Is Your Holiday Wish to Sell Your Home? 4 Tips for Making it a Reality This Season

Traditionally, realtors have espoused the belief that the season between Thanksgiving and New Year is not the most wonderful time of the year for those eager to sell their homes. This idea leads many homeowners to delay listing their properties until January or even take them off the market for the holiday season. While this time of year remains one of the slowest for real estate, modern technology has made shopping for a home more of a year-round process than it was in the past. Today’s buyers can continue their home searches in the midst of holiday festivities with the help of the internet and mobile apps. Contrary to popular belief, sellers who weather the real estate market during the holiday season may enjoy several advantages. With so many realtors and homeowners clinging to the assumption that it is not worthwhile to list until January, buyers will have a smaller selection of properties from which to choose. Less competition increases the likelihood that a particular home on the market will garner an offer. When more properties flood the market after New Year, this advantage will disappear. Furthermore, buyers who are taking time off from their holiday activities to search for a home are more likely to be serious about moving as soon as possible. Therefore, while homes on the market during the holidays will attract fewer potential buyers, the showings that they have may be more likely to yield an offer.

If you are facing a holiday season with your home on the market, heed these tips to help you secure a sale without sacrificing the festive spirit: l Decorations should accent – but not overwhelm – your property While displaying some holiday cheer will appeal to buyers and help them envision themselves celebrating future holidays in the home, excessive decorations are distracting. Remember that your home is the centerpiece, so any decorations should merely complement the property rather than dominate buyers’ focus. When it is time to show your property, consider putting away pieces that are overtly religious, as they may cause buyers of other faiths to feel uncomfortable. l Keep the interior charming and bright The holiday season is a rich sensory experience, full of sights, sounds, and smells that induce feelings of comfort and nostalgia. Keep the temperature inside your home warm enough that visitors will be comfortable, open the blinds, and turn on plenty of lights to counteract the season’s dark and chilly days. Consider placing a few flameless candles around your home in order to foster a cozy vibe and baking cookies in advance of a showing so that an inviting aroma lingers. l Stay on top of yard maintenance In most areas, the late fall and winter months present specific obstacles to maintaining a home’s curb appeal. It is critical to clean up fallen leaves and ensure that driveways and walkways are free of ice and snow. l Showcase how your home looks in other seasons When the winter skies are gray and the leaves have fallen from the trees, buyers will be curious to see how your home looks at more vibrant times of year. Provide photos from all seasons in your listing materials or in a photo album or slideshow that you have available when buyers come to view the property.