SOLD! During the Holidays: It Can Be Done!
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy selling!
What? Who sells their home during the holidays? You can, and it can be a delightful experience if you go into it with the right attitude and follow some important guidelines. After all, the month of December holds more emotions and a myriad of joy for everyone, and homebuyers actually buy more. Why not play on those deep feelings to entice buyers?
We all know, or maybe we assume, that spring and summer are the best times to sell a home. And it’s true that many buyers do plan their new home purchases during the warmer months. But that doesn’t mean all the serious buyers evaporate after Labor Day. If your home is for sale now, you’re actually in a great position to sell faster and for more money by taking advantage of the unique characteristics of the holiday selling season.
The general consensus that sellers shouldn’t even try to sell their home during the busy holiday season is truly a misnomer. Serious potential homebuyers will take time out from planning vacations, attending parties and cooking meals if they are motivated enough. Plus, the Internet and new technology have given rise to a new generation of buyers with smartphones, tablets and laptops. As a result, people have instant access to information, and the buying season has become a year-round event. The Internet cuts down on the amount of time that it takes to buy a home because many buyers do their shopping online. In reality, people are always looking for homes, including before, during and after the holidays.
During the holidays, the people who look at homes are typically motivated buyers. Since many sellers tend to take their homes off the market during the holidays, buyers have fewer choices. This means less competition and a much better chance of selling. In some cases, sellers can even get more money.
Those looking for a home during the holidays are serious buyers. Some have an immediate need to buy a home, and many have to relocate due to job opportunities, while others are experiencing life changes such as divorce, financial issues, empty nest situations or retirement. Many buyers also purchase at the end of the year as part of their tax reduction strategy. Lenders are frequently less harried during the holidays, so paperwork can be pushed through in a more timely fashion.
Smart sellers seek out motivated buyers by working with an agent to target buyers on deadline, such as people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff and military personnel, if you live near a military base. And, of course, price the home to sell. Finding and closing on a home that is priced low for the market will make potential buyers feel merry no matter what season it may be.
Creating a video tour of your home for the Web will help, especially since sellers get less foot traffic during the holidays as a result of inclement weather and vacation plans. This is a good way to attract house hunters who don’t have time tophysically see the home or who may not be located in its geographical area.
Top on the list of recommendations is to relax and realize the New Year is just around the corner. The holidays can be stressful, with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and the onslaught of relatives to entertain. Take moments through this time to remind yourself that if you don’t sell now, there is always next year, which, luckily, is only a few short days away. HLM
Sources: californiahome.me, daveramsey.com, HGTV.com, trulia.com and zillow.com.
Experts provide these tips to maximize your home’s selling potential during the last two months of the year:
• Pay attention to curb appeal and wintry conditions that may exist at the home’s entrance.
• Tone down the size of your tree. In place of a ten-foot tree, try decorating a table-top, four-foot version.
• Stack wrapped presents in a closet or in one corner.
• Use more splashes of red than green; red is an emotionally appealing color.
• Resist the urge to hang banners and use greenery instead, such as evergreen or rosemary garlands. These also will impart great fragrance to the room.
• Display centerpieces made from pine cones or other wintry pieces of nature.
• Set a plate of cookies on the counter, next to festive paper napkins for guests.
• Simmer spicy apple cider on the stove and set out cups and a ladle.
• If your target is young families, setting out a toy or two or setting a small table with books and crayons for the kiddos to play with before showings can help. If retirees are the target, consider staging a room with rich travel accessories.
Going the extra mile may just pay off in an easy sale.