If you’re thinking of selling your home but want to wait for spring and good weather to arrive, you’re not alone. Many people take this approach to selling their home. However, there’s no real reason to wait. Sure, the weather will be better but there are some distinct advantages to selling your home around the holidays. Read on to find out why you should think twice about waiting to put your home on the market — and how to make your home more appealing during the winter season.
Melt Your Competition
Like snow on the ground after a warm front, your competition melts away during the winter. They too are of the belief that they should wait to sell their home until the leaves on the trees have returned and the birds are chirping. April showers bring more than May flowers — when it comes to home listings, spring brings a flood of them. Suddenly your house is competing against 15% more listings than in November and December, according to the National Association of Realtors. By selling your home during the holidays, you take a deep cut out of your competition, automatically putting you ahead of the game.
Remind Your Buyers of Tax Breaks
While you won’t be getting any tax breaks from selling your home before the end of the year, your buyer will. If they buy a home before year’s end, there are a number of tax benefits that they can count on their return come February. Real estate taxes, mortgage interest, and private mortgage insurance premiums can all be considered write-offs. These tax breaks can motivate buyers to get serious about closing a deal before December 31st. Remind buyers that signing the papers before the 31st can give them real benefits on their taxes.
Decorate (But Not Too Much)
Everyone loves a home that is well decorated for the holidays. This time of year reminds people of food, friends, family, and everything that a home represents — providing a comfortable place to enjoy time with those special people. If you don’t normally decorate much, consider adding a little more than you usually do. Lighted garlands can bring attention to a beautiful staircase, while a stunningly decorated tree can show off a set of bay windows that let neighbors and passersby have a peek at the twinkling lights.
Just remember that you don’t want your Holiday decor to completely overwhelm your home. Keep the outdoor holiday lighting to a minimum and instead, brighten the outside of your home with some spotlights to show off the exterior even when it gets dark early in the afternoon.
Hold Open Houses
Open houses during the holidays can almost be like mini-Christmas parties. If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s lit. Or, you can put a fireplace channel with soft Christmas music on your television to mimic the feel if you don’t have an actual fireplace. Have a small table set out with holiday cookies and warm hot cocoa or apple cider for guests to enjoy while they look at your home. Give hopeful buyers a warm, happy feeling when they walk through the door, because they’ll translate that into the feeling they’d have if your home was their home. Every buyer imagines what a house would be like if it was their own, and you can help them envision a perfect holiday season inside their new home.
Clean and Rearrange Your Space
It seems like a no-brainer to clean your house before you show it, but you might want to go a little deeper than you normally do. Get rid of things stored on top of shelves, mantels, and tabletops. Donate what you no longer use and use this opportunity to minimize clutter. Rearrange your furniture to help buyers flow freely through your home during showings or open houses.
If you’re unsure of how to set up your house so it gets the best response from buyers, ask for help from your real estate agent. Your agent can help give you tips on what you can do to model your home to appeal to buyers, specifically during the holiday season.