

  1. Back to basics. The first steps in staging a home of any kind are to clean, declutter and simplify. Then do it again. It may seem like the opposite of staging, but it works time and time again. In fact, many Portland homes sell better when completely empty (if they are really small) than when furnished. Of course, if moving out is not an option, it’s still possible to impress buyers and have a little holiday cheer while you’re doing it.
  2. Think of decorating as highlighting. Avoid cluttering the home with holiday knick-knacks. A simple strand of white Christmas lights can be a great home staging tool. Put them outdoors around porches, along rooflines, and around tree trunks. Many Portland home buyers may only have time to tour your home in the late afternoon or evening, so lighting up these elements will ensure that they are seen. It gets dark so early here! Indoors, strand lights are a great way to set off a mantle, a bay window or a doorway. Just make sure there are no cords crossing the floor and nothing hangs lower than head height.
  3. Focus on the entry. Front doors are one of the first things buyers notice when they pull up, and a bright, cheery entry is great for curb appeal. Hang a wreath on the door, get a fresh doormat (but avoid those with words on them) and make sure the porch light is clean and functional.
  4. Go sensory. Buyers are not just viewing a home with their eyes, but they’re also smelling their way through. Homes tend to be shut more in the winter, and nagging smells can be intensified. If cleaning does not remove strong odors from your home, find a way to address them specifically. Don’t attempt to mask smells with plug-in air fresheners or other artificial means. If you have serious problems, contact us for some pro. solutions (I’ve got a list!). You can add some holiday cheer by cooking some cider at a low simmer with plenty of cinnamon sticks. The aroma will waft through the house. Or, decorate with cedar boughs, which are especially fragrant.
  5. Nix the tree. Christmas trees take up floor space, obscure the dimensions of a room and can make a low ceiling look even lower. Not to mention they aren’t everyone’s holiday tradition of choice! Go with cedar boughs and pine cones on a table or mantle, or, if you must have a tree, make it a miniature one.

Looking for more tips on maximizing your home value this winter? Call our top 1% Portland sellers team today.

December 7, 2018

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.5% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.