Welcome back, everyone! Who else has had a busy couple weeks now that we are in the midst of the Christmas season? Like our ERA First family, you're likely staying very busy shopping, attending holiday gatherings and programs, decorating, cooking, and volunteering during this festive season. In addition to our holiday activities, we are staying busy around the office with clients who are buying and selling this season.
In the past, the holiday season (Thanksgiving through January) has been considered an unpopular time for many people to buy or sell a home. However, in the past five years or so, we have seen quite an increase in transactions during this time. It's not as busy as spring and summer was as the market has slowed a bit, but we are pleased to share that our wonderful clients are keeping us busy and jolly right through the holidays. We know people need to move 12 months out of the year, and typically the ones who are selling or buying right now truly need
to do so for a variety of reasons.
If you're thinking of testing the waters and feel like you're ready to put your home on the market, we would like to share these helpful tips for you!
1. Go ahead and decorate for the holidays, but don't go overboard.
Homes look so warm and cozy this time of year with the tree, garland, cheerful snowmen, etc, so you have the opportunity to showcase that as a selling point. However, don't put out so much extra holiday decor that it distracts from the features of the home that are lovely year round.
2. Hire a reliable, ambitious agent.
There is definitely some truth to the notion that there are fewer buyers this time of year, as we noted earlier in the post, so your ERA First
agent might have to network a bit and utilize some creative marketing to find the right buyer. You definitely want your agent to be willing to work for you!+++
3. Price the home to sell.
This is another big perk of hiring the right agent. Be sure he or she does a comparative market analysis and be very realistic in your pricing. If your house is priced competitively, you won't need to do a bunch of little price reductions (which we know is frustrating for sellers!).
4. Ramp up your curb appeal.
This time of year, we do not have the advantage of free-flowing greenery and leafy trees, nor can we put out potted flowers and showcase a lush, green yard. That's just not what winter in the Tri-State looks like! So our recommendation is to do all you can do make sure your home looks as great as possible and is as clean and spruced up as possible. A tasteful winter wreath, some potted evergreens or other hardy plants, plus a little garland make a very nice impression.
5. Create a cozy atmosphere.
In addition to holiday decor, make your home feel as inviting as possible for showings and open houses. Light candles, turn on the fireplace, put out freshly baked goodies, place a nice blanket on the couch or a chair, and have some pleasant music playing when potential buyers come through. Make them feel like they could just curl up and stay awhile!
6. Be prepared to negotiate with motivated buyers.
Like we mentioned, buyers who are looking at houses during the holidays need to find a home, sometimes quite quickly. Maybe they've been transferred for work or want to move closer to family, but they are likely moving out of necessity and potentially have a deadline, so be ready to work with them when an offer comes through.
7. Be flexible.
Peoples' hours of availability vary during the holiday season because they are off work or only in town for a couple days. If you don't get your preferred notice before a showing or have a request for a showing a little earlier or later than usual, try to accommodate. It's likely those buyers are devoting an entire day to house hunting and might be pressed for time. Let them see your beautiful home -- it just might lead to an offer!
Please let us know if we can do anything to assist you with your winter real estate questions and decisions. ERA First Advantage
agents are always very willing to take calls and answer emails throughout the holidays and will be happy to work with you and your schedule!