A common myth in real estate is that homes don’t sell during winter or the holiday season. Well, I’m here to bust that myth! Yes, homes do sell during the holidays!
Certainly fewer homes are sold in the “off-season”, which is one of the main reasons to put your home on the market during late fall and winter. There’s less competition.
Studies show that homes listed in the winter off-season not only sell faster than those in the spring, but sellers also net more above their asking price during this time.
That said, here are 5 reasons to list your home during the holidays.
To Take Advantage of Low Inventory
Since most sellers are waiting until spring to list, local inventory — that is, homes for sale — falls during the off-season. However, there are still motivated buyers who are ready to move now and don’t want to wait that long to purchase a home.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 55 percent of all buyers purchased their home at the time they did because “it was just the right time.” These eager buyers may flock to your home.
You may not need to try as hard to make your home stand out in the sea of other similar homes. With less competition, more buyers, some of whom may have otherwise overlooked your home if you listed during the peak season, will express an interest to buy.
While you’ll likely have fewer showings in the off-season, buyers who do visit will be more serious about writing an offer. Your home will likely sell faster than it would have during spring or summer.
You Can Set a Higher Listing Price
Homes sold during the off-season sell at a higher price, on average than those sold during the spring and summer peak. There are many reasons for this.
- Motivated buyers are willing to pay the asking price or more for a home.
- Homes are more likely to be priced right and reflect the economics of not only the local market but the neighborhood as well. Often, homes listed during the peak may be priced to compete with other homes in the area and neighborhood.
- Especially in today’s market, homes prices are increasing rapidly, so buyers are motivated to buy now rather than wait as asking prices continue to grow.
One caveat, don’t set an excessively high price for your home as this can put off buyers, and lenders. Appraisers will always provide a home value that the market will bear. It’s best to rely on the expertise of your Realtor to help you choose an asking price that is strategically effective.
Your Home Will Receive More Attention
While our team always strives to give you the personal attention you deserve, when you list during the off-season, we’re able to work more closely with you to ensure your home is prepared for its debut on the market.
We can also take more time to answer your questions, address your concerns and prepare you and your home for the sale.
Additionally, if you’d like to hire a tradesperson to handle routine maintenance or undertake a minor home renovation before you list, you may be able to take advantage of flexible scheduling and cheaper rates.
Many of these professionals experience a winter off-season as well and will be able to focus their time and attention on you and your project.
It’s Easier to Maintain Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is intended to attract buyers who are just driving by as well as those who saw your home online or via a search of the MLS and wanted to see it in person. It sets the stage for what interested buyers can expect when they step foot in the home during a showing or open house.
If you list your home during the peak of the selling season, you may exhaust your time energy maintaining curb appeal.
You’ll likely spend most of your free time mowing the lawn, weeding, trimming shrubs and hedges, planting flowers in pots and in flowerbeds, pulling spent blooms, and watering it all to ensure it looks lush and healthy on a daily basis.
After all, a lush landscape will attract potential buyers and set your home apart from other similar homes in the area.
The off-season eliminates the pressure to maintain a picture-perfect front landscape. Since most grass, shrubs, and plants go dormant at this time of year, you’ll have less to maintain. If you live in an area that experiences a traditional winter, your landscape may be covered with snow.
Even if you live in a milder climate, you may not have to mow as often, if at all. It’s still important to ensure your exterior appears well-tended, so make sure your walkway and front porch remains free of snow, ice, and debris.
And during the holidays, tastefully adding decorative lights, ornaments, and festive decorations can really make your home shine!
Tap into the Life Changes of Buyers
Many buyers receive employee raises and bonuses at the end of the year. If they’ve been saving to buy a home, this extra money may allow them to reach their goal for a down payment and put them on the path to becoming a homeowner.
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Additionally, companies often hire new employees and relocate current ones during the first quarter of the year, creating a strong demand for housing. If you live in an area that’s home to a large company or has a strong corporate presence, this may be the perfect time to list.
Thinking of Listing in the off-season? Here are 3 Tips for Preparing to Sell Your Home During the Holidays
Get your home ready to list by following these tips.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Buyers, especially first-time homebuyers, want a home they can move into right away; they don’t want to repair the roof or the furnace or replace windows with blown thermal seals before they move in. Do the scheduled maintenance and make repairs before you list your home for sale.
In some cases, it may help to have a home inspector do a pre-inspection of your home. A pre-inspection will make you aware of any major, potentially deal-killing, issues that will have to be addressed before you list.
It also gives you an idea of minor issues that a potential seller may want to be repaired. Overall, it helps you to accurately price your home and may protect you from claims a buyer might make later.
Let There Be Light
Balance out the lack of natural light outdoors by turning the lights on inside. Since people naturally tend to buy emotionally, turning on the lights helps create a sense of warmth and coziness.
Light a fire in the fireplace, if you have one, fill your home with the scents of the season, such as vanilla or fresh baked cookies, and put a throw blanket on your sofa.
Just as Christmas lights make can increase curb appeal, they can also make your home festive and inviting to prospective buyers touring your home or at an open house.
If you plan to paint the interior of your home before you list, consider an off-white shade to create consistency throughout your home and make the space feel larger and brighter.
If you have photos of your garden or the home’s exterior in the spring or summer, display them so interested buyers can get a glimpse of what the home looks like in other seasons.
Give Your Home a Thorough Cleaning
Cleaning puts your home in its best light. Clean and polish all the horizontal surfaces of your home, including countertops, window sills, and baseboards; have the curtains dry cleaned or otherwise laundered.
Wash the windows, glass doors, and their tracks; vacuum carpeting and polish all wood surfaces, including the floor.
Additionally, this is a great time to pack any personal items and family photos as well as sort through your belongings and donate items you no longer use.
This not only eliminates any clutter, but it also gives you less to pack and move when you sell.
Remember, selling your home during the holidays is actually a good idea!
Since we moved to Knoxville, we have had many inquiries from homeowners looking to move to Tennessee as well. This may be the perfect time to consider your move out of state.
If you’re thinking of selling, or have more questions about listing your home during the holiday season, give us a call! 865-966-5005. We’d love to help you position your home to sell in your market.