Real Estate News with Terri Taydus, GRI, CNA

Thinking About Selling Your Home This Winter? Here Are Some Tips to Help Market Your Home During the Holidays!

November 13th, 2011 8:12 PM by Taydus Taydus

I am often asked “Should I wait until after the holidays to list my home?” And I say “No!

During the holiday season between Thanksgiving and the first of the new year, many people elect to either wait to list their home, or pull their home off the market until after the new year (or sometimes even until the following spring!) What does this mean to you? It means less inventory! True, there are also less buyers during the holidays but that does not mean that there are no buyers. And the buyers that are out there have less homes to chose from. With less inventory to compete with, you may find your home suddenly in demand!

Here are some helpful tips to improve your chances of a sale during the winter months:

Take care of the basics: Don’t let the chilly temps outside keep you from keeping up on your curb appeal! Haul away dead branches, keep leaves raked up, and winterize landscaping and sprinkler systems.

Keep walkways clear, and free of snow and ice! This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would not believe how many homes I have had to risk life and limb to climb the icy front steps just to get to the front door. People will be coming by to view your home – this is a safety and a liability issue, so do not neglect your walkways.

Make an area just inside your front door for folks to leave their muddy, wet shoes, so they do not track the outside all throughout your home.

Warm and Cozy Interior: I strongly suggest hiring a home staging expert to make your home look bigger, brighter, warmer and more inviting. If you do not want to hire a professional, then make sure you reduce clutter (you need to start packing up anyway for your big move), apply a fresh coat of paint to any room in need, don’t forget the trim and baseboards, and clean up! You want your house to sparkle. Add some warm layers; throw blankets, pillows, and rugs – use different textures, and warm colors. You want the potential buyer to walk in and feel warm and at home. Displaying some framed photos of your home in the warmer seasons is also a good idea (especially when colorful landscaping can be dormant during the winter months.)

Turn up the heat! Keep your home a comfortable temperature. Buyers will be coming in from the cold and you want them to warm up and linger in your home. If the temp inside of your home matches the great outdoors, your buyer will rush through just to get back to their warm car. Keep this in mind for vacant homes as well. If you have a fireplace use it! Before you leave your house for a showing, turn on the fireplace – It will create a welcoming atmosphere.

Light and Bright: The winter months can often be dull and gray. Brighten up your home for potential buyers. Leave lights on, and open the shades to let in as much natural light as possible, and do your best to keep your windows clean to allow maximum light to shine through. Try to encourage showings during daylight hours. Make sure you have enough outside illumination for  buyers to find your home, and safely make their way to your front door.

Tasteful Holiday Décor: Just because your home is on the market does not mean that you cannot decorate and enjoy the holidays! Do though, try to keep your decorations conservative and don’t overdo it on the outdoor lighting and inflatable holiday decorations (pack them up and save them for your new home!) Inside, some simple decorations – some holiday greenery, some (simple) twinkling lights will go a long way and give buyers a dose of seasonal cheer.

I would however recommend holding off displaying wrapped holiday gifts, or “hiding” valuable gifts in a bedroom closet (or anyplace a potential buyer might look when viewing your home.) You may want to consider putting away wrapped gifts in an attic, or keeping them at a nearby relative or friends home until you are ready to celebrate.

When Christmas and Hanukkah are over, you can keep the spirit alive by hanging a colorful winter wreath on the front door, and placing colorful poinsettias and holly bushes in the yard. This will help retain a festive look for January and February when more house shoppers start to turn up (assuming you have not already sold your home!)

Do not be discouraged by the holidays! Take advantage of the low inventory on the market, and a chance to make your home stand out above the rest and sparkle!

Posted by Taydus Taydus on November 13th, 2011 8:12 PM

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