Tips For Holiday Home Sellers
Many homeowners assume that they should wait until spring or summer to list their homes for sale, but according to Locations REALTOR® Corinda Wong, there are several surprising benefits to listing your home during the holidays.
Historically, December has the fewest new listings of any month – about 40 percent less than the average month. Fewer new listings mean fewer choices for home shoppers, which can help your home to stand out from the springtime crowd, especially if it’s a unique or challenging home. Forty percent fewer new listings also means less competition from other home sellers. If yours is the only home for sale on the block (as long as it’s properly priced) you won’t have to worry about other sellers undercutting your price.
Another benefit to listing your home over the holidays is that you’ll likely attract serious buyers who are ready to act. Most people who don’t need to move during the holidays will typically wait until the holidays have passed to begin their home search. That narrows the pool of December home shoppers to those who are serious about getting into a new home as soon as possible, due to a job relocation, an expiring lease or an offer on their current home. These home shoppers may also be looking to get a year-end tax break by writing off some their home purchase expenses before Dec. 31.
More serious buyers, coupled with year-end tax breaks, add up to quicker sales, too. Buyers are often able to get loan approval more quickly in December than in the spring and summer months, when lenders are busier.
“Lenders usually have more capacity in December to process and underwrite loans, which can mean quicker approvals and more efficient loan transactions from start to finish,” explained Jay Miller, mortgage loan originator at Compass Home Loans.
“A tastefully decorated home can tug at the heartstrings of prospective homebuyers,” said Wong. She recommends a lighter touch when decking the halls for an open house or showing. A smaller tree with traditional white lights and uniform ornaments can lend a festive glow to your living room – just be sure that it doesn’t obstruct a path through the room or hide the home’s features. A simple evergreen wreath and simmering apple cider on the stove (or cookies in the oven!) can also help to make a home feel warm and cozy.
While there are many benefits to listing your home for sale during the holiday season, there are some challenges, too. Wong advises December home sellers to be flexible – showing requests may come up at inopportune times, and presents may need to be stored elsewhere (like a secured office or a friend or family member’s home).
A full-time, experienced REALTOR® can design a marketing plan that will target motivated buyers and help to stage your home with just the right amount of holiday magic.
If you don’t have a REALTOR®, visit LocationsHawaii.com/agent to select an agent by office location or languages spoken.