The holiday season from November through January is often considered the worst time to put a home on the market. But the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed.
Follow these tips from FrontDoor:
Deck the halls, but don’t go overboard.
Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. General fall and winter decorations without religious themes may be less likely to turn off buyers.
Target motivated buyers.
Anyone house hunting during the holidays must have a good reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target buyers on a deadline, including people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff, and military personnel, if you live near a military base.
Price it to sell.
No matter what time of year, a home that’s priced low for the market will make buyers feel merry. Rather than gradually making small price reductions, many real estate agents advise sellers to slash their prices before putting a home on the market.
Make curb appeal a top priority.
As autumn rolls into winter, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves.
Take top-notch real estate photos.
When the weather outside is frightful, homebuyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Flattering, high-quality photos are essential; if possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.
Video tour for the Web.
A video tour on the Web may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically see a home during the holidays.
Offer holiday cheer in the form of financing.
Bah, humbug! Lenders can be scrooges, but if you’ve got the means, then why not offer a home loan to a serious buyer? You could get a good rate of return on your money.