Selling your house during the holidays
It is no secret that selling your house around the holidays may seem like a challenge. While it can be challenging to sell during the winter, we have compiled a list of strategies, expert tips, and creative marketing so you can attract buyers at any time of the year- especially in the winter.
The Truth about selling in the winter
Over the past few years, winter home sales have increased and days on the market have decreased. The housing market has taken an upward swing and there are now more buyers than there were before. It was a common misconception that home buyers with school aged children only shop for homes during summer vacation. Statistically speaking more than half of all buyers don’t have kids under 18.
Benefits of selling a house during the holidays
- Motivated buyers: The buyers actively shopping for a new home in the winter are likely very motivated than others shopping in the summer months— often moving because of a job relocation, change in financial situation, or change in family needs.
- Less seller competition: With fewer homes on the market in winter, there’s less competition from other sellers, and a limited inventory for buyers.
- More time off work: People tend to take time off work during the winter, and three-day weekends like MLK Day and Presidents Day can be popular home shopping days. As a seller, it also means more options for showings and open houses!
- More attention from agents: When agents have fewer listings, sellers receive more of their undivided attention. The same goes for buyers’ agents — they have more time to arrange showings and negotiate deals.
- Tax benefits: Buyers looking to purchase homes before the end of the year for tax purposes find December listings ideal. Who doesn’t like a few more bucks in their pockets right after they make a large purchase?
Holiday Selling Tips
Spruce up the online listing
When the weather’s bad, more house hunting happens online. Make sure the home is being shown in its best light by adding a 3D home tour and making sure the online listing description is engaging and complete.
Invest in professional photography
Quality real estate photos are everything, and making a home’s interior seem light and bright during the winter takes a professional. When selecting a photo of a home’s exterior, consider one of the tried-and-true tricks to selling a house: Use a picture from the previous spring or summer or snag a picture when the snow is just right and the sun is shining.
Hire the right agent
When interviewing agents, make sure to ask about their experience with selling in the winter or in slow markets. Find out how they plan to market the home. Howard Hanna Simon agents are equipped with extensive marketing skills geared toward the winter months.
Price to sell
A well-priced home can sell quickly no matter the season. Using recently sold homes from the neighborhood, have your agent help you price the home to attract the biggest pool of potential buyers.
Consider a pocket listing
A pocket listing is when an agent spreads the word about a home without actually listing it on the open market. The key here is working with an agent who has a big enough network to shop the home around to other agents. With a successful pocket listing, the house sells without endless showings and open houses disrupting the busy holiday schedule. Worst case, if it doesn’t work, you can always list it traditionally.
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. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.