Any real estate agent can tell you that selling homes during the holidays can be a challenge. Between inclement weather and an onslaught of holiday gatherings, it can seem like no one is even interested in viewing your listings. That said, it’s not impossible to get a sale. You just need to tweak your normal process a little.
With that in mind, here are five tips to help you sell homes during the holidays. Keep them in mind as you put your listings on the market. With the help of these tips, you’ll know you’ve done everything you can to entice potential buyers to put in an offer.
1. Price your listings right
In all honesty, pricing your listings correctly is the key to making sure they sell no matter what the time of year. However, it’s even more crucial in the winter months when there are fewer interested buyers on the market.
Remember, each listing is competing against all the other available properties in its price range. A listing that is priced correctly will stand out to buyers as a smart choice. In contrast, one that is overpriced is more likely to get overlooked in favor of other homes that seemingly have more to offer for the same dollar amount.
Since both you and the sellers need to agree on the list price, it’s crucial that you spell out the benefits of pricing a listing close to its current market value. Be sure to provide plenty of comparables to lend support to the list price you suggest and don’t be afraid to walk away if the sellers insist on sticking to unrealistic expectations.
2. Stage them for the season (but don’t go overboard)
Staging a home for resale is a great way to help it stand out from the crowd. That said, around the holidays, the process can be a bit different than usual. At its core, the goal of staging a property should be about helping buyers visualize themselves living in the home. In this case, you’ll want to achieve that by playing up the property’s cozy, winter aesthetic while also keeping the amount of holiday-specific decor to a minimum.
With that in mind, do your best to bring a sense of warmth into the home. Add in plenty of thick and fluffy textiles through draperies, area rugs, and blankets. If one is available, make sure to highlight the fireplace and concentrate on providing plenty of warm lighting.
3. Pay special attention to the photography
These days, most buyers preview listings online before they even think about going to see them in-person. As an agent, that means it’s more important than ever to pay close attention to your photography. This is especially crucial during the holiday season when weather conditions tend to make properties look less appealing. After all, any curb-appeal-boosting landscaping is gone for the winter and natural light is at a premium.
In light of that, if you want the property to sell quickly, you’ll need to have a few tricks up your sleeve to make sure that your photos come out looking their best. For one, you should make sure to plan the timing of your photoshoot wisely, especially if you live in an area with a colder climate. For the most part, having snow in your photographs tends to distract from the property itself. If possible, pick a day that’s slated to be sunny and dry.
For another, you’ll want to be sure to that the shots are well-lit. Schedule your photoshoot for the time when the property will have the most natural light and don’t be afraid to bring some supplemental light sources into the mix as well.
4. Remind sellers to stay on top of winter upkeep
Additionally, be sure to remind your sellers to stay on top of their home’s winter upkeep, especially while the property is being shown. The goal should be to have the property appear as turnkey and easy-to-maintain as possible.
To that end, get them to shovel any snow and make sure that any pathways to the property are clear. If any gutters are clogged with leaves and debris, have them clean them out. Double-check to make sure that the heat is turned on and functioning properly before any showings take place.
5. Don’t get discouraged
Lastly, when you’re selling homes during the holiday season, it’s important to keep your mindset in check. Unless you live in a resort area where the busy season happens to occur during the winter months, traffic is bound to be slower while people are focusing on their seasonal celebrations.
Keep your head up and do your best to keep yourself from getting discouraged. The right buyer for your property is out there. You just need to focus on doing all that you can to make your listing appeal to potential buyers. Once you do that, it’s only a matter of time before you find the property’s perfect match.