Selling Your Home During the Holidays

If you are hoping to ring in the New Year in a new home, the holidays may be the perfect time to put your current house on the market. While your own circumstances and the local real estate market play a major role in deciding when to list a house, listing during the holiday season is no longer considered taboo. In fact, listing a house during the holidays may actually be to your advantage. Below are three reasons to consider selling your home during the holidays – and how to position your home for a quick sale:

Buyers are always looking at potential homes online.

In the past, conventional wisdom said that buyers simply did not have the time to view open houses and wade through real estate listings during the holiday season. While last-minute shopping trips and holiday travel may make for poor open house attendance, buyers are still looking for potential homes. Thanks to popular smartphone and tablet apps like Trulia and Zillow, would-be home owners can now browse listings on their morning commute or while waiting to pick up the kids from school.

Be sure your home’s online listing is up-to-date and features flattering, high-res pictures of each room. Consider hiring a professional stager to truly showcase your house for the online photos and create a video tour.

Housing inventory is lighter during the holidays.

Despite the shift in buyers’ behavior, there is still a misconception that buyers are not shopping for homes during the holiday season. Consequently, many real estate agents continue to discourage sellers from listing until after the New Year. This means that if you do list your home now, there will be less competition.

Stand out even further from the competition by completing minor home repairs, such as touching-up the paint, replacing leaky faucets, and repairing cabinet scratches. Have your home inspected for pests, like dry wood termites. A certification that your home is pest-free will put buyers’ minds at ease and assure them that it is move-in ready.

Seasonal décor puts buyers in the mood.

From “Miracle on 34th Street” to “It’s a Wonderful Life,” there’s nothing quite like being home for the holidays. Tasteful seasonal decor helps buyers imagine what it will be like to celebrate the holidays in your home. Prior to hosting an open house, make your home feel cozy and inviting by lighting the fireplace, playing soft classical music, and offering homemade treats. When your home is warm, cozy and tastefully decorated, buyers will spend more time inside admiring your home’s best features.

When decking the halls, keep your home’s curb appeal in mind, too. Your home may look like a winter wonderland from the street, but that doesn’t mean potential buyers will appreciate icy sidewalks or snow-covered driveways. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so be sure to touch up exterior paint, clean the gutters, and shovel stairs and walkways.

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Author: Average Joe

A 16 year veteran of the financial planning and financial media circus. Lover of hamburgers and ice cream.

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4 Comments

  1. I am usually in a better mood in summer when days are long and find it nicer to visit a property during a long day with plenty of light, but winter listing can be good too, if there are less properties on the market and people got their raises and bonuses so may have more budget to buy.
    Pauline recently posted..Save Money and Improve Your Health by CyclingMy Profile

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    • It’s a coin flip. People with families aren’t going to want to move during the winter, but because everyone thinks that houses won’t sell you enter into a “group think” situation. You’re right on the money, Pauline: because nobody else is selling, you might be able to secure some eyeballs on your property that you can’t during busier months.

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  2. I was bidding on a co-op, I researched comps and the seller’s counter-offer was in the upper range of the comps…pretty fair but since it was relatively new to the market, I decided to wait as other places sat on the market for a few months, plus it was the holidays! I figured not many people would have time to see the place and most like looking in the spring time as it has been pretty cold here. Well, I was kinda right, the seller came back with a reduced price and we accepted…unfortunately another person outbid me…Thanksgiving weekend! Really? I guess I was wrong…holidays don’t prevent people from buying and selling.

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  3. I really liked this article. While most would never want to go through the hassle of listing their home during the already busy holiday season, there are some strong benefits. Since many have a few extra days off, this may be a great time to offer open houses or schedule showings.

    I have also heard that getting one of those frozen apple pies and popping it in the oven on low is a great way to improve the “smell” of a home.

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