The holidays are busy enough as is. You have shopping to do, family to worry about, and it’s even more challenging to add selling your home into the mix. In the real estate world, November through January is considered one of the worst times to put your home on the market.
That being said, there are some advantages to selling your home at the most wonderful time of year. In fact, home sales have increased by an average of 4.5% over the past 3 years during the November to December months, so there are buyers out there hoping to make a purchase.
While you should aim to sell at another time of the year if possible, selling during the holidays doesn’t mean all hope is lost. The first step is to commit to the challenge. It’s time to deck the halls and get your home sold at last.
1. Use the Holidays to Your Advantage
That’s right, selling your home during the holidays isn’t all bad. You can actually use the season’s excitement to drum up your own sales. Who doesn’t love a dose of holiday cheer? When homes are staged for selling, they look more welcoming to visitors. This helps buyers imagine what the home will look like when they’re actually living in it. This is the same with holiday decor.
However, you’ll want to tread carefully into the world of holiday decorations. Most buyers understand that homes don’t usually look their best during the holidays. The season is hectic, so that’s to be expected. Try to keep your decorations neutral with simple fall and winter decorations instead of religious themes that might offend guests. Similarly, keep your ornaments simple to avoid overcrowding your buyers.
2. Look for Motivated Buyers
It can be hard to find motivated buyers during the holiday season. Many are simply browsing or considering purchasing in the next year, and they’re a drain on your energy. That’s why it’s essential to target your search to motivated buyers who are more likely to go forward with a sale.
Consider the motivations of your buyers. Why are they looking for a house during the holiday season and not another time of year? Are they relocating for a job or college staff preparing for a new semester? Make sure they have a legitimate reason before you invest time and money into pursuing your buyers.
3. Capitalize on Curb Appeal
Your curb appeal is more important than ever during the holiday season. When it’s the dead of winter, your home doesn’t look its best from the outside. The trees might be bare, your flowers aren’t in bloom, and everything looks a little lifeless.
This is the time to touch up your paint, clean the yard, and keep everything free of snow and ice. Consider adding some winter-friendly shrubs or plants that can survive the colder temperatures to add some life to your curb. You need everything to look its best. Beyond curb appeal, make sure your interior is a welcome escape from the chilly air.
4. Price Competitively
While the traditional rule of thumb is to price high and lower your listing price gradually, that rule goes out the window during the holiday season. Buyers are spending a lot during this season. They’re focusing on gift giving and finding sales. This isn’t the time for negotiating a high cost down. Consider slashing your price before you put your home on the market for the first time. Be realistic and don’t expect people to jump at your property if you price too high.
5. Use a Real Estate Agent
If you want to sell your home, you should always use a real estate agent. This is even more important during the holiday season. You need someone who is dedicated to selling your home and won’t stop responding during Thanksgiving week. Every minute counts when you sell your home, so ensure your agent is reliable and ready to help you make your home as sellable as possible.
A quality real estate agent will also be able to help you use the season to your advantage. You have a lot of odds stacked against you during this time of year, but there’s also less competition. That means more room to stand out in your market.
When in doubt, talk to your agent about ways to make your home more appealing to buyers. Don’t let the time of year stop you from selling your home. Using the tips above, you can create a home that shows off the best of the holiday season to attract the right buyers.