Staging a home and getting it ready to sell is always an exciting and nerve racking time, and trying to do so during a holiday even more so. A few simple tips can make your home stand out and get it sold faster.

Curb appeal is the first thing that will draw a potential buyer in, and one of the most important places to pay attention to, and spend a little money on. Plant attractive plants that are in season, and spend some time and effort power washing and refinishing your driveway, sidewalk, pathways, and other granite, concrete, or asphalt services.

Keep the lawn in good shape, and as a final touch, purchase a new and attractive welcome mat for when people arrive to your door step. During the holidays its especially important to pay attention to your neighborhood. In general you don’t want to go over the top with excessive lighting displays and inflatable holiday scenes, however if your neighborhood is one that traditionally goes all out for the holidays, you don’t want to look like a Grinch with a stark display for the season. Instead try to avoid religious symbols and use generic season’s greetings designs, and hang some simple lights.

It’s still safer to keep it depersonalized, but hanging a classic wreath on the door, simple white lights along the house, and avoid kitschy displays of reindeer on roofs and inflatable snowmen in your yard. A lot of people are familiar with not keeping family pictures out because it prevents new home buyers from picturing themselves in the home, but during the holidays it’s even more important to pay careful attention to the decorations you’re using in your home. Avoid hanging personalized stockings, personal Christmas cards and photos, and religious tokens and symbols.

Additionally, hanging up a few tasteful pictures and simple decorations in each room of scenery can help draw the eye towards areas you want to bring attention to, such as a fireplace, or away from the areas that might need updating. Something else to avoid is having the traditional tree display. There’s no happy medium when it comes to a trimmed tree in a home you’re trying to sell. If it’s too big, it can be a distraction, and make the room seem small, or the flow to feel blocked off. If its tiny it tends to make the space look sad rather than festive. In general, unless you have a great room and want to show off the ceiling height, avoid the tree.

Also, protect any presents! Don’t display them under a tree or out in the open. It would make for a sad holiday if someone had sticky fingers during an open house and made off with any of your presents. Finally, delight the sense of smell over the sense of sight. Having plug-ins, candles, or simple air fresheners for the season in scents like fresh cookies, peppermint or cider will make your home seem more inviting than any garland or lights you could place for the holidays. The key in getting a house to sell during the holidays is to make it inviting in a way that the potential buyer can picture having their own holiday there.