5 Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season While Selling Your Home
When Perry Como sang, “There’s no place like home for the holidays,” he didn’t have a For Sale sign in the yard. Juggling last-minute showings and family get-togethers can leave you wanting to catch the next sleigh ride out of town to somewhere warm (hopefully).
But selling your home between Thanksgiving and New Year’s doesn’t have to spell disaster. You have two market traditions in your favor: motivated buyers and less competition.
These tips will have you jingle-bell rockin’ all the way to the closing table.
Deck the Halls (But Not Too Much)
There’s no reason to box up your Christmas spirit this year. Just keep decorations simple and remove as much clutter as you can to make space for the buyer.
Valerie S, a home stager here in Grand Rapids, advises home sellers to focus on the holiday trimmings that mean the most to your family, whether it’s a decorated tree, staircase or mantle. “Showcasing the square footage of your home is an asset,” Valerie says. “If bringing in a tree, remove the extra chair from the room so the space doesn’t feel crowded during the actual tour of the home.”
Here’s a pointer from Navid Ghavami, Founder of Fifth Floor Real Estate: “Make sure you shoot pictures prior to decorating,” he suggests. “Nothing says ‘We’ve been on the market forever’ like pictures with a Christmas tree and now it’s March!”
Crank Up the Cozy
Nothing stirs up nostalgia quite like the holiday season. And, folks, nostalgia sells! Just ask Cindi S. of Alger Heights. “I actually sold my house because they loved how welcoming it was when they walked through,” she says.
Then there are some other tricks depending on your home:
- Build a roaring fire in your hearth.
- Spring for a live Christmas tree.
- Prepare fresh-baked goods, mulled cider or hot cocoa. – Real Estate Agents love cookies!!
- Play soft Christmas music in the background.
Jessica waited until a couple of weeks before Christmas to bust out her holiday cheer because she figured no one would be house hunting at that time. One day, as her family decorated gingerbread houses—mess and all—her real estate agent called to schedule a last-minute showing.
“I told her that there was no way I was interrupting this family time, cleaning all this up and leaving the house,” Jessica recalls. The showing went on while Jessica’s family continued their fresh-baked creations. Those holiday browsers became buyers. “We still live in the same town, and I run into the owners who tell me they bought it because it felt so homey.”
Make a List (and Review it Twice)
If you feel overwhelmed by all the things that have to get done each day, why not take a few cues from Santa?
Create a checklist at the beginning with your agent. We can help you with this checklist in the pre-listing phase and help you stick with it! It may take an extra 15-20 minutes in the morning each day if there is a showing scheduled but it will pay off in the long run.
Keep your home neat as a pin by tackling these simple tasks each day:
- Make up beds
- Wipe down surfaces
- Pick up clutter
- Clean out the sink
- Vacuum or sweep floors
Get the Whole Family Involved
There’s an upside to having hordes of family around when your home’s on the market. You have lots of extra hands to help!
Growing up, Jenna S. remembers helping out when her childhood home was for sale during the holidays. “We all pitched in so the task of having it ready to show wasn’t as daunting as it could have been,” Jenna says.
They may be guests, but they’re still family! Don’t be afraid to assign specific tasks to get the job done.
Partner With a Us to Minimize Stress
Maintaining a show-ready home during the holidays isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to keep you from enjoying the family traditions you love best. Find balance by working with an experienced agent who knows the joys of selling a home this time of year and won’t leave you lingering on the market.