This time of year has historically been one of the slowest for real estate. Many people go out of town to visit family, and those who stay in town can struggle to plan showings around holiday parties and unusual work hours. Modern technology has made shopping for a home more of a year-round process than it was in the past. Today’s buyers can continue their home searches in the midst of holiday festivities with the help of the internet and mobile apps.
Contrary to popular belief, sellers who weather the real estate market during the holiday season may enjoy several advantages. With so many realtors and homeowners clinging to the assumption that it is not worthwhile to list until January, buyers will have a smaller selection of properties from which to choose. Less competition increases the likelihood that a particular home on the market will garner an offer. When more properties flood the market after New Year, this advantage will disappear.
Furthermore, buyers who are taking time off from their holiday activities to search for a home are more likely to be serious about moving as soon as possible. Therefore, while homes on the market during the holidays will attract fewer potential buyers, the showings that they have may be more likely to yield an offer. If you are facing a holiday season with your home on the market, heed these tips to help you secure a sale without sacrificing the festive spirit:
1. If you do not feel ready to move and do not have a strict timeframe within which to do so, consider delaying until you are more prepared. If you find yourself resisting changes that will make your home more appealing to buyers or insisting on a high listing price against the advice of your realtor, you may simply not be ready to leave. Do not feel pressured by your realtor’s agenda; selling your house is a deeply personal process and you do not want to regret rushing it unnecessarily.
2. If the move is necessary but unwanted, be honest with your agent and tell him or her that you will require some patience. Realtors are accustomed to working with sellers facing all sorts of difficult situations, and being upfront with your agent about potential problems that you foresee will enable him or her to act in your best interest.
3. Preserve memories with the help of technology. As you are preparing to pack your belongings, take photos of your favorite spots in your home, and scan letters and other important papers into the computer. This will help you eliminate paper to reduce your moving burden while still maintaining a permanent copy of the things that are important to you.
4. Use a professional stager. He or she will help you remove your personal items and neutralize the home so that buyers will view it as a blank slate. This should help accelerate your process of moving on and seeing your home for what it is when it is for sale: a commodity that must be marketed and purchased by the right buyer.
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