For a multitude of reasons, people hesitate or don’t bother trying to sell their house during the holidays. It could be because they are caught up in the festive and party atmosphere, have friends and family coming over, they don’t want potential buyers trudging snow and rain into the home, they don’t think the market is very active, or for other reasons.
With all that is going on, it’s common to place a house sale on the back burner until after the holidays. Some sellers take their house off the market, further reducing your competition. The inventory of houses for sale remains lean and will only be leaner during the holidays. If you’re serious about selling, you don’t want to miss the benefits and opportunities of marketing your house at this time of the year.
This is a good time of the year to take advantage of the thorough house cleaning many people do in preparation for guests and the holidays. You can also use holiday decorations to accent both the inside and exterior of the home – as long as you don’t take it to an extreme. Outside, you can increase curb appeal by decorating gates, shrubs, and porches. You should use lights and well-chosen decorations to accent the architecture of the home by highlighting rooflines, dormers, large picture windows, etc.
During these shorter sunlight hours, turn the holiday lights on early to overcome the early darkness. Wouldn’t it be perfect having potential buyers gaze out your large picture window to enjoy the view of fresh snow glittering with yard lights from the warmth of your home?
The same can be accomplished with the interior of your home. Holiday decorations give your home a warm, cozy, and inviting appearance. But be mindful not to over-clutter the appearance to the point that attractions such as fireplaces and alcoves become lost to first-time viewers. Also, be selective about your color selections. Too much green and red may not be the best choice to go along with fireplace mantels, wall moldings, archways, and other interior features that need to be highlighted. Whites, silvers, and blues have a more classic and appealing look.
Benefits of Marketing Your House During the Holidays
When you market your home during the holidays, the inventory of competing houses decreases significantly. Many sellers remove or delay their listings during the holiday season. This means homes remaining on the market are shown to serious buyers that are out home shopping at this time. During the holidays, your home may not be viewed by as many prospective buyers but they will be serious buyers. Serious buyers make serious purchase offers.
You may just attract a buyer that wants to make a new home a present for his or her family this holiday season. Or they might want to move quickly to have extended family and friends into the new home. Couples also become engaged for a spring wedding during the winter holidays. Some will be in the market for a home before the year is over.
If you have been considering listing your house or already have it listed for the holidays, there are many reasons to follow through with the listing or take advantage of the season to best market your home when there is less competition. Even if you would rather wait until after the rush of the holidays, it makes sense to meet with an agent now, so you are prepared to be first to market when the holiday season ends. Rarely does a house go on the market without some important preparations, so better to know what to expect now than waiting and missing an early opportunity.
Please comment with your holiday season residential marketing experiences.
Also, our weekly Ask Brian column welcomes questions from readers of all experience levels with residential real estate. Please email your questions, inquiries, or article ideas to [email protected].