How to Market Your Home During the Holidays
The holidays are often a time to regroup, rest, spend time with family, and, if you’re lucky, travel to a bucket list location. But for military homeowners, the holidays can also take a different direction—an off-season holiday home sale. Challenging circumstances like a PCS move, pending military retirement, or even the ups and downs of the housing market often dictate an untraditional home selling timeframe.
And while selling a home over the holidays won't ever make anyone's list of "these are a few of my favorite things," you can learn how to make the most of the situation and even take advantage of opportunities.
1) Markets with less inventory equal fewer home seller competitors.
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.
Photo from Canva
Highlight the features buyers aggressively seek in your local area for an even more significant advantage. 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 and consult with trusted real estate professionals such as an agent or broker.
2) Avoid overpricing your home.
Overpricing during the cold months poses a greater risk of forcing a price drop as the weeks move on. Year after year, traditional home selling market trends tell us 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 ensure 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 are overly eager to offload the house.
Monitor interest rates
You should also factor in the interest rates your buyers will encounter when preparing for financing. When you’re planning your asking price, check out current rates for VA loans as well as conventional loans to understand your buyer pool’s purchase power.
Don’t forget to shout from the mountain tops (and highlight it in your marketing) about your assumable VA Loan if you have one.
3) Use holiday home staging to entice buyers.
Cheery holiday décor makes your home look cozier and more inviting, particularly if your house 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.
For instance, 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.
For a military home seller, selling during the holidays also presents an opportunity to escape the undue burden of two or three months of additional mortgage payments, an amount that few military families can easily afford. Fortunately, holiday decor when staging a home 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) Remember, a little cheer goes a long way.
One of the advantages 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 is that the decorations must accentuate your home’s best features. For example, a Southern style wrap-around porch looks lovely with festive greenery that drapes and swags around the railing.
Pack the oversized, bold, personalized items in moving boxes, which will ideally find their way out of sight and into a storage unit. Remember, you want potential buyers to notice your home and its plentiful square footage and storage, 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.
Think like a prospective home buyer for a minute. In this scenario, it snowed overnight, and now the sleet is coming down, but the buyer planned to home shop in person during the afternoon. But now—
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.
Photo from Canva
Planning a video tour may seem like an unnecessary hassle (without even delving into the statistical reasons why you should have a video tour), but difficult weather guarantees the need for quality virtual tours of your home.
A final sale requires 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 house fits their needs. 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.
Now that you understand winter home shopping a little better from your potential buyer’s perspective, consider the importance of showcasing the best features of your home with MilitaryByOwner's Home Tour ad.
You already have less competition on the market, and a home tour can boost the marketing edge your property needs to sell quickly. And when you’re a military family in a time crunch, every extra weekend on the market counts!
Click the image below for even more tips for selling your home during the winter months.
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