It may seem like a terrible idea to try to sell your home during the holiday season — but actually it’s not. While selling a home can be somewhat stressful and the holidays are super-busy for most people, there are also some major advantages to selling at this time of year: your home probably looks wonderfully inviting and cozy, with pretty decorations; lots of other people are waiting until after the holidays to put their homes on the market, thus reducing competition; and people shopping for a home during the holidays are usually very motivated and will close quickly at or near your asking price.
So now that you’ve decided it’s a great time to put your house on the market, here are a few tips to help you attract buyers and close quickly.
- Create a cozy atmosphere. Especially if you’re in a cold-weather area, you will benefit from making your house warm and inviting. There are fewer hours of daylight now so make sure the rooms are well lit, and light the fireplace for added coziness.
- Pay attention to all five senses. Play soft classical music; put out some delicious and delicious-smelling treats with holiday napkins; scatter soft and snuggly blankets that will make prospective buyers want to hang around. The longer they stay, the more they’ll envision themselves living in your home.
- Decorate wisely. Usually when selling a home you’ll strip it down to the bare essentials and pack up personal items to make it easier for prospective buyers to envision their own belongings in the home. At holiday time, that conventional wisdom can go out the window. Make sure your visual presentation is festive, but don’t overdo it. Also, you’ll need to keep things more neutral and decorate on a seasonal theme, rather than being holiday-specific. Think snow scenes and pine boughs rather than Santas and menorahs.
- Know your market. In general, people who are homeshopping during the holidays are very motivated to buy. Some people need to close before the end of the year for tax reasons; some are looking for a bargain; some are forced to move. Many people will be relocating in January to start new jobs, such as military families or college professors. Your real estate agent will help you target the right kind of buyers.
Putting your home on the market during the holidays can mean ignoring all the conventional ideas about preparing your home for sale. But you’ve got a different kind of buyer at this time of year, and you’ll want to make sure you target them with features that will make your home irresistible.
Rely on your experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent to guide you through the season and help keep the holiday stress-free. And just think: Selling your home quickly at a great price is a wonderful holiday gift!
By BARRY ARTHUR MOELLER