Getting a mortgage and purchasing a home can be stressful enough, but when you also need to sell your home, the stress can be multiplied over and over again.
While we focus mostly on people buying their home, we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the other important part about real estate: selling.
With the holidays on their way, the housing market is expected to slow, as it does every year. This means sellers and real estate agents need to get creative, finding ways to attract would-be homeowners in a time when few people are searching.
But the holidays don’t have to be a negative. In fact, there are ways that you can use the holidays to increase awareness and interest in your home. We’re certainly not experts in the process of selling a house, but these creative ideas might help you find a motivated buyer before New Years!
How to Sell Your Home During the Holidays
Holidays: The Right Time to Sell?
Believe it or not, you can sell your home during the holidays. Yes, most homes are sold during the spring and summer, but there are real advantages to listing your home in winter, and plenty of properties are sold in December, January, and February.
Buyers tend to be more motivated and dedicated to purchasing in the winter. There are fewer people “just shopping around,” and buyers who are looking in winter are serious about purchasing.
You get to make your home look warm and cozy, and your neighborhood could look appealing when decorated for the holidays. Above all, however, is the fact that during the holidays there are fewer homes on the market, which means you have less competition. There could also be a faster sales process, and tasks like inspections and appraisals can be completed faster, as you don’t have to wait in line.
Sign Up for a Holiday Homes Tours
Many communities conduct holiday home tours, and they are often organized to benefit a certain cause or non-profit. Basically it works like this: organizers recruit homeowners to decorate their homes in a holiday theme, and then sell tickets that allow people to come in and view the elegant holiday homes.
You can use this to your advantage by signing up for a holiday homes tour and placing a “For Sale” sign in the front yard. You don’t want to be pushy with sales tactics (most people are not even thinking of buying, so it would come off as annoying), but you can make people aware that your home is for sale, increasing overall awareness. If anyone happens to have questions, keep a printout of home facts just to be prepared.
Schedule a Themed Open House
Open houses are an important part of the real-estate selling process, and you can use the holidays to create nostalgia and warm feelings among potential buyers. You can do a wide range of things for your holiday open house, depending on your budget and how much effort you want to put in.
You could decorate the “For Sale” sign with holiday greenery, create a Santa-themed section of the house, and wear holiday-themed clothing (nothing over the top) to increase the fun and festiveness of your open house.
You could also go simple. Provide a few cookies and place some holiday-themed decorations throughout the home to create the feeling of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other popular holidays.
Make the Home Smell Like the Holidays
There is something powerful in scents, and smells can have a profound impact on how people react to certain locations or situations.
The cliche in real estate is to make the home smell like freshly-baked cookies, but there are other smells that you can add to the home to create a holiday connection. One of the most distinct is the smell of pine trees, which makes people think of brightly-decorated Christmas trees and could bring happy memories of childhood holidays. A few pine-scented candles during the holidays could be the perfect solution. Ginger bread, apple cider, cinnamon, and vanilla are all great choices as well.
Update Online Listings with Holiday Photos
If you started selling the home before the holiday season, your listing images are probably typical pictures of the home. But now that the holiday season is upon us, it won’t hurt to update your images so they display a festive holiday spirit.
Once you have your home decorated for the holidays, take pictures of the rooms and display them online. You can replace the existing images if you like, but a better option would probably be to simply add them to the home’s listing. This will allow potential buyers to imagine the home during the rest of the year, but also during the holiday season.
Create Thanksgiving and Christmas Curb Appeal
Curb appeal, which is a real estate term for how the house looks from the outside, is perhaps the most important part of selling your home. At the very least, it’s the most important part of getting people to consider your home. (Without good curb appeal, people will skip over your house, regardless of interior quality.)
Give your house a festive curb appeal by hanging holiday decorations and greenery. Don’t go overboard (you don’t need to be the brightest house on the block), but simply give your home a cheerful holiday style.
Quick Tip: Don’t Overdecorate to Sell Your Home During the Holidays
As a final point, we’d like to remind you to not overdecorate for the holidays. In other words, don’t hide your home behind a wall of Santas, Christmas trees, holiday stars, and elves. People still want to see your home, and too much decoration can be distracting. Keep it light and modest to attract a wide range of potential buyers.
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