7 Tips for Selling Your Home Over the Holidays
Monday Nov 12th, 2018
The months of November through January get a bad rap in real estate for being a difficult time of year for putting a home on the market. But, selling a house during the holiday season does have its advantages.
For one, buyers tend to be more serious because of unusual circumstances, such as a job transfer, or a deadline, like the end of a lease. Secondly, this time of year often sees less competition with fewer active listings, meaning there could be more eyes on your property.
Traditional home buying and selling seasons have also evolved with the advent of internet listings and real estate apps. Motivated buyers are always looking for fresh inventory. Your listing over the slower season might just catch their attention.
If you are considering selling your home over the holidays, here are some tips to help you attract – and not detract or offend – potential buyers:
Deck the halls, but keep it simple
Twinkle lights, fresh greenery and holiday scents do have a way of making any home feel festive and cozy, but going overboard can make it harder for buyers to visualize themselves living in your home. If you plan to decorate for the holidays, opt for understated décor pieces that won’t distract visitors and are sensitive to cultural differences. You’ll also want to stay away from large items that will make rooms feel small or dark. A simple wreath on the front door and a small tree in the living room are safe bets.
Stage your home for the season
If you’d rather keep your holiday décor in storage while your home is for sale, consider staging your spaces to evoke an inviting feeling away from the cold and dreary outdoors. Before showings, set your furnace to a comfortable temperature and light any gas fireplaces throughout the house. This time of year can also be dark, so turn on your lights, open your blinds and make your rooms feel as bright as possible. Throws and cozy cushions can also impart a positive feeling, which may encourage buyers to spend more time in your home to admire its best features.
Pay attention to your home’s curb appeal
If you didn’t get your fall yard clean-up done, take some time to tidy up the exterior elements of your property. Bare trees make your home look more exposed, so touch up any paint, rake any remaining leaves, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Make sure your walkways are clear from snow and ice too. And, follow the same rules for indoor decorations when adding a festive touch to your home's exterior.
Hire a photographer to take high-quality real estate photos and video
When the weather outside is frightful, buyers often prefer to house hunt from the comfort of their home using the internet. Make the best first impression by including high-quality photos of your home and remember to include summer images to showcase your property’s year-round appeal. With less foot traffic over the busy holiday season, video can also help lure buyers for a showing. When working with a photographer, have them complete a house tour video as well.
Price it right
When pricing your house for sale, set a value that’s fair for your home and your neighbourhood based on area comps. If you are too aggressive in your asking price, you risk turning away buyers who aren’t in any rush to buy. Plus, an overpriced listing (even with little competition) isn’t a very compelling option for serious buyers.
Hire a reliable real estate sales representative
If you are planning to list your home for sale before the holidays, make sure you hire a realtor who will be accessible throughout the season. You will want their expertise every step of the way, from assessing local comps, pricing your home right, staging, coordinating video and photography, marketing your listing and following up with prospective leads. When the offers start rolling in, you'll also want your realtor to manage the negotiation process so you can move forward with confidence knowing that you accepted the best deal.
Get your ducks in a row early
The holidays are busy with many professional services booking time off to enjoy the season. As a result, finding real estate lawyers, home inspectors, contractors, mortgage lenders and other experts can be tricky. Early on in your home selling process, make an effort to get in touch with the people and services that you may need during your real estate journey to ensure they’ll be able to assist you. Your realtor is also a great resource who can connect you to their network of reliable resources and contacts.
Your Mississauga Real Estate Sales Representative
Whether by choice or by circumstance, don’t be turned off by the holidays when listing your home for sale. When you partner with an experienced realtor, like me, you can expect a positive outcome no matter the season or time of year.