Do Houses Sell Over the Holidays?
It’s no surprise that one of the main questions real estate agents get this time of year is “Can I sell my house during the holiday season?” People are busy shopping, baking, and throwing parties – and it does require extra effort to keep a bustling house picked up and ready to show at the drop of a hat.
But there are also plenty of advantages to selling in December.
Buyers who take time to look for a home during the holidays are serious, and with fewer options on the market this time of year, yours could be the perfect fit. Despite a nearly 15% lower inventory of residential listings in St. Louis at the end of 2022, the median sales price of homes increased almost 5% – and sold within about 34 days. This means you could not only sell your home for a decent profit; you could do it in time to get settled into your own new home early in the new year.
Tips for Selling a House Over the Holidays
By following a few expert tips, you can make your house marketable for serious buyers this season.Keep Decorations to a Minimum While Making the House Cozy
You don’t have to give up decking the halls altogether, but putting up fewer decorations than usual will better your chances of impressing a buyer. Nine-foot evergreens can take up a lot of space, making the family room look smaller. Downsize the tree, and if you usually put one up in every room, don’t. You want to show off all the potential space your house has throughout the year.
With that being said, it’s okay and even smart to take advantage of this festive season. Make up the beds in cozy plaid quilts and comforters so buyers can imagine settling in for a long-winter’s nap. Keep logs in the fireplace so you’re always ready to light a crackling fire. And give your kitchen that heart-of-the-home scent with a fresh-baked platter of chocolate chip cookies on the counter at showings.Focus on Curb Appeal
With no leaves on trees or flowers in your flower beds, you’ll need to be creative to make the house appeal to buyers from the street. Make sure dead leaves are cleared out of the yard and landscaping, and consider putting potted evergreens on the porch. While you shouldn’t go overboard on lawn decorations, it’s okay to tie red ribbons on the mailbox and hang a wreath on the door.
Most importantly, buyers should feel safe when walking up to your home. As soon as it snows, shovel the driveway and sidewalk, and make sure the steps and handrails aren’t slippery.Keep the House Decluttered
This may seem impossible with kids home on winter break, but decluttering is a must when selling a house over the holidays. Store the air fryer, Pizza Pizzazz, and all other small appliances in a cabinet so buyers can size up your counter space. Do the same thing in all the bathrooms by putting toiletries and makeup organizers below the sink. And let everyone in the family know to keep their stuff picked up – shoes in cubbies, toys in toy boxes, books on shelves, and dirty clothes in hampers.
To free up as much space as possible, consider donating what you no longer use to a local charity. Someone in need this winter is likely looking for the sweaters, coats, and blankets that are taking up space in your closets.
Selling a house during the holidays means buyers could request a showing at any given time. Having a large party one night and getting the house in tip-top shape by the next morning could cause a lot of stress in an already stressful time of year. So could having guests staying in the extra bedroom. This year, explain to friends and family that you could use a break – and that you’ll be happy to host in your new house next year!Include Photos of Other Seasons in Your Listing
Instead of driving around on icy streets to look at homes, many buyers like to browse online from their comfy couch. It’s not only important to have high-quality photos of your home in its current landscape, it’s also wise to post pictures from throughout the year. Scrolling through photos of a sparkling pool in summer, a breathtaking tree in fall, and a lush garden in spring might entice buyers to see your home in person.Ask for a Real Estate Agent’s Help
Agents know all about selling a house over the holidays because they do it all the time. A knowledgeable realtor can help stage your home to look especially inviting this time of year. He or she can also offer advice on setting an appropriate asking price for a house in your neighborhood; explain the costs of selling a home so you’re not caught off-guard at closing; and show your house for you while you attend all the fun events and activities of the season.
Can I Sell My House During the Holiday Season?
There are no benefits to not trying to sell a house during the holidays. Qualified buyers are out there waiting for new listings to pop up, so they might as well be looking at yours. When you’re ready, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties to discuss how we can help sell your home this season – and even help you find the next home of your dreams.
Cover Image by MarkHatfield by Getty Images by Canva.com