People often ask us; do you advise selling during the holiday season? Of course, that depends on each individual scenario. Many people sell during the holidays based on life changes. They may be moving because of a job change, for health reasons, or many other reasons. Here are some helpful ways you can prepare your home for selling in the holiday season.
1. Take photos and video prior to decorating. Timing is everything, especially, with photos. Refrain from holiday decorating until you have completed your photography and video. We find that holiday décor can date a property if it doesn’t sell during the holiday season. When a property appears to be on the market a while, it can make the price vulnerable to buyers. So, if you want to get a good price for your home, hold back on the décor until after the photos.
2. Decorate clutter free. We all enjoy decorating for the holidays. It’s a joy to hang the stockings with care. Its all part of the spirit! One thing we know about selling homes is, clutter and uncleanliness deters buyers from buying. More reason to decorate with fewer trinkets than normal. When buyers are looking at homes, we want them to look at the home, not your stuff. The less-is-more rule really applies to this scenario. The rule of thumb is if its distracting, don’t put it on display.
3. Curb appeal: the outside attracts them to the inside. So many times, we see homes listed with one terrible photo of the outside of the home. How many buyers do you think that will attract? The answer is not very many. The outside shot of an inviting home will make people wonder how it looks inside and eventually bring them to schedule a showing. It is amazing how run down a house will look when the yard just needs to be cleaned up. Dead leaves, weeds, and shaggy shrubs can distract from how nice the home really is. Your time spent outside to spruce it up is worth it. Be sure to tone down your normal outside holiday décor. Keep it classy with a few tasteful lights, instead of a large blow up snow man. Electrical cords should be neat and tidy.
4. Keep it warm and cozy. When you have a showing in the middle of winter, keep the heat at a comfortable temperature. You want people to know that your home is insulated well and efficient. If you are used to keeping it cold to save money, buyers will feel chilled and think the home must be expensive to heat. A warm house evokes feelings of happiness which could turn into offers. So, keep it cozy.
5. Price it to sell. Just like any time of year, an overpriced home will stay on the market longer than
a home that’s priced right. This is especially true in the winter months. Remember that there is a psychology to pricing a home right. This is nothing like pricing a car or a piece of furniture. During the holidays there are added elements for pricing. There are fewer buyers in the market, but those buyers are usually serious. Because there are fewer buyers, most of the buyers out there are not willing to go into a high bidding war. Price the home right in the beginning and it will sell in the time frame you want. For those of you concerned about under-pricing, don’t worry. Homes that are under-priced often receive multiple bids which raises the price.
Good luck! Whether you’re getting ready to sell, or just enjoying the blog, you are always welcome to contact us for advice. We love to talk about home projects or the real estate market. - Anne and Andrea Fahy