It’s the holiday season once again, and that means I’m hearing a familiar question from both buyers and sellers: Do properties move during this time of year? The answer is yes, plenty of properties sell over the holiday stretch. In fact, it can be a particularly great time to buy or sell a home.
For buyers, there’s often less competition, as many folks take a break from home shopping to avoid any fuss amid their festivities. For sellers, it’s a plus knowing that those buyers who do remain active at the end of the year are serious about getting into a home; they’re certainly not braving the weather and working around busy schedules just to find fun holiday decoration ideas.
If you’re considering a holiday home sale this year, here are five tips to help you prepare:
1. Tastefully decorate your home for the holidays. Some people worry that by decorating their homes for the holidays, they’ll risk offending potential buyers who are of a different cultural background. My advice: Don’t think too much about it; there’s nothing wrong with decorating your house for a holiday that you and your family celebrate. The buyers who are attracted to your neighborhood will likely be more similar to you than different, demographically speaking. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then you shouldn’t buy tons of lights and turn your house into a cartoonish sideshow reminiscent of National Lampoon’s. Whatever you do, it should come from your heart, not your head.
2. Deep clean before you decorate. The goal is for Santa to run his hands over your whole house and still have pure, white gloves to show for it. Watch out, though—if you leave behind traces of dirt, you might get coal in your stocking!
3. Keep the home warm. With vacant homes especially, people tend to turn down the temperature, but you don’t want to do that. If you’re doing things right, your utility bill should go up a bit when you’re trying to sell your home; your heat should be notched up a little higher than usual, and all your lights should be on. Light scented candles, blow them out before you leave, and flip on the fireplace (if you have one) to create an inviting ambiance. Also, the nostalgic aroma of fresh baked goods never hurts!
4. Price your house properly. This isn’t a time to be testing the market and hoping for a Christmas miracle. If you’re selling now, you’re serious about moving on from the home, so the last thing you want to do is scare off that buyer who would have otherwise been the perfect match.
5. Be patient during the process. You may find yourself a tad frustrated juggling a holiday schedule that keeps changing, but keep your eyes on the prize. The buyers coming to that next showing are not an inconvenience, they’re the potential solution to all your worries. If your property doesn’t sell over the holidays, be sure to take down all of your decorations by New Year’s so it doesn’t look dated, then have your agent take brand-new photos for the listing.
For an easier way to sell your home during these times, check out our Guaranteed Sales Program.
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I look forward to hearing from you soon, but in case I don’t, I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year! As always, reach out by phone or email if ever have any real estate-related questions or needs.