The months of November through to January are often thought of to be the worst time of year to sell simply because of the holidays that tend to take over. People are busy entertaining, visiting friends and family, and going away for the holidays, which is why sometimes it can be a bit tougher to sell compared to any other time of the year.
However, some may argue that there aren’t as many sellers on the market, making the competition less fierce for others who don’t want to wait for all the holiday hustle and bustle to simmer down.
Regardless, selling during the holidays doesn’t have to be an impossible feat if you take some of these suggestions into consideration.
Keep the Holiday Decor to a Minimum
After Halloween comes and goes, you might be tempted to go full swing into the Christmas season and deck the halls with all sorts of festive accessories. While you may have plenty of holiday spirit, you might want to hold back on all those decorations.
For starters, all that decor can take away from what your home really looks like on any regular day. Buyers need to be able to visualize themselves living in your space and calling it home, and all those decorations might cloud that vision for them. The idea behind staging a home is to neutralize its decor to help the masses of buyers envision what the place would be like if it was their own, but too many decorations can be distracting.
In addition, your choice of decor could put some buyers off. Unfortunately, different people have their own perspective about what the holidays should be like. Overly religious holiday displays can potentially offend some buyers. When decorating your home for the holidays, keep the decorations to a minimum and try to make them as neutral as possible.
Be Flexible With Showings
The holiday season tends to be a very busy time for everyone with all the get-togethers, parties, activities, shopping, and more. As a result, it can be a bit more challenging for real estate professionals to schedule showings for their buyer clients.
To make things easier – and to boost the number of showings you get – try to be as accommodating as possible with your schedule to allow for more visits to your home. Keep any blocked-off dates to a minimum while communicating showing times that work for you to your agent.
Have a Video Made
With everyone’s busy holiday schedules taking up a lot of their time, it might be more difficult for prospective buyers to make the time to physically visit your home for a showing. Recording a ‘virtual tour’ video of your home and posting it online can help home buyers check out your place in detail without actually having to make the trip.
If your video is of high quality and showcases all the best features of your home in the best light possible, you can increase the odds of a follow-up showing when buyers have a free moment to scope out your house in person.
Start Marketing Your Home Before Thanksgiving
If time permits, try to get your listing prepped and ready to go before the big Thanksgiving holiday rolls around. Get started de-cluttering and cleaning your home, hire a professional home stager, and work diligently with your real estate agent when it comes to deliberating an appropriate listing price. You might even want to schedule your first open house during the Thanksgiving weekend when people are off work and potentially have a little free time to visit.
Don’t Waste Your Time With Sub-Par Offers
There’s always someone out there looking for a deal, but your home is an investment that you don’t want to give away at a discount. Don’t bother wasting your time with buyers who lowball you or include contingencies that can drag the deal out, such as a clause that makes the deal dependent on selling their own home first. Make sure the buyer has solidified financing and provides a handsome earnest money deposit in the form of a certified check or money order.
There are plenty of qualified buyers out there, so don’t spend your precious time on an offer that doesn’t cut it. When you’re selling during the holidays, you want to make sure your listing doesn’t linger longer than it has to.
Consider a Quick Closing
Many buyers might want to close on a real estate deal before ringing in the New Year for many reasons. Maybe they want to start off the year in their new home and don’t want to spend those first few days or weeks dealing with escrow and movers. They may also want to write off some of their closing costs before year end when it comes time to file their taxes the following spring. Regardless, consider being open to a quick closing.
Consider Waiting Until January
If you don’t get a solid offer before the end of the year hits, don’t fret. There’s nothing wrong with waiting until January to sell. It’s not uncommon for housing inventory to dip during this month, and with supply already on the tight end in California, you might even be able to take advantage of an even stronger competitive position.
Buyers can often be more motivated in January. It’s not very common for people to decide to move during the holidays considering everything that’s happening during this season. If they do, it’s usually because of things such as a change in job location, which leaves buyers with little choice than to quickly find a new home.
Even if there are fewer buyers out there on the prowl, the ones that are pounding the pavement in search of a new home during this time are often more motivated to seal a deal.
The Bottom Line
Selling during the holidays is not exactly the most popular time to list, but the end result can be just as successful during busier selling times of the year. The holidays are already a hectic time, and selling at this point can seem like a daunting task. But if you approach this endeavor with a sound strategy in place and a seasoned real estate team behind you, there’s no reason why you can’t gift yourself with a done deal for the holidays!