While the holiday season from November to January is often considered a slower period for the housing market, there may be a number of advantages to listing your home now rather than waiting until the new year.
Holiday buyers tend to be more serious and often have a real need to buy for reasons such as a job relocation or a recent home sale. With fewer homes on the market, the competition for buyer interest is less fierce. Another reason selling during the holiday season may be advantageous is homes often seem more festive and inviting during this time of year, which can be a big plus when marketing properties.
There are a few things you can do to maximize your home’s charm and make selling during the holidays a little easier.
- Increase curb appeal. First impressions are critical. Remove any late fall leaves, touch up the paint, prune the bushes, clean the gutters and generally spruce up the yard. Also help keep buyers’ safety in mind by making sure stairs and walkways are free of leaves and other debris.
- Deck the halls, but keep it tasteful. Put up a few exterior holiday lights and decorations to display seasonal tidings and pride in ownership, but be careful not to overdo it. Keep it consistent with the rest of the neighborhood. A holiday welcome mat outside the front door is also an inviting touch.
- Keep the house warm and welcoming. Fall and early winter bring cooler weather, so make sure the home is warm and cozy while potential buyers are touring. Running the central heating system will not only make your home feel more comfortable, it will show buyers how well the system works. If the house has a fireplace, light a fire to bring the room to life and enhance the ambience.
- Decorate the home’s interior. You want to bring out the warmth and glow of the holiday season inside your home, but again don’t go overboard. Be conservative with holiday decorations and decorate to accentuate the house, but be mindful not to cover it. There is a thin line between tasteful décor and a room that looks like a temporary holiday store at the mall.
- Price your home to sell. It’s important any time of year to price your home appropriately to the market, its condition and features, but this is especially true in the fall and winter months. A home that’s priced attractively can pique buyer interest and may even get multiple offers over list price. But price it too high and the home could just sit, waiting for you to slash the price.
- Stay in touch with your REALTOR®. Everyone likes to enjoy time off during the holidays to spend with their families. But it’s important for you and your agent to stay plugged in. Tell your agent as early as possible about any prospective vacations you may be taking. Work together on a schedule for open houses and showings that accommodate your plans for holiday parties and out-of-town visitors.
The holidays are a wonderful time of year filled with excitement and cheer. What better time to show off your warm, cozy and festive home to potential buyers. This helps prospects visualize themselves in the house celebrating their own holiday. And if all goes well, you may receive the best present of all – a sold sign on the front lawn!