Selling Your Home During the Holidays
So you’ve been thinking about selling your home, but time got away from you, you’ve been busy, there was a lot to do (and forget about any updates or repairs that required building materials this year), and now it’s the holiday season. You may as well just wait, right?
Not so fast!
While generally it is true that the market slows a bit during the winter and around the holidays, this market is different. Yes, I know I sound like a broken record, but just stick with me, and I’ll explain.
Benefits to Selling During the Holiday Season
There are a few benefits of selling around the holidays, in any year, and in any market. First and foremost, there is just not as much competition. While you may not have a flood of showings, you can rest assured that those buyers looking around the holidays are actually looking to buy, and not just curious neighbors or folks out for a walk.
But this year? Well, it’s all that and then some. As I’ve mentioned before, this market is not a bubble (like the one back in ’07-’09), but really is driven by a housing inventory shortage coupled with interest rates lower than we’ve seen in years. That means we’ve not really seen any of the normal drops in the market over the last year. In fact, the days on the market for our entire MLS area is still hovering right around 7 days. (That’s the average, too, not the median.)
Additionally, we’re still at only 1.1 months inventory throughout our MLS area. That’s still a long way from a balanced market (6-7 months of inventory).
Even though it’s a seller’s market, there are still some special ways to prepare when you’re selling in the holiday season.
Top Tips to Sell Your Home During the Holidays
- Focus on your curb appeal! It matters more now than ever, when things tend to be a little more brown, gray, and the light is not as warm.
- Clean, clean, clean! Clean those windows, the entry area, and yes, even the trim. Add a fresh, new door mat, maybe a wreath, and a couple of containers with something evergreen.
- Tone down the outdoor holiday decor, if over the top is your style. Don’t go totally Clark Griswold on the house if you want buyers to actually see the house, and not be distracted by the decorations. (I literally cannot stress this enough.)
- Use a Realtor® to list your home. (I know, sounds biased, but it really does make a difference.)
- Let’s amend that to, “Use a Realtor® who works with a great professional photographer.” Having professional photos is a non negotiable these days. I don’t care how good your phone camera is. Pro photos will show your house off better. Every single time.
- Knowing your “perfect buyer.” Your agent will know not only “who” your target buyer is, but how to reach them.
- Especially this time of year, when inclement and chilly weather is the norm, having an agent who will do a video, multiple photos, floorplans, or the like definitely makes it easier for buyers to know whether it’s a favorite or a maybe before they even ring the door plan.
- Go easy on the indoor decor too.
- The line between great decor and too much is not actually that fine. Think more “warm and cozy holiday cheer” and less “where are we going to put our 900 piece Santa collection.” (Pro tip- keep those in the box so they’re ready to go to your new home.)
- Make sure it’s easy to move around, and doesn’t look cluttered.
- Got loads of wrapped presents? Keep those to a minimum, too, and if you’ve got the hottest video game console to be wrapped, just tuck it in a closet. No need to tempt anyone unnecessarily. There’s also the bonus of the kids not easily finding their gifts before the big day.
- Doing some holiday baking? Good smells sell!
- Keep the feast of the seven fishes to the restaurants this year, but go nuts with the cookies, rum cakes, spiced cider, etc. Again, warm and cozy is never unwelcome in the winter!
- Perhaps the MOST important, price it to sell!
- I’m never going to be the agent who wants you to underprice your home, but especially in the winter months, when there are in theory fewer buyers out there looking, not shooting the moon with the price helps position you better in the market.
- If you’re working with me, or any good agent, we’ll sit down with you to review the comparables, their sold prices, and how your home stacks up to that. We’ll use all the data available to come up with a great plan to help you maximize your investment, your time, and get you to your goals.
What questions do you have about selling your home during the holiday season? I’d love to help you determine if now is a good time for you to sell!