While most of the world will be eating pie and exchanging gifts during the holidays, many Realtors will be hard at work — as we reported earlier, many zealous buyers hope to get an edge on their competition by placing an offer while everyone else is celebrating.
But selling a house during the holidays comes with its own set of challenges — homeowners are busy, tired from overeating and often want to spend time with family instead of inviting strangers into their homes for showings. Still, taking a home off the market to ‘wait out’ the holiday period is a monumental mistake. Instead, Realtors should just be prepared to work odd hours and have open houses at times that fit the client.
“With the holidays upon us, the kids maybe home from school or the client maybe hosting parties and/or family and friends, and the last thing they want to stress about is getting the apartment show ready and everyone out of the house,” Louisa Gillen, principal broker and co-founder of The SIMPLE Real Estate Co., told Inman.
It’s also important to keep clients’ different faiths and days of celebration in mind — most homebuyers may be celebrating Christmas, but some may be busy during Hanukkah or free in December because they celebrate Ramadan. Learning your clients’ religious customs and celebrations is more than just a matter of politeness — by knowing when your clients are free, you’ll be able to schedule open houses for maximum viewing potential.
(Pro-tip: many people go for leisurely strolls around the neighborhood in the week between Christmas and New Year’s.)
“We as agents should be especially sensitive to our clients need for time and privacy during the holidays by carefully managing their showing calendar to meet their needs while also stressing the importance of getting people into the home to meet their real estate goals and timeline,” Live Urban Real Estate brokers Kelly Kozlowski and Susan Adams told Inman. “Although this is walking a fine line, a happy balance is attainable with the right client education and guidance.”
And finally, just give everything more time — during the holidays things close earlier and people will generally have less time to lose. By planning showings in advance and being flexible with clients’ schedules, you’ll be able to reach the special clients while also leaving plenty of time to sit around the fire with some eggnog.
“Calling an hour before you want to view a house is not going to cut it during the holidays,” Bill Gassett, an agent at RE/MAX Executive Realty told Inman. “By showing courtesy you’ll increase the odds your clients will be able to get into the homes they want to view.”