If you are willing to list your house with a real estate agent, or keep it on the market during November and December, read this article for some practical advice.
The truth about home sales during the holidays
The belief that you should wait until spring to list and sell your home is founded partially on common sense, and mostly myth. While the number of buyers out and about might decrease around the holiday months, the buyers that are out looking at homes tend to be more serious and focused about their efforts. There are home sales every day of the year, Christmas and New Years included. Many buyers have to relocate due to a career transition, or have sold their home and need to purchase right away.
Your real estate agent can attract qualified homebuyers even during the upcoming holiday season, and to maximize the time a potential buyer spends on your property, there are many small things you can do.
How to manage seasonal changes when your home is on the market
Fall changes everything about the green space surrounding your home. You no longer have lush full trees and a rolling green lawn. The branches become bare and the lawn is constantly cluttered with leaves. Since the lack of foliage exposes more of your home, make sure that your gutters are clean and free of discoloring mildew stains. Notice any areas of your home’s exterior that needs a paint touch up or shingle replacement.
Believe it or not, a fall lawn can be thick and deep if cared for by removing leaves and mowing at a reasonable height. Consider an array of colorful mums to fill in any patches of cut perennials, vegetable areas or annual garden. Remove as much dead plant material as is possible since broken stems and brown flower heads are not very cheery!
Also be mindful of landscapers while your home is on the market during the fall months. Leaf blowing noise is annoying to most of us, and to some, the sound is brain crushing. If you have showings scheduled last minute, a kind word to your hired crew can forestall this kind of interference with the showing.
Remember to repair outside lights to account for the shorter days since showings might become more frequent in the dark. As the days get shorter, you may end up showing your home in the dark so making sure your outdoor lights are clean and working is insurance that any potential buyers will follow easily inside.
Decorating your home for the holidays
Cleaning and tidying come naturally when starting the process of decorating for the holidays. Since you will be dusting, vacuuming, Windexing and mopping anyway, there is no extra effort to “spring clean” to prepare for scheduled showings. In addition, we usually remove clutter to make way for holiday decor. This will give you, the home seller a head start on fabulous showings.
Holiday decorations can beautify your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers, providing the decorations don’t obscure the features of your house. Keep your interior space open and stay aware of the potential to clutter with the excitement of upcoming holidays.
Try to use more neutral holiday items to express the season. Evergreen cuttings and wreaths are great choices since they say “holiday” but also have a relaxing aroma. If you have nice archways inside your house, accent them with greens. If you put a Christmas tree up, just make sure its width doesn’t make the room look smaller than it is.
When your real estate agent schedules some showings, make your house extra cozy with a fire, a few extra degrees on the thermostat and even setting out some of those holiday goodies. This will make buyers feels less like they are intruding and need to rush off, encouraging them to linger and admire your home.
Go easy on the scented candles since some people are bothered by too much artificial smells. And be aware of the views from your windows by not blocking them with snow spray or Christmas village train set ups. Fireplaces should be used when possible as this is an immediate positive for any buyer. This means that you might have to delay the hanging of all those hand knit stockings.
For outside holiday decorations, if you have small tree in your yard, use some small white lights and put the same variety of lights on various parts of your home’s exterior detail. An alternative exterior decoration are some flood lights that cast a dramatic light and shadow on the face of your home. Just be careful to angle the lights so they are not going to shine directly in a person’s face as they exit your front door.
Anything that inflates and perches on your front yard is discouraged. These decorations can be fun, but they make it difficult for a buyer to envision the feel for the outside surroundings.
More helpful tips for selling your house during the holidays
Having professional photographs of your home are important as plantings start to go dormant. This is because the first impression of a listed property comes from a photo. Of course having images of your house during the colorful, growing months is great, but if you need to produce photographs once the season has turned, having a photographer with artificial lighting and technological know how can still produce images that showcase your home.
Keep exterior photos of your home up-to-date. If you listed your home in the summer, update your online photos with brand new fall shots. Pictures from the previous season make your listing seem dated.
It is so important to know that your realtor will not forget about you during the busiest time of year. Having a top real estate agent will give you confidence that he or she will be available to schedule showings and take offers during the holidays.