In the past, conventional wisdom said you shouldn’t try to sell a home during the holidays. Reasons ranged from no time to drive around and see homes or make a trip to the Realtor’s office to the buyer’s market lacking during that time of year because of the busy holiday season.
Many reasons flood the seller’s mind deterring them from listing until after the first of the year. Here are a few reasons that it may be a good idea to put your house on the market this holiday season.
Increase of Internet Searches During the Holidays
Many home buyers devote a larger portion of their house hunting time during the holidays to searching online as opposed to seeing homes in person. The added convenience of honing a list of preferred homes from the warmth of the buyer’s home during cold, wet weather makes real estate website traffic ramp up significantly when the overall market sales might be slowing down. Homes advertised correctly online during this time get significantly more exposure than the average home, and those sellers that are taking a break from being on the market are as good as non-existent to the online buyer.
Seller Competition Is Lighter During the Holidays
While the new wave of mobile inspired home buyers is searching for homes at odd times of the year, home sellers are often still reluctant to list their homes during the holidays. The home seller who is on the market in an area with very few comparable homes can often stick strongly to the price they’re hoping to get.
The home buyers who remain active in their searches during the holidays are the extremely motivated buyers. They’re willing to alter their holiday schedules and brave bad weather to get into a home. These are the kinds of buyers that home sellers dream about. They want to move right away and are willing to spend significant money to relieve their anxiousness about getting on with the home buying process as quickly as possible.
Of course your house looks nice during the off season, but who doesn’t enjoy looking at homes at their very best during the holiday seasons. Your home is already as clean as can be, smells of baking in the air (or just some scented room freshener will work) and some tasteful decorations making your home look warm and inviting.
Traveling for the holidays??
If you have to leave town for the holidays, the right REALTOR® is equipped to handle everything. Not only will your home be vacant and clean, it will also get a nice check-in a few times while you’re gone. Your REALTOR® will check on your home to make sure things are fine and ready for showings. You can keep the heat on and it will not only keep your pipes from freezing, it will keep your potential buyers happy. Buyers’ REALTORS® will be in and out often enough to keep the home looking busy and well-traveled.
You Don’t Have to Take Any Calls You Don’t Want To
Who says a home seller has to receive calls 24/7? Every REALTOR®-client relationship is different. You, as the client, can manage how you communicate together. If you’d like to only receive showing requests via email or text, so be it. If you want your REALTOR® to only call between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., he or she can do that. As long as you are reasonable about having a regular communication check-in with your REALTOR®, the way you communicate can be as unique as you’d like.
Create Blackout Dates
When family comes to visit for a week, let your REALTOR® know that the entire week is off-limits. Unless a buyer has come in and set a large envelope of cash on their desk, they need to schedule all showings the prior week or the week afterward.The bonus with this strategy is that your home is still on the MLS and still being advertised online. While it might not be available to see in person that particular week, those holiday home buyers will still see the listing and be aware that it will be available soon. Meanwhile, your family is relaxing at home as if it were just a regular holiday season.
Offer Holiday Incentives
Make spirits bright by offering bonuses for people who are willing to deal with a wintertime move. Cover the closing costs or install brand-new stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, for example. Special seller’s concessions and/or home improvements can sweeten the pot for buyers who are interested in your house but need that extra push to make an offer. Selling your home during the holidays can actually be a well-managed and stress-free experience if you take the time to set some ground rules and boundaries. In the meantime, you might be the only home on the block that is visibly available for sale to the next out-of-towner or anxious first-time buyer that is out on the holiday house hunt.
Thinking about listing your home to sell during the holidays? Call us at (919) 964-0732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send us some holiday decorating “DON’Ts”
that we can post so we can educate our sellers on what is potentially “pleasing” and what is potentially “too much” holiday decor. If you don’t have pictures, your comments would greatly be appreciated!
Good luck and Happy Holidays!
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I get this question – a lot. Sellers are anxious to get their homes on the market and get it sold. They want to move on with their lives.
The answer is quite simply, “Yes”. Patience Pays! Why? Here are seven reasons:
1) My photographer will be there. He will take photos to highlight your homes features. These photos will be syndicated on 1000’s of websites. It will be the first opportunity more than 90% of homebuyers see your home. Your home needs to be in the best shape possible for these photos.
2) Getting your home “show ready” is more than minor touch ups of paint. It includes decluttering, repairing trim, staging, maintenance (especially sewer if you have one), landscaping, replacing old carpet, etc. If buyers walk in and see things that are not in proper order, they will over estimate the amount required to fix them and undervalue your home.
3) Even with the low inventory, buyers are still looking for a deal. They are willing to wait for the right house or the right community. Many have just enough for the down payment and don’t have extra money to throw in for that new carpet or to paint the house.
4) Put yourself into the buyer’s perspective. If you were shown two homes; one in great condition and one that needed a couple thousand dollars worth of work, which would you choose?
5) Homes that are show ready sell faster and for higher amounts than those that aren’t. Even if you agree to fix items during due diligence and while the home is listed. On average homes that need work are on the market for 3 times longer than those ready to go.
6) Realtors will stop showing your home if it is not in great condition. We Realtors are gossipy types. We love to talk about what’s on the market. If your home isn’t in the best shape, the whole town will know pretty quickly.
7) I address these concerns with my sellers before the home is listed. I suggest that they get their homes “Certified Pre-Owned”. That way they are in the best shape possible to get the best amount possible for their home.
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