We just had the first measurable Minnesota snowfall so that means the winter holidays are just around the corner. But if what if the house hasn’t sold yet? What should a seller do?
At first inclination many sellers opt to cancel their listing and withdraw their home from the multiple listing service believing that the preoccupation with the holiday season puts the brakes on most home purchases. While many home buyers will be distracted, sellers can be ignoring a real opportunity: ANY buyer looking at houses during the holidays is VERY serious about buying a home. There are not many tire-kickers running around with a REALTOR® when there are presents to buy, cookies to bake and gifts to wrap. November, December and January showings are a seller’s opportunity as most homes that buyers visit at this time of the year are vacant. Quite often, a buyer’s choices are down to model homes, vacated relocation properties and foreclosures. Providing the opportunity for a buyer to visit a home filled with the colorful sights, delightful sounds and wonderful aromas of the season is a great option for those wanting to sell.
Tips for Showing and Selling During the Holidays
- Decorate! But don't go overboard with the lights and decor! This is not the time for a Griswold inspired display of lights as in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but a decorated tree, candles and wreaths can add a special touch.
- Bake Christmas Cookies. Share a few with the buyers and agents viewing your home. Why should Santa have all of the extra calories?
- Make sure the fireplace is burning bright, warm and welcoming!
- Play holiday music. Leave out the nerve-grating "Santa got Run Over by a Reindeer" type carols and go for instrumentals or uniquely Minnesota regional artists like The Blenders.
- Shovel and salt the driveway as necessary. No one wants to spend the holidays in the emergency room with a twisted ankle and bruised tailbone.
- Turn the heat up for showings…Show visitors how well the furnace works. Warmth is such a treat after visiting vacant homes with the thermostat turned way down!
- Leave the front light on! Don’t forget it is dark out during those early evening showings. Make certain buyers and their agents are able to see their way to your front door and open the lockbox.
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