How to Sell Your House During the Holidays

Posted on Dec 16, 2015

Tips and tricks to getting your house on the market and sold during the holiday season.

If you are thinking about selling your home during the holidays, you may have received some push back. People are often told by friends and family not to sell their home in the winter months. The truth is, people buy homes year-round, so don’t let the cold stop you from getting your house on the market.

When you are ready to get the “for sale” sign up on your house, consider the following tips to make it to the closing table as soon as possible.

Stage Your Home with Holiday Spirit

Don’t feel like you need to pass on decorations just because your house is on the market. Homes can look their best during the holidays and creating the right vibe will make buyers even more eager to put in an offer. Ask yourself the following questions when putting up the decorations:

Does this look cluttered? This is true for selling during anytime of the year, but will be even more important since you will be adding items to the space. Before you get started, declutter and clean up. For everything you add, pack something else up in storage.
Does this go well with my current theme? Look around your living room. Will your holiday cheer clash with your decor? Skip the items with strong color schemes and go with a more neutral palette. Just make sure whatever you choose compliments the other colors in the room.
Will this offend anyone? Your home will attract buyers of different backgrounds and beliefs than you. It’s best to stay away from over-the-top religious flourishes to avoid offending any potential buyers. Reindeer, pinecones, and snowflakes are sure to be forgettable and inspiring at the same time.
Should I skip the tree? If you have always had a real tree in your home, this is definitely the year to skip it. Not only are the pine needles a pain and find themselves all over the house, but a potential buyer could be allergic. What about the fake ones? As long as it doesn’t overtake the space in a negative way, keep it up. But do mind the decorations. Classic ornamental balls and ribbon will be more attractive to a stranger than your sentimental collection.

For more tips, check out HGTV’s Staging Tips for Selling During the Holidays.

Price for the Market

Homes in Philadelphia sell at a higher rate in the Winter than those listed in the Summer and Fall. Although it may be true that there are less buyers in the winter, those out in the market tend to be more serious shoppers. They are looking to settle on a house, and to settle at a good price.

Make sure your agent provides you with a current market analysis. At Houwzer, this is something we do for all of our clients. It is important to know the accurate value of your home and what other properties in the neighborhood are selling at. With the winter crop of buyers, it may be most appropriate to list your house at market value.

Don’t Forget About the Exterior

The exterior is the first thing people will see, so make sure it doesn’t look forgotten. Rake the leaves, pull out dead plants, and put away any dusty summer remnants. Also, keep an eye on the parts of your house that are showing now that the tree in front of your house is bare. If it snows or is icy, clear away any hazards before a showing. You don’t want a potential buyers first impression to be fear upon approaching your doorway.

Make it Feel Cozy

On the inside of the house, think to yourself, how can I make my home as cozy as possible.

Keep the heat up. Most homes are comfortable between 70-72 degrees.
Set out plush throws on furniture. Make people envision themselves as comfy and cozy in your living room.
Bake cookies. Yes it is cheesy, but who doesn’t feel at home during the holidays with the scent of fresh baked cookies. Having an open house? Leave them out as a refreshment with hot cider.
Open up the curtains. Let as much light in as possible to keep away the feeling of winter blues.

Show it Off

Since the photographers will be getting shots of the outside in the winter time, provide your agent with high-quality pictures of the exterior in the spring and summer, especially if you have a garden or eye-appealing greenery. Live near a good sledding spot? We recently sold a house in West Philadelphia’s Spruce Hill neighborhood and the owners provided a shot of people sledding at Clark Park. It a genius way to expose buyers to the life they will have in the home.

Think you are ready to sell? At Houwzer, we don’t charge a listing commission. Contact us today to find out how we are starting a real estate revolution and how you can be a part of it.

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