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When we think of the holiday season, many things come to mind – relaxing with friends, family, great food and beautifully decorated homes. Although you might not expect it, the holiday season is also a great time to put your home on the market.
If you’re thinking of listing your home, consider these five advantages a winter real estate market has to offer. The housing market is still very strong. With buyers continuing to take advantage of the lower interest rates and the lack of inventory, we are expecting it to remain a seller’s market into the new year. People looking at homes during the winter are usually serious buyers who are interested in purchasing. Many people have extra time off during the holidays to spend looking, or may have to move for work in the New Year, and as a result you can expect that buyers are willing to brave the cold are going to take the process seriously.
There is generally lower inventory in the winter and with fewer homes on the market already, there is less competition. As a result, offers may come in closer to the asking price, which is a great bonus.
During the winter, there’s no need to worry about keeping up your landscaping which is a time-saver. Summertime requires a well-groomed yard, but in the winter, if you’ve shoveled the walkway and driveway, you’re good to go!
Homes generally show well during the holidays. It’s a wonderful time to sell because homes have a warm feel as they are decorated for the season, both inside and out. The feel of a cozy, warm home during the cold winter makes showings easier.
When decorating your home, keep decor classy and elegant. Choose a tree that isn’t too large, so that your home will look tastefully decorated, but not cluttered. Buyers will still want to get a sense of how your home will look in any season.
You can emphasize a homey feel with hot apple cider warming on the stove, turning the fireplace on, or using pinecones as a centerpiece. Add more red than green in your decor, as red is a dynamic and emotionally-appealing color.
Moving during the season also has other advantages- if you’re packing and cleaning, set aside food, home items or clothing for charities that need donations this time of year. As part of my work, my clients are able to donate a portion of my commission to a charity of their choice when they buy or sell a home, which is also a great way to give back during the holidays.
I commonly see people pulling their homes off the market during the holidays and then relisting them in January or February. Instead, leave your home on the market during this time, because you might miss a good prospect. January is one of the most common months for corporate transfers, with buyers looking for new homes to accommodate new jobs, so you don’t want to miss out on this demographic.
To help you navigate selling your home in the holiday rush, you can change the showing procedure to require more advance notice; schedule showings when they’re convenient for you and keep your home show-ready.
Putting your home on the market over the winter, and keeping it there, can be a great way to maximize your position. With the decor taken care of and serious buyers looking, you can get the top dollar for your home – and what more could you want this Christmas?