Between school recitals, office parties, gift shopping, and entertaining, the holidays aren’t traditionally high time for buying or selling a home. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Life happens, which means you may find yourself needing to sell your home during winter. With a little magic and the right bit of know-how, you can achieve a Miracle on Your Street and sell your home with ease this holiday season.
Deck the Halls (but don’t go crazy)
Holiday decorations are a great way to dress up your home and give it an extra bit of sparkle that will catch buyers’ eyes. The key is to choose the right type of décor, as well as the right amount. In other words, save the gingerbread house for the kitchen counter. Opt for neutral, seasonally-themed decorations without religious references. Remember, buyers want to envision themselves in their potential home, not yours; overly personalized themes can be distracting and a turn-off. Instead of a light-up Santa in the yard, light up your pathway with ribbon-adorned lanterns. Choose simple, understated decorations like a wreath on the door and evergreen centerpieces on the dining room table. If you have your heart set on putting up a Christmas tree, see if you can compromise with a smaller tabletop version instead of an 8-foot tree that blocks half your living room.
Trim the Trees
Winter can be unforgiving to your home’s exterior. With bare trees and less greenery to cover up your house, its flaws have more opportunity to show through. Take extra care to make sure it looks well-kept this season by trimming shrubs, touching up on exterior paint, and cleaning the gutters. If it snows in your area, keep driveways and walkways clear at all times, and lay down salt to prevent slipping hazards during showings. You can also spruce up your front porch by adding potted evergreen plants near the door and hanging exterior holiday lights (stick with white for a neutral look).
Be Merry and Bright!
Shorter days mean less natural light to brighten your home during showings, and since most buyers will view your place in the evenings, you’ll want to make sure your abode has ample light. Conduct a room-by-room assessment to see where it gets dark in the evening, and add table or floor lamps to brighten those areas. Also, switch out cooler bulbs with warmer ones to create an environment that feels comforting and inviting.
Give the Gift … of Professional Photos
Because most buyers will begin their house hunt from behind their computers (especially during winter), professional photos are a MUST for creating an excellent first impression. Your real estate agent should handle most of the marketing for your home, and that includes top-quality images. Before you hire your agent, ask if they plan to use professional photography, and look at pictures from their other listings to gauge the quality. If they don’t plan to hire a professional, you may want to keep looking until you find the right agent. Remember, the agent’s job is to position your home so that it’s attractive to buyers and sells fast. Don’t be afraid to be picky here.
Naughty or Nice? It’s All About Price
Here’s the hard truth: You’re dealing with a different kind of buyer during the holidays. Now is not the time to see if you can squeeze a few extra bucks out of the deal. Work with your agent to pull comps for your neighborhood and settle on a fair price from the get-go. You’ll save yourself the headache of having to slash prices later, and you’ll likely get some reasonable offers a lot sooner.
Selling your home over the holidays doesn’t have to be a reindeer game. Give yourself the gift of a smooth home sale by planning ahead, following the above tips, and finding an agent that will work in your best interest. Happy holidays!