I hope you enjoyed the first part of this series, where we talked about whether it makes sense to list your home during the holidays. If you’re excited about the opportunity to sell your home over the holidays I’ve got some ideas for you. Let’s get started!
Marti’s Top Ten Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays
#1 Price your home to sell.
This isn’t just holiday advice – it applies all year-round. Listen to your agent’s recommendations about pricing. He or she knows your market and can match the pricing and timing to your desired outcome. The holidays are not the time to “test the market”. Buyers who have the luxury of waiting will either move on to the next listing, or simply wait until the spring if they feel a home is not properly priced.
#2 Play Santa to prospective buyers!
Incentives can be a great “carrot” over the holidays. Can you offer seller financing? Are you willing to pay some of a buyer’s closing costs? How about including that nice wall-mounted TV (we all know what a pain those are to remove … and then the patching and painting that follows is no fun either!). Think about what you can do to sweeten the pot.
#3 The eye buys.
Hang the stockings and deck the halls … thoughtfully. A beautifully decorated holiday home can take your breath away – and can detract from a home’s defects. An over-decorated home can take your breath away too, in a not-so-great way, and can make your home feel cluttered and claustrophobic rather than cozy.
#4 Consider a home stager.
Even if you would ordinarily not want your home staged, the holidays could be the perfect time of year to do so. Your stager can help you maximize the emotional appeal of the holidays, while drawing your eye from the less than perfect elements of your home.
#5 Don’t be so focused on interior decorations that you forget exterior curb appeal.
The winter months are typically ones where the exteriors of our homes are less appealing. Investments in upping the curb appeal can pay off in a big way. Keep leaves raked and sidewalks free of debris, snow, and ice. Roofs and gutters should be kept clear. Look at your home with fresh eyes – is a little touch-up in order? A freshly painted front door decorated with a beautiful holiday wreath says “Welcome home!” to everyone who enters.
#6 Keep the lights on.
In our South King County, Washington market we have very limited daylight hours in the winter. With dusk hitting just after 4:00 pm, it’s especially important for sellers to keep a home well-lit both inside (for atmosphere) and outside (for safety).
#7 Offer an escape from winter weather.
Your home should feel like a warm hug to a buyer walking in the door. Keep your heat on at a comfortable temperature, play background music, and consider keeping a plate of holiday treats at hand (don’t forget to include a message asking buyers to help themselves, as many will be too shy to do so!). If you have a gas fireplace, turn it on prior to showings for added ambience. Remember: the longer a buyer is in your home, the higher the probability they’ll fall in love with it.
#8 Target motivated buyers.
Create marketing descriptions for your property that will resonate with those on a year-end buying schedule. Ask your agent about placing targeted ads that will attract those buyers. You’ll want those descriptions to emphasize the many benefits of buying over the holidays.
#9 Create top-notch marketing.
Buyers today start their home searches online and are especially motivated to do so when the weather outside is frightful. Make sure your agent creates a marketing message that gets them off the oh-so-comfy sofa and into the car to come look at your home. If possible, include beautiful photos of your yard in all four seasons so buyers can see how your home looks year-round.
#10 Hire a reliable real estate agent.
Make sure you’re working with an agent who has a solid plan in place for dealing with holiday listings. It can be especially helpful to work with an agent who is part of a team – you’ll stress less knowing that, even if one team member is unavailable for a couple of days someone else on the team will be on hand.
Do you have questions about selling your home during the holiday season? I have answers! Let’s talk today.