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Unfortunately, the real estate market has a tendency to slow down during the winter months. However, that doesn’t mean you should lose hope if you need to sell your home during the holidays. There are ways to make your home attractive enough to buyers that they’re willing to brave the cold. We’ve listed our best tips below. If you implement the right ones you could have a holiday buyer in no time.
Minimize holiday decorations
Yes, decorating is an essential part of the holidays. Your decorating style, however, is bound to cater to your personal tastes. When trying to sell your home, it’s important to keep personalization to a minimum. Ideally, your home will be as neutral as possible in order to appeal to a majority of buyers.
Buyers are easily distracted. Sometimes they have trouble looking past things like dated wallpaper or carpeting. Overly-personalized holiday decor will stick out like a sore thumb and buyers may have trouble putting it aside in order to see how great your home truly is.
Keep in mind, we’re not telling you to have no decorations. We’re simply suggesting that you keep things simple. Try to keep overtly-religious decorations to a minimum, as well as anything that feels a little over-the-top. For the period of time that you’re trying to sell your home, opt for a classic, minimalist approach to decorating.
Keep it cozy
If there’s one thing that everyone can relate to in winter, it’s wanting to escape those colder temperatures. One way to help sell your home to buyers is to make your home feel like a cozy and welcoming space.
There are a few different ways you can go about it. Here are some suggestions:
- Keep it warm: Despite what it may do to your heating bills, there’s no better feeling than coming into a warm house after being out in the cold. If you know there’s going to be a showing on your home, turn the heat up to a reasonable level. You want buyers to be able to focus on how great your home is, rather than how chilly they feel.
- Display plenty of textiles: Textiles like blankets and pillows are synonymous with warmth and coziness. Make sure to display plenty throughout your home. Doing so will help buyers subconsciously associate your home with cozy nights in.
- Get scented: Everyone loves a home that smells great. Before showings, try infusing your home with warm, inviting scents like cinnamon or fresh-baked cookies. You can do this by burning a scented candle or by cooking up the real thing.
Price it right
Like it or not, pricing is a huge factor in how interested potential buyers are in your home. While you’ll obviously want to get the highest possible sale price, the best way to entice buyers to brave the cold and come to see your property is to price it right. We’re not saying to give it away, but you should be open to negotiating.
As to how to go about pricing it fairly, the first thing to do is look at comparables, or comps. These are similar properties that have sold in your area recently. Your real estate agent can provide them for you. They give you an idea of a realistic price range to list your home and help you figure out your bottom line. You can do this by looking at how much you owe on the property and how much you’ll need if you’re buying a new home. Any offer at or above your bottom line is worth entertaining.
Be flexible with showings
For most of us, the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year. Every day, it seems like there’s a celebration to prepare for or an event to attend. Odds are, the buyers who are interested in seeing your house are going to be busy, too. Since they likely have a limited time to schedule showings, you should remain especially flexible in order to accommodate them.
While this may seem tough, considering that you’ll have holiday obligations of your own, it’s non-negotiable. Selling in the winter often means having a limited pool of buyers to choose from. Therefore, it’s especially crucial to work with the ones that are available. Accommodating showing times, even when they’re inconvenient to you, is part of that. After all, no one wants to submit an offer on a house without seeing it first.
With that in mind, there are a few things you can do to make showings easier. The first is to have a showing plan in place so that everyone in the family knows what their responsibilities are before walking out the door. Additionally, try to keep your home as neat and show-ready as possible. The less picking up you have to do, the easier it will be to accommodate those last-minute requests.
Do you have any other tips for selling a home during the holidays? Let us know in the comments.