Don’t buy into the idea that you should either wait to see your home, or take it off the market until after the holidays!

As Dave Ramsay writes, “We all know—or maybe we assume—that spring and summer are the best times to sell a home. And it’s true that many buyers do plan their new home purchases during the warmer months. But that doesn’t mean all the serious buyers evaporate after Labor Day.

There are actually advantages to selling during the holiday season.

First, since many sellers feel the way we’re advising you not to feel, there’s actually less competition! Secondly, any buyer who takes time out of their own busy holiday schedule can likely be considered a “motivated buyer”. And finally, a thought that may not have occurred to you, your home looks great for the holidays! Not only is it festive and decorated, most of us have done a thorough cleaning and decluttering in anticipation of company!

So make the most of it with these tips from HGTV on how to stage your home for holiday selling!

Aim for Cozy

If you’ve already cleaned and decluttered, it may seem counterintuitive to turn around and unpack decorations. Keep it subtle and welcoming.

“The less-is-more mantra of home staging may tempt you to forgo holiday cheer this year. But a few subtle touches like a bowl of pinecones, an evergreen wreath, or a pot of cider simmering on the stove can create a warm and festive feeling in your home.”

Stick to Your Palette

Yes, traditional holiday decorations come in sometimes garish colors. So be non-traditional.

“If your living room is painted a soothing ocean-blue hue, skip the clashing red garland and opt for white snowflakes or a silver glass-ball wreath. If you’ve got an earthy color scheme, accent with rich tones like cranberries, forest greens and gold.”

Play Up the Positives

You’re looking to use the decorations to accent your house and make it homey, not drown out its best features.

“Dangle mistletoe in an arched doorway, or display your menorah on the ledge of a bay window; just don’t block a beautiful view with stick-on snowflake decals or clutter an elegant fireplace with personalized stockings.”

Lighten Up

Go easy on the Christmas lights. That doesn’t mean skip them completely, but use them lightly to play up architectural elements, and keep them simple and classic.

“Step away from the inflatable snowman, Clark Griswold. One man’s “merry” is another man’s “tacky,” so tone down any garish light displays while your home is on the market.”

Be Inclusive

Or, at the very least, be moderate. Nativities or other overtly religious items could be off-putting, so lean toward neutral.

“No matter what your religion is, you’re not going to feel offended by a nutcracker.”

Trim the Tree

We don’t mean add tinsel. We mean pay close attention to the dimensions of your tree, and whether it has a diminishing effect on the room.

“A tall Christmas tree can help you show off your two-story great room, but make sure the wide base won’t overwhelm the floor space.”

Clear the Clutter

While you may be tempted to transform the house to a winter wonderland, hold back. You want the rooms to look as… well… roomy as possible! So put out your best decorations, and leave the rest in a box for now.

“If you start to miss your Santa figurines, just remember that with a little luck, you’ll be celebrating next year’s holidays in a new home. And you can decorate that place any way you please.”

Good advice.