Conventional wisdom says not to list your home during the holidays, but sometimes circumstances require that you give conventional wisdom the ol’ heave ho ho ho and stick that for sale sign up with the Christmas lights. If your holiday includes listing your home here are some general guidelines to keep things merry and bright.
It’s okay to decorate your house for the holidays (but maybe rethink giant Santa)
Scottsdale real estate agent, James Hill says if you’re going to list your home during the holidays, “hang a wreath.” In other words, houses usually look their best all lit up and decorated this time of year. Don’t let listing your home stop you from decking the halls. Maybe hold off on displaying that huge blow up Santa that takes up your whole yard or overcrowding your home with decorations. Hill recommends a lighter touch and trying to stay away from overtly religious or distracting decorations. This is just a guideline. If you are locked in a battle with the neighbors over the best yard and light display and this is your year to show them you are king, then by all means, go for it. And if Christmas will simply not be Christmas without hauling out every treasured decoration and displaying it prominently then, display away.
Communicate with your realtor about ground rules, no-go showing dates, etc.
It is important to establish good communication with your realtor no matter when you decide to sell, but especially if you list your home near the holidays. With the potential for family and friends to visit and other obligations, it’s okay to establish some black-out dates and clear ground rules. For example, if your parents are staying at the house for certain dates, nix showings and open houses during their visit. Okay, maybe if a serious buyer shows up with a suitcase of cash, you make an exception. If you’re leaving town, easy. Hand your realtor the keys to your clean, vacant home and let the showings begin.
Get high-quality photos of your house for online listing
Internet searches for homes surge during the holidays, so make sure to have good photos of your home posted with the online listing. This is good advice for anytime you list your home, but particularly during the holidays. It’s best to share high-quality, well-lit photos that showcase multiple rooms and features throughout your home. Remember to also include photos of the yard and storage areas. Homebuyers tend to start searching for a new home online; this is an important opportunity to make that good first impression.
Target motivated buyers
Buyers who are house hunting during the holidays also tend to be really motivated. Most people who are looking for a new home just because they want to move, will take a break from looking during the holidays and pick up again after the New Year. The buyers who continue to search are really motivated. You and your realtor want to target those buyers on a deadline. That can include people relocating for work, investors dealing with tax deadlines or buyers whose current home sold quicker than expected, necessitating the need to find a new house fast.
Price your house to sell
If you list your house at the holidays, price it to sell. That doesn’t mean price it below what it’s worth. It means price it low for the market. Hill says it’s better to start with a competitive price rather than starting at the top of the market and incrementally making reductions. Instead of cutting the price while your house is listed, work with your realtor to price it right for the market before you list it.
I can’t help you right now, I’m on a cruise. Choose a realtor that’s available and accessible.
Finally, this might be obvious, but if you need to list your house for sale near the holidays, choose a realtor who is actually going to be in town.. It won’t do you any good to sign with a listing agent who plans on cruising the tropics for most of December. You need someone who is available to hold open houses and set up appointments to show your home.
At Landmark Title, we work with both residential and commercial realtors, along with their clients to provide escrow and title services. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact our office at (602) 768-2800 or visit our website.