At first glance, the holiday season might not seem like the ideal home-selling season, but there are considerable advantages to listing during this unconventional window of time at the end of the year. Low inventory, serious buyers, and holiday cheer giving your neighborhood a boost in curb appeal all factor into the real estate landscape.
Whether you’re trying to capitalize on these advantages or selling out of necessity, there are plenty of things you can do to help seal the deal. We’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons of selling your home during the holidays and share some tips on how to avoid common bumps in the road.
Pros of selling during the holidays
If you’re curious why anyone would go through the hassle of selling a home during one of the busiest times of the year, it’s probably because of the serious advantages it offers.
Starting with the basics, the market is often much less crowded toward the end of the year. This means less competition and more prospective buyers for your home.
That in itself is enough to motivate many to list their homes, especially in very competitive areas where they may not get many interested parties during the busier months. The timing is also beneficial for another, related reason: house hunters out there during the holiday season tend to be more serious about finding and closing on a property.
Whatever the source of their urgency, these more serious holiday buyers may often be amenable to a faster sales process. Whether they’re relocating for work in the new year and need a place to land or are hoping to improve their tax situation before time’s up, you may encounter more flexibility and open-mindedness.
Finally, don’t underestimate the impact that holiday cheer can have on your neighborhood’s curb appeal. Twinkling lights, reindeer up on the roof, and a thick blanket of white snow can make any street look like a christmas card. Even if snow isn’t in the forecast, many people tend to tidy up their homes and yards around the end of the year in anticipation of visits from families and friends.
Stay on track so you don't get overwhelmed.
Cons of selling during the holidays
The essential challenge associated with selling your home during the holidays is how to find the time to do everything that needs to be done during one of the busiest times of the year. It can be difficult to find the time required to prepare, list, and show your house at the end of the year, so if you’re going to go for it, you need to be serious about your decision to sell.
People’s attention is divided between so many different responsibilities during the holidays that you may have to tolerate unusually frustrating timelines or delays. If your situation makes it difficult to be flexible with buyers, you may run into trouble.
If you’re planning on selling your home during the holidays, you should work with the most experienced realtor you can find — they can help keep things on track and handle any last-minute changes or problems quickly and reliably.
Finally, it’s important to remember that if you’re trying to sell your home during the holidays, buyers might perceive some desperation on your part. While this may not be the case, being mindful of this can help you get ahead of potential buyers who will try to negotiate hard or get you to agree to a bad deal to close quickly.
Four Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays
- Don’t overdo the holiday decor. While you might want to let your festive side run free when staging your home for prospective buyers, it’s best to use a light touch. Don’t clutter the house with decorations, obscure key interior details, or distract people from imagining the space as their own.
- Be cautious of thieves during home showings. Opening your house to strangers is always a little nerve-wracking, but during the holidays you should be especially mindful of what you’ve left out and about.
- Keep the holiday spirit in mind. Everyone is stressed during the holidays, so it’s a good idea to take a step back and be as accommodating as possible with buyers. You don’t have to agree to a bad deal, but flexibility will go a long way.
- Don’t try to do it on your own. Working with an experienced realtor is always the right move, but during the holiday season their inside knowledge can mean the difference between coal in your stocking and your sale neatly wrapped up with a bow.
Originally published December 10, 2019.