You may think that the holiday season from November through January may not be the best time of year for putting your home on the market. The thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, you’d rather be out shopping or curled up in front of the fire with a hot cup of chocolate, right?! HOWEVER, the season does have its advantages when it comes to buying and selling real estate: holiday buyers tend to be more serious, and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed. So, first, decide if you really need to sell and then once you've committed to the challenge, roll out the festive spirit and follow these tips to make it the best holiday experience yet!
- Light the house and put out your best decorations
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. Keep these simple staging tips in mind:
- Clean and stage appropriately BEFORE you put out your holiday decorations.
- Create a cozy vibe with a few subtle touches like a wreath or a bowl of pinecones
- Complement your palette, make sure your holiday collection matches your current décor
- Accentuate the positive and don’t block details with too many trimmings
- Use lights to accentuate your home’s architecture not take away from it
- Stay diverse in your decorations and keep the overtly religious décor in storage this year
- Keep the size of the tree proportionate with your space
- Clear the clutter – as always, the easiest and best staging tip anytime of the year!
- Hire a reliable real estate agent
That means someone who will work hard for you and won't disappear during Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas or New Year's. At CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company our real estate professionals are dedicated in going above and beyond what is expected to get your home sold – any time of the year. The right agent will ease your stress and give you more time to enjoy the season. Visit www.CENTURY21JudgeFite.com and search the Realtors in your area to find the perfect match, or call us at 800-451-8055 and ask for a referral from our staff.
- Seek out motivated buyers
Anyone house hunting during the holidays must have a good reason for doing so. Work with a CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Realtor 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
When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, 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. And then of course there is all that beautiful holiday garland that can add an inviting atmosphere to your front porch!
- 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. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round. Need help? Consult with a CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Real Estate Professional on how to take the best photos – they will even offer their help!
- Create a video tour for the Web
You'll get less foot traffic during the holidays, thanks to inclement weather and vacation plans. But shooting a video tour and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don't have time to physically see your home or would rather not drive in a snowstorm. Need help shooting a video? Contact your CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Realtor for help, or ask them if they plan to provide a video as part of the marketing of your home during the holidays.
- Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold
Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings by cranking up the heat, playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats. When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features.
- Be flexible in negotiations
You needn't give away the farm by any means; just be willing to give and take. Your CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Realtor will guide you through this with your best interests at heart.
- Relax! The new year is just around the corner
The holidays are stressful enough, with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don't sell now, there's always next year, which luckily is only a few days away.