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5 Tips to Stage Your Home for the Holidays

The holidays are here again! With them come the sounds of carols, feelings of good cheer and the hustle and bustle of busy shoppers. This is a great time of year to connect with home buyers looking to start the New Year fresh in a 'new' home.

Turn your home into a Winter Wonderland and woo buyers with these 5 easy tips:

1. Spruce The Place Up. Literally. Hang a wreath on your front door or mailbox for instant impact. Taking the time to dress up the outside of your home shows buyers that you care and invite them to come inside and see more. Carry the evergreen trend indoors by adding pine boughs or cedar garland to a staircase or mantle. The look will not only be festive, but give off a wonderful wintry scent.

2. Twinkle, Twinkle. Adding outdoor lights, preferably white, will make your home instantly more attractive and inviting. Not only will they serve a decorative purpose, but as the days get shorter, they will also help your home be easily found at night by interested buyers. Add lights to a favorite outdoor tree, on a deck or add electric candles to the insides of your windows for a homey feel. You can purchase an inexpensive timer to automatically turn lights on and off at certain hours to be sure your home always looks warm and appealing to passers by. Just remember, while your home is on the market, keep outdoor decorations simple and universally appealing.

3. Warm Tidings. No matter how beautiful the wreath on the front door is or how carefully the lights were hung on your maple tree, buyers will not want to stay inside if your home isn't warm and cozy. Be sure to keep the thermostat at a comfortable temperature to encourage buyers to take their time and have a thorough look. Keeping a home heated is especially important if you have already moved and the property is vacant.

4. Pops of Color. Try adding a red throw to your couch to make the living area look cozy and welcoming. A bright poinsettia, vases filled with cranberries or festive centerpiece will make greenery pop and help move buyers' eyes around your rooms. Remember, though, just as with outdoor decorations, keep things simple and understated. Holiday staging is all about enhancing your home, not distracting from it.

5. Scents of the Season. Scent is the sense most closely linked to memory, so to leave a lasting impression with buyers choosing a favorable smell for your home is extremely important. Pine, peppermint and spice scents are all reminiscent of the season and often bring back fond memories for people. Scented pine cones are widely available and look nice in baskets by a fireplace, or mixed in with garlands. Scented candles and room sprays are also great options. Again, subtlety is important--the goal is to create a pleasant experience for buyers to remember not to send them home with a headache. Keep scents separate and cohesive.

During the winter months, your home should be a cozy refuge from the cold. When buyers walk in and don't want to leave, you'll know your holiday staging has worked.

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