With the holidays approaching, I’m contacted by sellers who ask the following two questions:
“Should we take our property off the market until the first of the year?”
“Should we list our home now or wait until spring?”
I must say that at one time, it may have been prudent to hold off until after the holidays to try to sell a home, but that is not the case any more. People are buying homes 365 days a year, yes, even Christmas Day. So while selling a home during the holidays should be based on your current situation, in which if you need to sell your home, then don’t let the holidays stop you.
Buyers Are Always Looking
Now that 90 percent of home buyers shop online, they look 24/7 for homes despite the busy holiday season. Why? Simply because they can! With such easy access to thousands of homes, a buyer no longer needs to work with a real estate agent in the beginning of their search. Anyone who is serious about buying a home is always looking. And buyers are looking for a variety of reasons. If a buyer is transferred to a new job beginning at the first of the year, this is a prime time for them to look.
If you are serious about selling your home, then take into consideration that you will have lighter competition until spring. There are those sellers who don’t want to worry about selling a home during the holidays, but for others, who need to sell their home, this could be the perfect time as inventory is much lighter than it will be in a few months. Many sellers decide to take a break, but if a buyer finds a home that is priced right, is sparkling clean and has motivated sellers, the buyers will come.
Discount Your Price If Home Has Been On Market
If your home has been on the market for several months, chances are, it’s regarded as “stale,” by real estate agents and buyers. If you have resisted dropping the price, now may be the time to get some activity towards your property. Buyers like a good deal, whether they are shopping for holiday gifts or buying a home. Now may be the perfect time to show motivated buyers that you are serious about selling your home. Is it impossible for a home that has been on the market for several months to sell after a price cut? Of course not. Not even during the holiday season. The key is to price it right, promote the home with the new price and ask buyers if they are ready to be in their new home for the holidays!
Too Stressful? Then Consider January
For many sellers, it’s just too much to consider selling a home during the holidays. With parties, trying to keep the house clean, leaving at a moments notice for showings and overall busier lifestyles during this period of time, it’s not uncommon to hear sellers say they will sit it out until spring. But consider getting a head start in January if selling seems a bit overwhelming now. Normally, there is not much new inventory coming on the market at the first of the year and again, buyers buy homes every single day of the year. In January, our phones still ring with eager buyers wanting to move into a home for a variety of reasons.
Let’s say you have decided to keep your home on the market, or you need to put your home up for sale this holiday season. The next question often asked is:
“Should we decorate our home for the holidays?”
As long as the terrific features of your home are not covered with decorations, such as a fireplace or stairs, then decorating while selling your home is usually fine as long as it is kept to a minimum. Normally we advise sellers to de-clutter before putting their home on the market. This is still true, as buyers don’t want to walk into a home that is over the top decorated. So this is our suggestion:
1. Limit the size of the tree. Rather than a huge tree placed right in the middle of the room, limit to a smaller tree that is appropriately placed in the corner. Make sure your living space is not too compromised. If you have a small family room, with low ceilings, it’s important to make the room look larger. Consider putting a tabletop tree in the room.
2. Keep wrapped presents out of view. It’s a good idea to leave presents in a secure location rather than having them sit under the tree. Again, it makes the room look smaller, which is what you DON’T want, but for safety purposes, it’s never a good idea to leave these items out when showing your property.
3. Keep decorations simple. The idea when selling your house is that “less is more.” Which basically means, you need to remove your “stuff.” So adding more “stuff” seems counter productive. After decluttering your house in regards to your personal every day items around the house, leave a few holiday items up, but keep it to a minimum. Certainly a tasteful wreath to greet buyers, and perhaps a few decorations around the house, but make them appropriate and consider using greenery that smells good, like evergreen or rosemary.
Of course, our goal as Windsor Real Estate agents is to sell your home. Remember to keep the outside of your home free from heavy decorations, such as lights, yard ornaments and anything else that takes away from what it is you want to sell: Your house!