Typically, the period between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day are considered to be a “no sale” period in the real estate market. It’s true, there are fewer buyers out there looking for properties and there are fewer properties to look at. Why not turn those perceived disadvantages into advantages?
If there are fewer properties on the market, it means that there is less competition and while there are fewer buyers, those that are shopping are serious buyers. Prospective buyers are still looking at listing photos no matter the driving conditions or the temperature. Here are a few tips that may help you find the perfect buyer for your property no matter what the season is.
- Always have quality, professional listing photos and have photos of the property during the summer months if at all possible.
- Price it correctly. Please listen to your agent when pricing your property. It is imperative that you not be overly ambitious with your pricing.
- Keep holiday décor understated, simple and easy to maintain. Downplay your exterior light display and save the 10-foot, blow-up Santa for next year at your new home. Rather than using strictly Christmas décor try using just seasonal colours to brighten up the rooms. Change out the orchid in the bathroom for a poinsettia or amaryllis.
- Insure that the interior and exterior are well lit. Clean and dust bulbs and shades and make sure that the wattage is the maximum recommended by the manufacturer.
- Keep the exterior of the property welcoming, try using a large urn with birch sticks, greenery and some red berries near the front entrance. Add a simple wreath to the front door. Keep all lane-ways and walkways clear of snow and ice.
- Keep the property warm and cozy. This is particularly important for unoccupied properties, no one is going to feel welcomed at a property that has them shivering while touring the living space. Unoccupied properties need to have the heat on for several hours prior to a showing and if the property has been staged, keep the heat on to protect staging items from any damage caused by extreme temperature. Do your best to ensure that any property has a consistent temperature throughout, if your basement is cold and damp, add a dehumidifier and turn the heat up.
- Protect your floors and give buyers someplace to put their footwear with a boot tray and small rug, if you have the space, a small chair or bench for them to sit on would also be welcome.
While your property will have less competition during the holidays, you still need to be sure your property has been prepared for listing. All minor repairs should have been completed, prepacking of seasonal items should mean your closet and storage spaces are only about 1/3 full and excess furnishing should be removed and stored off-site. A professional stager can provide you with a list of priorities that will help attract buyers. Remember, buyers are looking for their new home not a to-do list.
So, should you list your property over the holidays? There’s no reason not to! A well-prepared property will sell no matter what the season.