Selling During the Holidays

6 Steps to Selling Your Home This Holiday Season

By REsides, Inc.

While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages. There is typically less inventory in the housing market, allowing your home to easily stand out, and holiday buyers tend to be more serious. Some people need to sell during the holidays, and some people need to buy during the holidays. It may not seem like the most ideal time, but provided you position your home in just the right way, it also presents a unique opportunity to create a warm and cozy environment that you can’t present during the spring or summer months. Follow these steps to make your home bright, cheery, and inviting to potential buyers, because selling your home this holiday season may be your best gift all year.

A beautiful exterior home decorated for the Holidays

1. Make Curb Appeal a Top Priority

During these winter days, when the grass is no longer green and the trees lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Be sure to clean out the gutters and keep the yard raked. If you live in an area where it snows, keep walkways and stairs free of snow and ice, and eaves clear of icicles for the safety of your potential buyers. Garnish the exterior of your home with a few strands of festive lights and simple decorations. Buyers may see the neighborhood in a more festive and cheerful light, appealing to their emotions.

A modern living space decorated for the Holidays

2. Deck the Halls, But Keep It Simple

Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it. To appeal to potential buyers, use your best decorations as holiday accents without drawing attention away from your home’s best-selling features. Minimizing decorations will make your home feel more spacious and keep pathways clear. Use more splashes of red than green, as red is an emotionally appealing color. Buyers can imagine spending the holidays at their future home, and can become attached to the property as a result.

A relaxing living room lit with candles and a Christmas tree in the background

3. Create a Warm & Cozy Environment

Depending on where you live, winter can be a miserable time to house hunt. Create an environment that makes potential buyers feel comfortable and warm the moment they walk through the door. Spark up the fireplace, light a candle, play soft classic tunes, and offer homemade treats. When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features. To complement the coziness of your home, turn on all the lights during open houses and virtual home tours to make it bright and cheery.

A woman searching for homes on her tablet

4. Have Top-Notch Internet Presence

Ensure that you hire an agent that will work hard for you, even through the holidays. This will ease your stress and give you more time to enjoy the season. With that said, the best marketing tool your agent can provide for your potential buyers is your Internet presence. When the weather outside is frightful, buyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have summer or spring photos of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round. In addition, because you'll get less foot-traffic, a video tour may attract additional house hunters who don’t live nearby or have time to visit in-person.

Vintage multi-colored wood ornaments hanging natural pine tree branches

5. Price Your Home Competitively

No matter what time of year, a home that’s priced low for the market will make buyers feel merry. Rather than gradually making small price reductions, many real estate agents advise sellers to slash their prices before putting a home on the market. A good rule of thumb is to price it 5% under your closest competition. However, together you and your agent will develop a pricing strategy based on comparable homes in the area, the current housing market, and how quickly you need to sell. There are several factors that go into pricing a home, and ultimately the listing price will be at the discretion of you and your agent. Consider paying closing costs or other incentives that your agent may have up their sleeve to entice buyers to purchase this time of year.

An armed-services member holding a model house

6. Seek Motivated Buyers

Anyone house hunting during the holidays likely has a good reason for doing so. The end of the year is typically the time when people are notified of a job transfer, or perhaps a military transfer. Those people are going to need a home sooner rather than later, and as a result, they'll be hunting for a new home during the holidays. The good news: job relocation buyers want an expedited closing process.

In addition, reducing the property tax bill may not be the main reason buyers purchase a new home, but it could be why serious buyers make a move during the holidays. That’s because buyers can deduct the mortgage interest, property taxes, and interest costs of the loan if a sale closes on or before December 31. The tax deductions can be significant and could prompt a buyer to move during the holidays instead of waiting until the spring.

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