It might be cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you need to get a cold reception from homebuyers. At any time of year, properly staging your home can increase interest and offers while decreasing the time your home remains on the market.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that a well-staged home can sell up to 73% faster than a home that’s not staged, and over 80% of potential home buyers say a staged home makes it easier to imagine themselves living there. And that’s the key to forging an emotional connection between the potential buyer and your home.

So how should you stage your home during this time of year, when the holiday season has everyone dreaming of chestnuts roasting on an open fire? Here are the Top 7 tips to making your home glitter like a Hallmark movie without getting kitschy.

1. Turn Up the Heat

Think of the inviting ambiance of a ski lodge with a crackling fireplace and mugs of steaming hot cocoa. That’s the vibe you want to create in your home. Even in Las Vegas, it’s chilly in the winter, and that gives you the perfect opportunity to create a warm, cozy environment. Turn up the thermostat a few degrees before your home is shown — just enough to make it toasty — or light a fire in your fireplace. The more inviting your home is, the more people will want to stay in it and admire it. Maybe even permanently.

2. Add Holiday Touches

Generally speaking, less is more when it comes to home staging. But at this time of year, too little makes you look Grinchy or Scroogey, and that’s totally the wrong message. On the flip side, you don’t want to go overboard with the holiday cheer and risk making your home look tacky, overly religious, or potentially counter to homebuyers’ tastes. The best way to find balance here is to use tasteful touches that feel like Jack Frost just lightly kissed your home. A pinecone centerpiece, a subtle evergreen wreath, or a bowl of silver tree balls look nice in almost any setting.

3. Keep the Lights Light

This isn’t National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, so don’t go crazy with the holiday light show. In fact, stay away from the traditional colored lights in green, red, blue and yellow. Instead, choose a monochrome string of mini lights in warm or cool white, draped on the banister or wrapped around the pillars. Take inspiration from the palm trees at Town Square or The District at Green Valley Ranch, and your home will look like it came to life from the pages of Better Homes & Gardens.

4. Stick To a Neutral Palette

Along the same lines as the monochromatic lights, make sure any holiday decorations you put up match your home’s décor. This isn’t the time for red-coated Santa figurines if your living room’s color scheme is coral and aqua. Think through every piece you put up to avoid garish displays in clashing colors. As a rule of thumb, deep jewel tones are better than primary shades … so choose cranberry over bright red and deep hunter green over neon elvish hues. Touches of gold or silver (not both) give that extra glitter without being too glam.

5. Trim the Tree (Size)

If you’re putting up a Christmas tree, you might be tempted to go tall in order to show off your vaulted ceilings. While that could be a good strategy, be mindful of the floor space. A huge tree can make a room feel small, and that’s the opposite of what you want to accomplish. Instead, go for a more mid-sized tree that can serve as an accent piece without totally taking over the room. And again, stick to a neutral or cohesive color palette, like all gold, all silver, or all turquoise decorations … whatever complements your room’s décor without overpowering it.

6. Offer Tasty Treats

Making your open houses or other showings feel like a holiday party will go a long way towards allowing homebuyers to see the potential for hosting their own affairs. Serve some holiday-themed food and drink like warm cookies, hot chocolate, eggnog or apple cider. As a bonus, this will get buyers to stick around awhile and check out your home while they enjoy your treats.

7. Appeal To the Scents

The treats themselves are great. But for an added touch that’s both festive and homey, simmer a pot of cider on your stove with cinnamon sticks in it, bake some fragrant holiday cookies, or put some vanilla scent in a diffuser. The smell is even more appealing than the taste of treats, and it reminds people of home, love and good times. This is exactly the message you want people to feel, experience — and smell — while touring your home.

Set the Stage to Ensure Your Sale

Staging your house is absolutely one of the best things you can do if you want it to sell faster, at a higher price. Even just doing a few of these tips will be extremely helpful, making your home look like a designer created it. And leveraging feel-good holiday cheer cranks up your efforts to give a much higher impact.

If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can hire a professional for about $500 per room. Or, you can choose a listing agent who will do it for you as part of being your Realtor, like Dulcie Crawford does. She’s a community expert who goes above and beyond the competition, making her the perfect choice to help you sell your home.

Dulcie was born and raised in Las Vegas and has deep native roots going back to the 1960s. Dulcie’s father, Joseph Crawford, was a Las Vegas lawyer during the mob years until the mid-1990s. She attended the prestigious Bishop Gorman College Preparatory High School, graduating in the Class of 1986. Her mother and father settled in a historic ranch community home built by Collins Brothers Development, same as the Flamingo Hotel. Dulcie has now renovated the family ranch home and loves living in Central Las Vegas again, close to the pulse of the Las Vegas Strip.

Dulcie has over 24 years of local real estate expertise. She understands the city and its trends and opportunities more than anyone. Dulcie has watched Vegas rise and fall and rise again, and can help you pinpoint and locate the perfect home for you. To find out more about working with Dulcie and her award-winning team, or to get more information about the current housing market conditions, properties featured on this blog, or our Hot Market Listings, please contact Dulcie Crawford directly at (702) 505-2775.