Generally speaking, most people will recommend that you wait until the summer or spring until you try to sell your home. This time of the year is usually considered the peak selling season in the real estate world. However, you may not be able to wait that long. In fact, you may need to sell your home during the holiday season.
The holiday season is not looked upon favorably by real estate agents because it signifies a down time for real estate business. Home buyers aren’t out house hunting during the holidays because, first of all, they are too busy enjoying the holidays. Secondly, those few buyers that can get away from their extended families for an afternoon or two aren’t going to want to trek through the cold weather in order to view your property. Unfortunately, things happen and sometimes owners are forced to sell as soon as possible, whether it’s the holiday season or not. If you need to sell your home during the holidays, then be sure to use the following six tips to give yourself the best chance at selling your home quickly:
1. Work with a real estate agent
If you’re trying to sell your home quickly, which you probably are if you’re selling during the holiday season, then you’re not going to want to try to do it on your own — especially if you have no real estate experience in the past. A real estate agent will do all of the leg work for you by marketing your home to attract active buyers as well as to provide valuable advice concerning all aspects of selling your home. An agent will also have the networking capabilities in order to find buyers that are on a similar deadline as you and need to find a home to purchase as quickly as possible.
2. Be smart about pricing your home
Most buyers that are active during the holidays will have no problem waiting if they think that your property is priced too high. They will assume that either they’ll find a different house that’s priced lower when spring comes around or that you’ll eventually lower your price. Be realistic about what the market expectations are and price your home fairly based on the demand of your neighborhood and the real estate comps your real estate agent will provide you with.
3. Make your home on the market stand out
You’ll need to put a little extra effort into your home on the market in order to get potential buyers out of their current homes to brave the winter weather and come see your property. Make sure you provide detailed information about all of your home’s features — provide these details in bullet points to make them easy to read. A good listing will need lots of photographs of every room inside your house as well as of the exterior. Consider having a professional photographer come to take high quality photos — a professional will light each room in a way that makes them look as appealing as possible. If you are able to, provide photographs of your home’s exterior during the spring or summer season as well so that buyers can see what the property looks like throughout the year and not just during the winter when it may be covered in snow.
4. Provide incentives for buying your home
One way to get buyers through your door is by offering incentives that they won’t be able to turn down. For example, you could install brand new appliances in your kitchen or even cover all the closing costs. These kinds of additional home improvements and concessions will spark the interest of buyers and can be exactly the kind of push a buyer needs in order to sway from mildly curious to extremely tempted.
5. Don’t ignore your curb appeal
Just because there’s a blanket of snow lying across your yard doesn’t mean that you don’t have to worry about your home’s curb appeal. If your home looks neglected or abandoned, buyers won’t bother going in. Shovel snow off the walkways to keep them clear and salt them to remove any icy spots that could pose a safety issue to visiting buyers. Remove all debris as well. Consider a few holiday decorations to help create a more inviting atmosphere that will beckon buyers to come inside. For example, hang a wreath from your front door or string some lights up on your front porch. Just avoid going overboard and make sure that you don’t put up any religious decorations – you don’t want to put off or offend potential buyers that may not share the same religious beliefs as you.
6. Create a warm and inviting environment
The winter can be really miserable for buyers that are focused on finding a new home as quickly as they can. You’ll want them to feel cozy and warm as soon as they walk into your home from the bitter winter weather that they’ve just trudged through outside. If you have a fireplace, light a fire. Light a few candles here and there to add a warm glow to your interior design. You may even want to bake some cookies or make some warm beverages (such as hot cocoa or coffee) to offer to buyers as they walk in. Not only will snacks and drinks make buyers feel more at home, but the scent of cookies and cocoa can help make your home feel more cozy as well.
The holiday season is not typically considered a good time of the year to try and sell a house. However, you may not have a choice. If you need to sell your home quickly during the holidays, then be sure to use these six tips, from pricing your home properly to creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for visiting buyers.