How to Market Your Home During the Holidays
The holidays--normally a time to regroup, rest, spend time with family, and maybe even travel! But sometimes, circumstances like an off-season PCS move, pending military retirement, or even the ups and downs of the housing market dictate a holiday home selling timeframe.
And while selling your home over the holidays won't ever make anyone's list of "favorite things to do," learn how to make the most of the situation and even take advantage of possible opportunities!
How to Market Your Home During the Holidays
1) Remember that markets with less inventory equal fewer competitors for you.
Scarce housing inventory offers an advantage to sellers because there's less competition from competing home sellers. If you wait until the snow thaws to hoist your "For Sale" sign, you’ll join a much larger listing market and potentially, lower asking prices.
For an even greater advantage, highlight the features that are aggressively sought after in your local area. In demand amenities vary from a detached garage to a finished basement, but each depends on your current location’s preferences. To better understand what buyers in your area are looking for, study market trends through your own research and consult with trusted real estate professionals such as an agent or broker.
2) Avoid overpricing your home.
Overpricing during the winter poses a much greater risk of forcing a price drop as the weeks move on. Traditional home selling market trends demonstrate year after year that the more expensive the home, the higher the risk of a price reduction as the holidays draw closer.
It's important during the winter season to make sure your home is priced appropriately to avoid relisting at a reduced price. An overpriced listing followed by a reduction can indicate to potential buyers that you are either not serious about selling or that you are overly eager to off-load the house.
3) Use holiday home staging to entice buyers.
Cheery holiday décor makes your home look cozier and more inviting, particularly if your home lacks a welcoming feeling. Some homes remain on the market for longer than usual for no reason other than they exude an uncongenial vibe extending from the reasons the owner is choosing to sell. In the event of a death, a divorce, or even a PCS, a homeowner may not maintain their home up to its usual standards because their attention is elsewhere.
If you're a home seller working through a significant life change, it's likely the last thing you want to do is decorate. However, when you’re listing your home for sale, crafting a lived in yet loved feeling that stems from well placed seasonal décor makes all the difference between selling your home this month or selling your home two to three months later, likely at a reduced price.
For a military home seller, decorating for the holidays presents an opportunity to escape an undue burden of two or three months of additional mortgage payments, an amount that few military families can easily afford.Fortunately, decorating for the holidays doesn’t need to be extensive or time consuming. For some easy tips on affordable ways to decorate, take a look at Home Decorating Tips for Every Room.
4) But remember, a little cheer goes a long way.
The advantage of listing your home during the holiday season is that you can bedeck your home in festive wintry garb to brighten overall appeal, but don’t go crazy! The most important fact to remember while decorating for a holiday home sale is that the decorations must function to accentuate your home’s best features. For example, install greenery that drapes and swags from a Southern style wrap-around porch.
Pack the big, bold items in moving boxes, which will ideally find their way out of sight and into a storage unit. Remember, you want potential buyers to take notice of your home, not the dust amassing on the collection of Christmas nutcrackers.
Get more tips for staging your home in our article, Home Staging 101.
5) Weatherproof your marketing plan.
Planning a video tour may seem like an unnecessary hassle, but without even delving into the statistical reasons as to why you should have a video tour (read more in 7 Must-Have's for Your Home's Virtual Tour), difficult weather guarantees the need for quality virtual tours of your home.
Let’s think like your prospective home buyer for a minute. It started snowing during the night, and now the sleet is coming down, but I’ve planned to home shop in the afternoon. My, oh my, doesn’t it feel cozy under the blankets? Maybe I’ll have a hot chocolate and look at those houses online again.
It’s going to require so much more than a few pictures and a description of a home to motivate a buyer to wrangle with ice, snow, and frosty weather in the hopes that your home fits their needs. And if they're not going outside to home shop, they're not likely to see road signs, open houses, or any other traditional form of home marketing, making internet marketing an even greater factor in your home search.
6) Showcase your home's best features online.
Click the image below for even more tips for selling your home during the winter months.