By Tom Landry
Before the age of the internet, very few real estate agents advised clients to list or stay on the market during the holidays. While it is a busy time, in today’s age, your property is open 24-7 online letting buyers view your home on their timeframe between holiday parties, present shopping, and meal planning. And even if you are not home for the holidays, if you get an offer, you can negotiate and even close virtually. So my advice is always to stay on the market.
While there are fewer buyers looking during the holidays, activity does not stop. And, you never know when the right buyer will come along, no matter the time of year. Staying listed signals that you’re serious about selling and may cause buyers to move more quickly to view your property. People looking this time of year are usually more serious and ready to make a purchase. So as other sellers pull their homes from the market, you’ll be competing with fewer listings for these often more motivated buyers. I have put many homes under contract at great price in the months of November, December, and even January.
So if you’re convinced, here are my top tips for taking advantage of the season and position your house to sell during the holidays.
- When it comes to holiday displays, less is more. Be tasteful and understated with decorating inside and out.
- If you put up lights, use smaller white lights and maybe a single candle in each window for a classic look.
- Consider exterior lights that shine on the house. These can be very dramatic and show off your home’s unique architecture and decorations on the front door.
- Leave your house lit up well into the night in case of any evening drive-by buyers.
- Be sure that at the very least, the main entrance and initial entry light are on for showings, as many will be after dark.
- Be diligent with snow and ice removal from the driveway, walkway, and steps.
- Consider holiday scents like pine cones, rosemary, or cider on the stove.
- Turn up the heat. A warm house is inviting, and a buyer will want to spend more time warming up and walking through.
- Turn off the music. Everyone has their own taste, and you don’t want to distract the buyer with holiday tunes they may not like.
- Lastly, if so inclined, leave a plate of your favorite holiday treats on the kitchen table.
Tom Landry is owner of both Benchmark Residential & Investment Real Estate and CornerStone Building and Restoration. Learn more about their suite of services at www.whereyoucallhome.com.