As we approach the holidays, many Realtors are considering how best to juggle work and family. In the past, many have chosen to put the selling process on hold until January when buyers are back on the grind.
But according to a growing body of agents, that’s not a good approach.
“It’s a huge, huge mistake to either remove your home from the market during the holiday season, or to not put your home on the market if you’re getting ready to sell,” TG Glazer, branch vice president and managing broker of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, told Realtor.com.
On the contrary, many buyers are hoping to take advantage of the holiday slowdown to place an offer, Live Urban Real Estate brokers Kelly Kozlowski and Susan Adams told Inman. The buyers who go to listings during the holidays are usually extra committed — so Realtors who work close or even through the holidays can get an edge on their competition and score a major sale.
“These are not tire-kickers just looking around because it’s fun,” Glazer said. “Those are all weeded out.”
But naturally, showing a home close to Thanksgiving or Christmas comes with its own challenges — be prepared that the buyer’s mortgage and title applications may take longer due to shortened office schedules.
“This can be a wonderful time to be a buyer, so when you do write an offer be sure to make sure your deadlines do not end up on any big holidays, and give the lender and title company extra time since their offices might be a bit under staffed,” Kozlowski and Adams said.
Bill Gassett, an agent at RE/MAX Executive Realty, also advises keeping properties in cold parts of the country clear of snow and slush — they pose a liability and could simply drive away potential viewers. Another selling strategy is to turn the holiday season in your favor. Put up some lights or even have a holiday-themed open house.
“The inside should be warm and inviting,” Gassett said. “You might even consider having a fire burning along with some festive candles and some winter aromas.”
That said, the holiday sales slowdown can still happen — and, if it does, you might want to use the lull to review your strategy, Realtor.com advises. This could mean everything from reassessing the asking price and going over selling technique to giving the house the paint job that the owners had put off.
“Generally, the reason a house does not sell is because it’s not priced right, and if it’s been sitting on the market, nothing will change over a 30-day period if you’re pricing it the same,” Glazer told Realtor.com. “You’re much better off getting the price in line with where it should be, and leaving it on through the holidays.”