Worried about selling your home during the holidays? Follow these tips from Lisa Groover of McEnearney Associates in Alexandria.
There are pros and cons to listing your home for sale during the holidays; however, buyers looking during this time tend to be more serious and may be under a deadline to move. There is also less competition in the market. If you are prepared to modify your holiday plans to accommodate showings and the selling process, then here are some tips for preparing your home for sale:
- Decorating – This may be the year to scale back on your traditional holiday decor. The goal is to create a cozy and inviting setting…one where potential buyers can picture themselves in the years to come. Consider decorating to complement the home’s existing design with neutral, seasonal accents rather than for the holiday. You want potential buyers to notice the house and not be distracted by the decorations.
- Keeping it spacious – This is the perfect time of the year to clean out closets, bookshelves, cabinets and your garage, not only for a taxable donation but also to make room for your holiday additions. If you usually have a 10′ tree, change it to a table top.
- Presents – Instead of displaying gifts under the tree, consider stacking them in a closet until it is time for your family celebration. Not only will this make your home seem more spacious, but it will help prevent the temptation for children to check them out while their parents are looking at the house. Do not leave valuable small presents within easy access.
- Outside – Curb appeal is very important during the winter months since your flowers and trees will not be blooming. Keep your leaves raked and sidewalks and driveways clear of ice and snow. If you add outside lights, accent the architecture of the house or a beautiful evergreen. Avoid lawn ornaments, excessive lights, and music.
- Showing Times – Decide on a schedule for making your home available for showings. This can be entered into the listing and also added to the agent and public notes online. Although your goal should be to make the house easy to show without a lot of restrictions, if you are planning a full day of baking and will not be able to leave the house, then block off that time slot.
- Photographs and Videos – Professional photographs and video tours are particularly important during the winter months when people are not as motivated to go out in the cold. Include photos from the spring or summer so that potential buyers can experience the year round feel of your home.
- Welcome to My Home – Set your house apart from others by leaving freshly baked holiday cookies or treats and simmering apple cider on the stove. Not only will potential buyers appreciate your thoughtfulness, but taking time for a hot beverage and a snack will help them experience the home a bit more than a rushed tour.
- Your listing agent – Make sure that your agent has a plan for managing your listing during the holidays. Will he or she be traveling? Available via phone or email? Have a backup agent on standby for questions, to write a contract, etc.
- Price your house right from the start – Be realistic about your home’s value compared to comps in your neighborhood and the current market. Price your home to sell from the beginning. Be aware that the longer a house is on the market, the lower the final sales price. With fewer buyers during the holiday season, you want your home to stand out as a good value for a great house.
—McEnearney Associates, “Trying to sell your home during the holiday season?”