Thursday, November 15, 2012

On or Off the Market this Holiday Season? What Should a Home Seller Do?

Thanksgiving is only a week away...the relatives are planning for a visit...the turkey is in the freezer and grandma's secret stuffing recipe has been pulled from the vault. Yes, the holiday season is almost here but the house hasn’t sold.

What should a home seller do?
A first inclination for most home sellers would be to withdraw their home from the market for a few months. This is especially true in Minnesota where a white Christmas is pretty common. There is a belief that the home buyers will be preoccupied with the holiday season and only a handful of people in the market. While there is some truth to this belief, sellers can be ignoring another more important truth: Buyers looking at houses during the holidays are V-E-R-Y serious buyers. 
There are not many tire-kickers running around with a REALTOR® when there are presents to buy and gifts to wrap. November, December and January showings are a seller’s opportunity as most homes that buyers will visit at this time of the year are vacant. A buyer’s choices are down to model homes, empty relocation properties and foreclosures. Just imagine how a buyer perceives a warm home filled with the colorful sights, delightful sounds and wonderful aromas of the season. Staging a home for a sale during the holidays is a unique opportunity giving the traditional home seller the edge!

Tips for Showing & Selling During the Holidays
  1. Decorate! Tastefully of course. This might not be the year that you do the Griswold display of lights as in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but a decorated tree, candles and wreaths can add a special touch.
  2. Bake and leave out a plate of Christmas Cookies. Why should Santa have all of the extra calories?
  3. Keep the home fires burning! Make sure the fireplace is burning bright, warm and welcoming!
  4. Play holiday music. Leave out the barking version of Jingle Bells and go for instrumentals or uniquely Minnesota regional artists like The Blenders.
  5. Shovel and salt the sidewalk and driveway if necessary. No one wants to spend the holidays in the emergency room with a twisted ankle.
  6. Leave the front light on! Don’t forget it is dark during those early evening showings. Make certain buyers and their agents are able to see their way to your front door and lockbox. 

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