The holiday season between November and January is often thought to be the worst time to put a house on the market. It is bittersweet for the seller as buyers often downgrade their house-buying activity during the festivities.
While the thought of selling your house during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, rejoice because the season does have its advantages!
Any buyers looking at properties during this time of year tend to be more serious. In addition, your competition may be taking a break during the holidays leaving fewer houses on the open market. So, if you really need to sell during the holidays, here are some strategies to help your New Year be in a new home!
Deck the Halls!
A house is never more beautiful than during the holidays. Holiday decorations can turn an average house into a showpiece. At the same time, sellers should be careful not to overdo it. This is not the time for The Great Christmas Light Fight!
Be tasteful in how you decorate. Look to top design and home keeping magazines to see what is trending this year. It may surprise you, but if a buyer thinks your decorations are out of date, they may consciously or subconsciously think the same thing about your house.
Decorations that are too large in scale for your house or are everywhere a buyer can look will make your house seem small and crowded. It can also distract buyers. Try to stay with themes from popular culture in order to avoid offending buyers who may be sensitive to, or even offended by religious themes. Autumn leaves, harvest produce, winter greenery and even snow are good choices regardless of faith.
Create an Entertaining Oasis
Keep your house entertaining ready at all times. That way you don't need to scramble if a buyer wants to visit.
Set the dining room as though you are expecting your guests at any moment. Use your best linens, dishes and glassware. Have bottles of wine or other festive beverages ready to go. Put out snacks or hor d’oeurves. The more elegant and appealing this display is, the more buyers will secretly envy your happy and successful lifestyle.
They will want that lifestyle, too!
Make your home feel cozy and inviting during visits and open houses by keeping the temperature just a little too warm. If your buyers have to take off and put on their coats, they will have to stay just a little longer ;)
Light candles, turn on any holiday lighting and play soft holiday or classical music. If your family prefers the convenience of an artificial tree, bring in some real pine boughs or wreaths. Simmer some apples with cinnamon to create a natural holiday scent.
Offer your buyers some holiday treats. Keep them fuss free and universally appealing. Avoid anything that could crumble, stain or melt.
When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your house, you also give them more time to consider themselves living there and to admire its best features.
Curb Appeal is Still Important in Winter
When autumn leaves fall, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Keep yards clean and well groomed. Don’t count on snow fall to cover things up! Bare trees also mean a more exposed house. Touch up the paint, clean the gutters, siding, and windows.
Spruce up a bare yard with holiday decorations, potted flowers or other ornamental plant that can weather the temperature changes. If you live in an area with snow, keep your entrances shoveled and crisp. Your buyers may be coming at night so keep safety in mind by making sure entrances and paths are well lit and free of snow, ice, and leaves.
Hire a Professional Photographer
These days buyers are likely to start their house hunt by browsing through listings on the Internet from the comfort of their homes. This is even more likely in winter when weather can be challenging. It’s important to make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If you have the time, offer holiday decorated and undecorated photos of your home so buyers can see how it looks at other times of the year.
If your photographer is versatile, have them create a video tour for the Web. Posting a walk-through of your house on YouTube, Facebook and other sites can increase your exposure exponentially.
In addition, if the weather is bad in your region, you may get less actual traffic though you house during the holidays and perhaps all winter. Posting a video tour on the Web may attract house hunters who don't have time or inclination to physically see your home during bad weather conditions.
Talk It Up!
You have decorated, prepared for guests, and spruced up your yard. Now it’s time to tell everyone you know your house is up for sale! Mention it at any holiday party or business function you attend. Tell everyone. Let people know how to contact you and where to find pictures and info for your house.
You might want to have some business cards made just for this occasion with contact info and a great photo.
There are companies that will print these for free in exchange for advertising themselves on the back of the card. Pass them out to everyone who is interested!
If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t ready for the traditional market, we can help.
If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this winter, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. We have a team of professionals able to assist you immediately.
Contact us for details.
So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! If you have a question you would like answered, just let me know!
And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can
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