REALTORS know that there are peak seasons for selling and listing a home; summer tends to be hot for real estate. Why? Families with kids want to move into that new home before the school year begins. While winter tends to be a bit cooler for sales and listings, the market during this time isn’t in hibernation.
Homeowners who can’t wait until the peak selling seasons to put their home on the market should fear not! Selling a home during the holidays can be a merry experience! Here’s how to sell your home during the holidays…and avoid any feelings of bah humbugs!
Consider a ‘Coming Soon’ Announcement
Coming soon announcements can build excitement about a new home that’s about to hit the market. Tease the availability of the home with a ‘coming soon’ listing. This isn’t the official ‘for sale’ listing of the home, but the listing will appear on searches that REALTORS® and their clients can access. These teaser listings typically include basic details about the home and maybe a few photos.
Hold an Open House
An open house lets potential buyers and their REALTORS tour the home and find out if it’s a good fit for their family or their lifestyle. Visitors can ask questions of the listing agent, too. When potential buyers tour a home, they may then be ready to make an offer.
Including an Amazing Photo Slideshow
Winter in some parts of the country tends to be brutally cold and potentially icy, snowy, slick and messy. Not all buyers are interested in venturing out to visit every home that could possibly be a fit. Many might prefer to weed out their options via online listing details. Extensive photo slideshows can help provide buyers with all the information about a home and its many features. Pictures can help buyers learn if the home is their style, and if the layout and basic amenities appeals to them.
Photos with few photos might leave potential buyers what’s wrong with the home. That is, if the seller isn’t showing many images, buyers may wrongly assume it’s a ‘fixer upper.’ Even if that isn’t the case at all.
Show off all the home’s many amazing features and assets and offer a long slideshow of images. For homes that sit on vast acreage, REALTORS often include overhead drone shots. This gives potential buyers a better understanding of the land and the home’s surroundings.
Offer a Virtual Tour
For buyers who are not so keen on leaving their home because of the weather, a virtual tour could provide them with more details about the home. A virtual tour shows a walk-through of the entire home. The tour should take potential buyers into all rooms of the home, and the tour might even zero in on upgraded appliances in the home or special areas of interest.
The National Association of REALTORS offers a wealth of information about virtual showings and virtual tours for sellers.
Buyers who schedule a tour of the home or a showing of the home with a REALTOR want to envision that it’s their home. They need to be able to picture cooking in the kitchen, relaxing in the den or playing games in the finished basement. Staging the home helps create an environment that is less personalized to the current owner and more welcoming to potential buyers.
Staging may include setting the dining room table, removing clutter from rooms, adding floral arrangements on tables and taking down personal pictures. While homeowners can stage their own home, many companies specialize in professionally staging a home to make it more conducive to selling quickly in the market.
Bake It…or Fake It!
Does the smell of freshly baked cookies make you hungry? Or does that smell conjure up happy memories? Scents can be inviting and enticing. REALTORS will often recommend that sellers bake bread or cookies before a showing. Why? The scent is warm and welcoming. It’s pleasant. And the home will be the cookie house…the home that smelled wonderful. Scents are powerful.
However, for homeowners with no time to pop in a dozen chocolate chip cookies, candles or scented gels can offer a similar effect. Gourmand scents could be incredibly impactful; there are gels or candles scented like wedding cake, pies, cinnamon rolls, and even pumpkin spiced lattes!
Maintain the Walkways and Driveway
Winter can be icy, and homeowners selling during the winter holidays also should be sure to always keep walkways and driveways clear and clean. There should be no slick surfaces that could pose an accident or injury. Stock up on salt and ice melt and keep areas shoveled and clear!
While selling a home during the holidays might not seem like an ideal situation for many homeowners, the market might still be merry with buyers. Sellers who want to move their home quickly might consider a ‘coming soon’ announcement and schedule an open house to draw in potential buyers.
In addition, extensive photo slideshows and virtual tours could help buyers learn more about the home and figure out if it’s a good fit for their family. Sellers also make sure to keep their walkways and driveways clean, clear and absent of any slick spots that could potentially hurt their buyers!