Selling a Home During the Holidays: Tips for Homeowners
It can be tough to sell your home during the holiday season. There are typically fewer buyers during this time of year, and it can take more time than usual for a deal to go through. And while recent history indicates that December may not be such a bad time to sell (in 2016, December home sales fell less than 2 percent from November), there’s no denying that selling during the holidays is a challenge. Here are a few tips for selling your property and getting the deal done before ringing in the New Year.
Getting it ready to go
Selling your home may be your number one priority, but it shouldn’t overwhelm your holiday. There’s still plenty to do before Santa slides down the chimney on Christmas Eve, so take care of the cleaning, de-cluttering, and staging work ahead of time. Don’t forget to tell your agent what days you’ll be unavailable for showings. Make sure the home is clean, de-cluttered, and has plenty of curb appeal. If you have pets, seek out a local pet sitter to keep your dog or cat out of the way while potential buyers are checking the place out. Taking care of these things ahead of time can help ensure you deal with as little stress as possible while trying to sell your home.
Be realistic with price
Make sure your home is priced to sell since there’s not as much time to negotiate with a buyer during the holiday season. People are especially during this time of year, and buyers aren’t typically looking to tinker around. Work with your agent to find an acceptable price range that won’t turn potential buyers off.
Make sure everything’s lined up
Make sure that your real estate agent and closing attorney will be available when you need them as the year draws to an end. Try to avoid doing business with buyers who have less-than-stellar credit or who attempt to work around their financial shortcomings by dragging out negotiations. If possible, look into a serious buyer’s credit standing. If your aim is to sell by the end of the year, it’ll be hard to do that if a deal falls through due to the buyer’s financial status.
Keep the tinsel to a minimum
It might be your inclination to deck the halls with boughs of holly, but remember that you’re trying to sell buyers on the space and flow of your property—not on your festivity. They need to see your house in its true light, or as close to it as possible. Buyers should be able to imagine your space as theirs, though there’s nothing wrong with some greenery, stockings hung by the fire, and a few shiny decorations to lend a festive air. Just be careful not to overdo it.
Take new photos
The photos you put online should reflect the look and feel of your house. Remember to think in terms of curb appeal, so clean up the leaves, branches, and yard debris beforehand. These photos will go on your realtor’s website, so make sure they portray your home in the most flattering manner possible. If you have a fireplace, light a fire to add a comfortable and appealing look. Your smartphone can be a very useful tool when you’re marketing your home. Once your home has been staged, use your phone to create a video tour of your home for potential buyers.
Selling a home during the holiday season comes with its own unique challenges, but you can still get the price you want and seal the deal by January. Making your property look attractive and festive will attract prospective buyers, many of whom may be motivated to buy before the calendar flips and the really bad weather sets in.
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