'Tis the Season: Selling During the Holidays
During the holiday season, the focus for many turns to home and family. Many buyers cease searching for a new home during this time; however, there are many others who have no choice--they must continue their search because of job transfers, family changes or relocation. Due to the fact that many sellers feel that during this holiday season, they would prefer not to be 'disturbed,' they will temporarily remove their homes from the market until after the first of the year.
I recommend that my sellers remain on the market during this time if at all possible. The reason--there is far less competition. Yes, there are fewer buyers but, the competition is far less and you've got a better chance of selling during this season than waiting for the spring's flood of new listings.
Consider this--holiday festivities are a breeze at your home that is on the market during this season because you have already done the work to constantly keep your home in showing order to be prepared for a showing at a moment's notice. Your efforts to reach out to potential buyers could pay off during this challenging time!
When your home offers the features and amenities. location and price that a potential buyer is looking for, you are more likely to sell it quickly in the winter than waiting for the spring or summer buying seasons. Your home may very well be looking its best this time of year. Here are some tips for setting the stage for your holiday listing:
- Adorn your front door with a festive wreath.
- Place a fresh welcome mat at the front door.
- Minimize your holiday decorations--tastefully selected decorations will give the buyer a 'warm' feeling but, not distract their eyes from your home, which is what you want to ultimately sell.
- Remove furniture to accomodate your decorations--you don't want your home to appear smaller than it is because you've tucked a small tree in the corner and pushed your furniture together to accomodate that tree.
- Holiday scents will make your home seem warm and welcoming--consider boiling an apple slice and a stick of cinnamon just before a showing. You can store your boiling pot in the refrigerator for several days for re-use.
- If you're only stepping out of the home for the agents to show, leave it toasty with a fire in the fireplace. Do not leave your home unattended with a fire burning though!
- Because winter months can be dreary because of the weather, raise your blinds and leave the lights on.
- Do not over-decorate--all buyers do not celebrate the holidays in the same manner that you do so, give your home a warm feeling but, don't overdo it.
- Leave your stereo playing classical or jazz music softly during showings.
- As you leave your home for showings, ask yourself if you've appealed to all senses: visual, smell and sound. You may even want leave them cookies to appeal to their sense of taste!
Other holiday incentives you can offer:
- If you can cover the buyer’s closing costs, or a portion thereof, you may attract potential buyers to your home by advertising this information.
- Offer a “decorating allowance” for purchasing your home during the winter months.
Keep in mind that when you place or leave your home on the market during the winter holiday season, people rarely “browse” for homes during this time of year. The potential buyers who do visit your home are serious about buying and are often in a hurry to do so.
The equation is simple: Serious buyers + tastefully done festive décor = you, well on the way to selling your home! 'Tis the season!
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As quoted in the New York Times "A Little-Known Loan Program", and in the Hartford Courant "Moving In:Couple Combining Households Buys In Newington" and "Moving In... New Britain"