Friday, December 24, 2010

Selling During the Winter Holiday Season

Holiday festivities abound at this time of year. If your home is on the market, your celebrations may feel constrained by the need to keep your home ready for a showing at a moment’s notice. Your family’s favorite holiday decorations may have been replaced this year with less traditional winter décor. Fortunately, your efforts to reach out to potential buyers could definitely pay off in the long run!

During the time leading up to the winter holidays, people refocus their priorities on their home and family. There is a feeling of wellbeing that is not always present throughout the year. The arrival of the New Year brings a sense of starting over. Consequently, most sellers and brokers who have sold a home during the holiday season remember the experience as a positive one.

Buyers are in short supply during this time of year, but some people have no choice but to purchase a home due to relocation or family changes. Sellers may need to be more flexible in their selling price and other areas of the negotiations, because buyers are in high demand. 

However, there are far fewer homes on the market during the winter holiday season. The net result of all these combined factors really depends on the home and the potential buyer. When your home offers the features and amenities that a potential buyer is looking for, you are more likely to sell it quickly in the winter than during the spring or summer buying season.

Your home may be looking its best this time of year. Exterior blemishes might be hidden by a layer of fluffy snow and your front door is probably adorned with a festive wreath. You may have a beautiful tree adorning your front windows and a fire crackling in the fireplace. Your home may smell festive with the scents of baking, pine, and other holiday aromas. There is no better time to show your home to potential buyers than when you already are paying careful attention to your home’s appearance. Think of it as doing half the work that you would need to do during the summer.

One trick for selling during the winter is to use incentives. If you can cover the buyer’s closing costs, or a portion thereof, you may attract potential buyers to your home by advertising this information. Some real estate agents advise their winter sellers to offer a “decorating allowance” (a.k.a., a cash bonus) for purchasing their home during the winter months. Other  real estate agents call this a “landscaping allowance,” since in most areas the buyer  will  be unable to view the home’s landscaping until spring thaws the layer  of snow  that covers it.

The best news for sellers who decide to place or leave their home on the market during the winter holiday season is that people rarely “browse” homes at this time of year. Those potential buyers who visit your home are serious about buying it and are often in a hurry to do so.
This simplifies your job as a seller. With serious buyers and an already festive décor, you are well on the road to selling your home!

Ask your real estate agent for valuable insights about wintertime selling, as well as tips that can be useful for preparing your home for sale regardless of the season. Real estate agents have experience with home sales throughout the year and they know what attracts buyers in your specific area.

Scents of the Season Potpourri Recipe
Make your home smell its holiday best with this quick potpourri recipe made from ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry!
INGREDIENTS• 3 cinnamon sticks
• 3 bay leaves
• 1/4 c. whole cloves
• 1/2 lemon, halved
• 1/2 orange, halved
• 1 qt. water
PREPARATION Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer as long as desired. Check the pot often and add water as needed. The mixture may be stored in the refrigerator for several days and reused.

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