As sales slow down in the winter, its going to take more effort to attract the perfect buyer to your listing. Beyond snazzy marketing and perfect pricing, chic holiday-appropriate staging can seal the deal by helping buyers imagine their first holiday in your sellers’ home.

“With that nice, homey feeling, homes tend to show a lot better during the holidays, while making people feel really good,” broker TG Glazer told realtor.com last November.

Here are five ways you can bring the holiday spirit to your listing:

1. Create curb appeal with outdoor accessories

Getty Images: dszc

Barren trees and browned, snow-covered grass don’t have to ruin your listing’s curb appeal. Make buyers forget about lackluster landscaping with charming, holiday-inspired outdoor accessories. Wrap trees or bushes with lights or line the walkway with solar-powered lanterns to bring some light to dusk or evening-time showings.

Switch out old doormats for new ones with holiday themes or prints, such as snowflakes or pinecones, and place poinsettias by the door for instant charm. If your sellers really want to make an impression, Bob Vila blogger Larry Bilotti suggests wrapping empty cardboard boxes to create an unique outdoor display.

“If you’ve been looking for ways to re-use cardboard boxes that your online purchases have arrived in, here’s the perfect solution,” Bilotti wrote. “Wrap them in festive papers, decorate with ribbon and bows, and put them on display.”

Just be sure to remove the boxes at the end of the day, if you’re concerned about package thieves.

2. Immediately set the mood with a dazzling entryway

Getty Images: monkeybusinessimages

Entryways are often neglected as the place for leaving snow-soaked boots or coats, but a few, easy DIY projects can turn the space into an experience buyers will never forget. HGTV suggests revamping plain boot trays by lining the inside with plaid or houndstooth outdoor fabric, and transforming coat racks with a coat of white paint and ribbons to invoke the image of a snowman.

Lastly, if large Christmas trees aren’t your sellers’ cup of tea, placing a mobile Christmas tree in the entryway might be a good (and surprising) compromise.

“While Christmas trees in living rooms or dining rooms are the norm, why not greet friends and family at various entrances of your home with a mobile Christmas tree?” suggested HGTV in-house designer Brian Patrick Flynn. “Outfit a galvanized metal wash tub with wheels, and firmly place an artificial tree inside and weigh it down with sandbags or bricks.”

“The mobility of the tree allows you to roll it to whichever entrance is being used for your next Yuletide gathering,” he added.

3. Use fresh foliage to spruce up your space

Getty Images: Mint Images

Although artificial foliage is arguably easier to take care of, fresh wreathes and garlands made with evergreen, spruce, holly, pine, juniper and mistletoe instantly inspire holiday nostalgia by making rooms feel and smell warm and woodsy.

According to the Clemson School of Agriculture and Forestry, spruce, cypress, fir and pine are best for wreathes since they hold their shape and clean up is as simple as sweeping fallen needles out the door.

“Wreaths are the main use for spruce greens,” Clemson’s blog read. “The branches are stiff with short, sharp needles. Blue spruce is especially attractive because of its color, and it holds its needles better than other spruce. [However] needle retention is poorer on spruce than on other conifer greens.”

To keep wreathes and garlands fresh, spray them with water every three days and avoid hanging them above hot vents, which will dry them out. When properly taken care of, designer and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner said foliage should last anywhere from three to four weeks.

If your seller isn’t keen on sweeping up needles and spraying garlands, then Blanner suggests making table arrangements with garland, berries, spruce and your favorite wintertime flowers. Spraying the arrangements with an anti-desiccant will seal in the moisture and reduce some of the day-to-day care.

4. Create some sparkle with metallics

Getty Images: EyeEm

Metallic decor has been a design mainstay for years, due to the instant glam a few carefully placed gold, silver, copper, and gunmetal items create. Real Simple suggests placing a medley of metallic votives, tealights, hurricanes on your fireplace mantle for the ultimate holiday sparkle.

“Metallics are especially good for the holidays, because they can show off holiday spirit without feeling overdone or too loud—particularly if you’ve already incorporated metallic items into your home in other ways,” Real Simple’s Lauren Phillips said.

If that isn’t an option, incorporate metallic ornaments into your existing holiday tree design. Use silver and gunmetal for a cool-toned color scheme or warm things up with gold and copper.

5. Get cozy with oversized blankets and board games

Getty Images: Bulgac

The holidays are all about family. Help buyers imagine their current (or future) family cozying up in the living room on Christmas Day with some expertly placed oversized blankets and throws on the couch and a stack of classic board games on the coffee table.

“Another overarching theme is just that quality time you spend with your family. More than ever you’ll see items that are really bringing families together,” Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson told Martha Stewart Living. “Anything that’s really celebrating a retreat from day-to-day life and spending that quality time together.”

Hand-loomed blankets in neutral shades, wool throws with eye-catching prints, or classic plaid pillows will add plenty of holiday charm to any room.

Email Marian McPherson

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