Sellers consider Christmas to be the LEAST desirable time to list and sell a property. There is so much going on, from holiday preparations, special engagements and cold weather, that it is easy to dismiss that time of year to sell. However, the season DOES have some advantages: fewer sellers to compete with, and a select group of serious Buyers, who often have to buy either within time restrictions, or are preparing for a new start to the New Year. Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and put your home on the market, here are some useful tips to consider:
1.). Too Much of a Good Thing is NOT a Good Thing!
Decorating over the holidays can add a touch of excitement and glamour to a home. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, or it becomes overly distracting. Avoid overly religious themes as well, as these can polarize potential buyers.
2.) Make it Bright!
Christmas time means dark, early nights. Make sure your home is lit up (i.e. not Griswold style, where you need your own generator!), especially the entrance of the house, where it is often difficult to see where the key fits in the door. You can purchase timers to light up the house at specific times while you are away, and if you are able to time your lighting through your alarm system, consider doing that as well. A well -lit home is warm and welcoming!
3.) Turn up the Heat!
Speaking of warmth, make sure your thermostat is set to a comfortable temperature, especially if the property is vacant. If you have a gas or electric fireplace, turn it on. Don’t use lit candles for safety reasons – use flameless products instead to create a warm ambiance. Buying is an emotional response to a house, so make sure the emotion you are creating is warm and evokes a feeling of comfort.
4.) Clear the Walks, Driveways and Steps of Ice and Snow.
I cannot emphasize this one enough. Show buyers (and their realtors!) that you care about their safety. Watch for water dripping from the eaves to the walk below, as this can get severely slippery.
5.) Add Some Festive Scent.
By this, I mean real scent, not artificial. Fresh baked cookies, hot apple cider, fresh pine boughs can evoke positive thoughts of the holiday season. Like decorating, make sure the scent is not overpowering, otherwise it too becomes distractive.
6.) Price it to Sell.
No matter what you do to prep your home over the holiday season, price is the number one determniner in attracting an offer. The best properties at the best prices sell the quickest. This is true of any time of the year, but is particularly important to remember over the holidays when there are fewer buyers.
Hope you find these tips useful in attracting that Buyer! For more ideas, please contact me – I’m happy to help!