Tips for Making the Most of the Circumstances and Turning It Into a Unique Opportunity
Selling your home usually isn’t something you find at the top of your holiday list. The best time to sell a house is from spring to early summer, but you may find yourself in a situation that requires you to unload your property quickly at a less-than-ideal time of year. In the following article, we will go over some reasons why selling your home during the holidays can actually be a good thing.
It can be inconvenient to squeeze in showings between holiday parties and family obligations, and keeping up with staging can be complicated when you’re hosting family and friends. Potential buyers might think you’re desperate and try to lowball you, or delay closing until the new year. Real estate professionals, if you’re enlisting their help, might be on vacation or otherwise unavailable.
However, sometimes you just to have to sell when you have to sell, whether it’s due to job relocation, personal circumstances, or a wide range of other factors. But remember, there will be buyers shopping for those same reasons.
Benefits of Listing Your Home Over the Holidays
The holiday season (November through January) comes with unique advantages when it comes to putting your home on the market, like motivated buyers and less competition. Whether you decide to enlist the help of a real estate agency, go the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route, or sell your house as is, you can still sell your house quickly with a little bit of commitment, strategic thinking, and the right approach.
Consider these advantages when you list your home during the holiday season:
- Smaller inventory, slower traffic, and less competition. Listings are lowest during the holidays and are generally lower in the winter, so your property, even it’s a hard sell, can suddenly shoot to the top of the list.
- Quicker loan approvals and faster sales. With fewer sales happening, lenders are less busy, so buyers tend to get quick approvals for loans, which may result in a faster sale.
- You may get the asking price or above. Buyers will also be choosing from a smaller inventory and there will probably be less new listings on the market, so there’s a good chance you may get your asking price or even more. Homes also tend to sell faster in the winter than in the spring because interest rates tend to rise in the spring, and buyers are interested in closing before it happens.
- Buyers are more motivated. If your potential buyers are squeezing in-home viewings between social engagements, family time, and travel, you know they’re serious.
- You will attract a special buyer. Winter home sales tend to target buyers with specific needs and interests, like those relocating for a new job that starts at the beginning of the year, or snowbirds looking for a seasonal getaway to escape the cold. You could also attract retirees looking to downsize.
- Your house can look its best, with fewer landscaping hassles. Decking the halls and decorating with holiday lights can show off your house in the best possible way, also diverting attention from some minor issues. And, yard maintenance is much less work in the winter than in the spring.
- Tax benefits for buyers. Buying at the end of the year brings a few attractive tax breaks, and savvy buyers will try to close before the end of the year so that they could write off some of the related expenses. Those could include deductions for mortgage interest, private mortgage insurance premiums (PMI), and tax credits for real estate taxes.
Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays
If you are determined to sell over the holidays, you have the unique advantage of seasonal staging. It’s generally recommended, however, to keep it light on the religious themes and not overdo it. This means toning down the size of your tree and other decorations like centerpieces, leaving the pathways clear, and stacking presents somewhere out of the way, not only to keep from overwhelming the interior but also to deter theft.
Keep in mind, now is a good time to amp up the holiday cheer, perhaps offering cookies on festive platters and seasonal beverages like apple cider.
Increasing curb appeal can go a long way, and could be enhanced with holiday lights and seasonal plants while you do your best to clean, declutter, and spruce up the exterior with minor repairs.
Holidays or not, the first 30 days on the market are crucial and will be the busiest, so pricing your house right could make or break the sale. It’s essential to adjust your expectations depending on the season and state of the real estate market in your area, and also to decide whether you are open to negotiation.
Finally, marketing your home in the best possible light, online and in person, can expedite the sale considerably. This means posting the best images, videos, and descriptions on social media, local online publications, and major real estate portals. It also means being flexible with showings and addressing the property’s strong points and shortcomings with honesty and integrity.
With determination and the right approach, selling your home during the holidays can be an advantage and a unique opportunity.
Tatyana Meshcheryakova is a freelance real estate marketer and writer, regularly contributing content to real estate resource sites. She also creates content in the healthcare and wellness industries for SixEstate.