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Real Estate Tips

Should You Sell Your Home During the Holiday Season?

Before you begin the task of attempting to sell your homes during the holiday season it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of doing so.

December 9, 2018

By

Lani Redinger

on

Jan 22, 2019

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Before you begin the task of attempting to sell your homes during the holiday season it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of doing so. While your realtor may point out that those coming through during this time will be serious buyers, if you don’t absolutely need to sell by then, you may want to opt to spend this time enjoying your family.

Should you sell your home during the holiday season?
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That being said, you may not have that luxury, as you may face deadlines that require your home be sold by the year’s end, and there may be buyers in the same situation. Generally though there will be less active buyers looking at this time.

house decorated with tons of Christmas lights
If you and your family must decorate your home like this each year, you may want to wait until after the holidays to sell your home. Keep reading for some reasons why.

Why You Should Avoid Selling During the Holidays

Reasons to avoid selling include:

  • Inconvenience
  • Buyers Perception
  • Availability
  • Demand
  • Losing out on a chance at a new listing

Inconvenience

The most obvious reason to put a hold on selling during the holidays is the added inconvenience it poses. Keeping you home ready for a showing at a moments notice is always stressful, but when you add the fuller schedules the holidays bring, from extra shopping, cooking and gift wrapping, not to mention potential travel and family affairs, it may not be worth the effort for the amount of interest you may get.

Buyers Perception

Being listed during the holidays may read as you’re more motivated to sell. You may receive a higher number of lowball offers and feel pressure to take less than you are worth.

Availability

Any offers made after mid-month will be nearly impossible to close before the New Year, between the realtors being less available and other institutions involved having time off, it will certainly impede if not inhibit the process.

Demand

The basic math of the situation is not in your favor. Buyers active at this time of year likely have very specific needs to be looking at this time and you may not fit their bill. This complied with the sharp decrease in demand may make the efforts involved in showing now, not worth it.

Losing out on a chance at a new listing

When you remove yourself from the listings at this time, you’ll have the opportunity to return as a new listing in January when demand picks back up. If you stay on the market you will lose this chance. While you could remove at any time during the process, buyers are much less suspicious of unlisting during the holidays.

Other Things to Consider

Beyond these variables you’ll want to factor in the local customs in your area. Every community is different. There are certainly areas where the holiday season is not as popular as others and it’s business as usual on all fronts.

While the reduced inventory at this time could be an advantage, it may not meet the reduce in demand. Especially in areas with heavy snowfall, like Ohio, that can make trudging out in the show to showing not only unpleasant but dangerous.

beautiful homes in housing complex in snowy weather
Weather like this can make home buying challenging!

One possible motivation to sell during this time of year would be if you have a challenging listing. Whether it’s location or defects, the reduced inventory will help keep your less than optimal home at the top of the list, whereas it will likely drop to the bottom once Spring arrives and the inventory influxes considerably.

When You Plan to Sell During the Holidays

After considering all of these details, if you still must sell during this time of year, you’ll need to decide how to show your home at a time when many people have traditional ways to decorate their home.

Cut back on any decorations regardless of what holidays you participate in. Every buyer will have their own perceptions you can’t control, so avoid giving them any bias by protecting your privacy and removing their ability to have any judgement. The decorations can also make your home feel cluttered or less spacious. You want the buyers to imagine their things in your space and with the personal tastes that go in to holiday decorating you’re impairing their ability to do so with your own holiday decor.

living area decorated with many holiday decorations
This is an example of how not to decorate your home if you plan to sell it during the holiday season.

If you simply can’t fathom a holiday season without decorations, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep the decorations to the barest minimum you can manage.
  • Avoid decorating over important selling features like a mantle, elegants stairs, or stained glass windows.
  • Use red more subtly, as red is an emotionally charged color.
  • Pare down the size of a Christmas tree. Stick with something in the table top, 4 foot range to take up less space.
  • Embrace organic natural elements versus synthetic, choose evergreen garland over red ribbon or banners.
  • Embrace “wintery” decor versus specific holiday themes. For example display a centerpiece of pine cones instead of a Santa Claus Figure.
  • Leave out fresh holiday cookies and festive napkins for your viewers
  • Prepare apple cider on the stove and offer it to guests. The smell and warm will comfort them.

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