‘Tis the Season (to Sell): 6 Reasons You Shouldn’t Take Your Home Off the Market for the Holidays

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As we careen at warp speed toward Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all of the joyous (read: stressful) festivities in between, you might be tempted to take your home off the market—or hold off on listing it—until after the new year. After all, you’re swamped with cooking, shopping, and decorating, and the last thing you need is a bunch of potential buyers traipsing through your house, right?

Wrong, says Tg Glazer, branch vice president and managing broker of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Bernardsville, NJ.

“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,” Glazer says.

Why? The first reason is painfully obvious: Your house can’t actually sell if it’s off the market, says Nora Ling Lane, executive vice president for Allie Beth Allman & Associates, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate in Dallas.

“I’m pretty adamant about leaving a home on during the holidays,” Lane says. “Sure, people are busy, but I’d rather buyers see a house messy with baking in the kitchen than miss the house. Let somebody else take their house off the market and miss out.”

In fact, this time of year can actually be ideal for selling. Here’s why.

1. Your listing will rise to the top
If homeowners in your hood take a break from the market because they don’t want to bother keeping their properties in show-ready condition over the holidays, that makes for reduced inventory. And that means buyers who are actively searching will be more likely to uncover your listing.

“During the busy spring market, for example, you have way more competition than during the holidays,” Glazer explains. “So you’re much more likely to get your home sold when you’re not competing with more potential sellers.”

2. Your house looks (and smells) amazing during the holidays
With festive greenery, the sweet aroma of cookies baking, and a warm fire in the hearth, you’ve got built-in ambiance—meaning you can appeal to buyers’ senses in a way that you can’t during other times of the year, Glazer says.

“With that nice, homey feeling, homes tend to show a lot better during the holidays, while making people feel really good,” he explains.

Plus, chances are good you’ll tap into some buyer sentimentality: During the holidays, we tend to feel nostalgic about family, home, and memories. That can cause a nesting instinct to kick in—and that often results in a sale, Glazer says.

Don’t go overboard with decorations, though.

“I tell sellers not to put a Santa Claus in every corner; you don’t want clutter,” Lane cautions.

And remember: Buyers need to imagine their furniture in each room, so avoid blocking important selling features such as large windows and fireplace mantels.

And if you live in a colder climate, be sure walkways and stairs are always shoveled clean, and turn your thermostat up before each showing to keep things toasty.

“When you walk in and it’s warm and cozy, that helps in the selling process,” Lane says.

3. Holiday buyers aren’t messing around
Yes, things typically slow down in the weeks leading up to the holidays. But there are still people actively looking for homes and ready to pounce—or those who just entered the market on a short timeline and need to buy fast.

“The people who are out there looking at homes during the holidays are serious buyers,” Glazer says. “And in areas where you have bad weather, these buyers are going to weather the storms—pun intended—to visit your property.”

Potential buyers who take the time to set up home tours during the holiday season are also more motivated to move forward if they like what they see, Lane notes.

“These are not tire-kickers just looking around because it’s fun; those are all weeded out,” she says.

4. Families often search during school breaks
Speaking of serious buyers: Relocating families often capitalize on the holidays as a time to move without tumult on the kids. They want to find the right property, have stress-free negotiations, and get their brood settled before school starts up again in January, Lane says.

“It’s a good time to show your house to people from out of town,” she says.

5. It can be easier to close a transaction in December
Buyers can often get their loans processed and approved faster in November or December than they would in the traditionally busy spring months, says Bill Gassett, a Realtor® with Re/Max Executive Realty in Hopkinton, MA. It all comes down to the holiday slowdown: Fewer home sales are on deck to process, plus lenders are motivated to close deals before the end of the year.

“I’ve seen from personal experience that because of the low volume of business, things move quicker with lenders,” says Gassett, who has been in the business for 31 years.

6. The holidays give you a chance to adjust your selling strategy
If your home’s been languishing on the market for several weeks—or months (eek!)—you might be feeling antsy. Maybe the best solution is to take it off the market and try again after the new year.

Fight the urge! You’re better off staying the course and using this slow time to tweak your selling strategy. Would home staging draw in buyers? Do you need to tackle that paint job you’d been putting off? Should you reassess your asking price?

“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 says. “You’re much better off getting the price in line with where it should be, and leaving it on through the holidays.”

Lane recently had clients who wanted to take their home off the market during the holidays and relist in January. She talked them out of it, had several showings, and signed the contract on Christmas Eve.

“I’ve sold more houses in December than in most months,” Lane says. “It’s always a busy month for me.”

 

Posted by Wendy Helfenbaum on realtor.com

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7 Reasons to List Your Home This Holiday Season

Every year at this time, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to put their homes on the market for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays.

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. There is less competition for you as a seller right now. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:

  1. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream home during the busy spring and summer months are still searching!
  2. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge reaching new heights in 2018, which will lessen the demand for your house.

Bottom Line

Waiting until after the holidays to sell your home probably doesn’t make sense.

 

Posted by The KCM Crew

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Why You Shouldn’t Take Your House Off the Market During the Holidays

If you are one of the many homeowners who is debating taking your home off the market for the next few weeks, don’t! You will miss the great opportunity you have right now!

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors(NAR), revealed that the inventory of homes for sale has dropped to a 4.3-month supply.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal’ market, explained below:

There are more buyers that are ready, willing, and able to buy now than there have been in years! The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with the demand of these buyers.

Bottom Line

Home prices are appreciating in this seller’s market. Making your home available over the next few weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will be competing against each other to buy it.

Posted by The KCM Crew

Waiting until after the Holidays Isn’t a Smart Decision

Every year at this time, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to put their home on the market for the first time. Others who already have their home on the market decide to take it off the market until after the holidays. Here are six great reasons not to wait:

1. Relocation buyers are out there. Companies are not concerned with holiday time and if the buyers have kids, they want them to get into school after the holidays.

2. Purchasers that are looking for a home during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy.

3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.

4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.

5. There is less competition for you as a seller right now. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:

6. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will make a comeback in 2016. This will lessen the demand for your house.

Bottom Line

Waiting until after the holidays to sell your home probably doesn’t make sense.

Posted by The KCM Crew

10 Ideas for Small Space Holiday Decor

Don’t let limited space turn you into Scrooge. Festive holiday decor is possible, even in small homes, with these tips.

Do you live in a small space and feeling challenged when it comes to holiday decorating options? Just because that 8-foot Noble Fir won’t fit in your living area, doesn’t mean your vision of holiday decorating and celebration should be squelched. Check out these 10 decor ideas for the holidays, and you’ll be set for the cheer of the season.

Dress your door

Your front door sets the tone for what is happening on your interior. Dress your front door with an evergreen swag adorned in elements showcased within your home.

A bit of wired ribbon, branches and feathers can do the trick — and be scaled to an appropriate size for your space.

Leverage your side tables

Let side tables do their part by dressing them with decorative and functional elements. A dining sideboard can work double duty holding cheery napkins, small gifts and silverware overflow for your holiday guests.

Spruce up your bar cart

If space is limited, you might not be able to hang every ornament you own on a tree, but there’s no reason to keep them all boxed up, either. Look for unexpected places to add in the color of ornaments by trying them on a bar cart, kitchen bowl or over a bathroom doorway for added sparkle.

Create a sweet treat

When hosting guests, whip up desserts and drinks that reflect the holidays and your decor. Cupcakes with sprinkles or even a hot cocoa bar for kids can instantly create a reason for holiday celebration.

The trays, cake stand or plates you place them on can make a difference, too, so be sure to take that into consideration when displaying your treats.

Create a table setting

Mix and match holiday dishes with china and chargers. Layer in holiday napkins and table linens for a simple, yet beautiful addition to your decor.

Try setting the table a few hours before the party so guests can enjoy the sophisticated or whimsical look. Don’t forget to incorporate the dining chairs, too, by adding a greenery detail to the back of the chair or a patterned pillow to the seat.

Show off a garland

Your banister or railings can add to your holiday decor, too. Take fresh garland to new heights with a string of lights and wired ribbon. Simply blend in ornaments you may typically use on a tree, layering different colors and textures for depth.

Adorn the bedding

Get your holiday guests in the spirit by adding a little “jingle” to their guest suite. Simply tuck some patterned shams or a festive throw pillow into their bedding scheme.

If you’re feeling extra creative, leave a small arrangement in a silver julep cup on their nightstand.

Begin a countdown

Walls and mantles can be an incredible asset for small space holiday decorating. The December countdown is easy with an advent calendar in the form of garland. Drape your wall or mantle with the numbered fabric piece and add in holiday goodies to be discovered each day of the month.

Celebrate stockings

Stockings are a personal element that can add a festive feel to your holiday decor.  Monogram stockings for family, friends or pets so all feel included in the celebration.

Choose fabrics that complement your interior while adding interest to the season. Throughout the month, tuck gifts into each stocking to keep them guessing!

This post was originally published by Kerrie Kelly on Zillow Blog.

3 Keys to Non-Traditional Holiday Decor

Forget the traditional holiday decorating rules and push yourself to find decor that is new, fresh and fits within your current home decor.

The holidays are a time when sprucing up your home hits an all-time high, but it can be difficult to find festive decorations in your usual style. While there is nothing wrong with snowmen, Santa figurines and lots of red and green, many homeowners today are looking for a new take on the holidays.

Follow these three tips below and you will have a gorgeous yet non-traditional holiday home.

Choose a Fresh Color Scheme

Who says that holiday decor has to be traditional red and green? Try something new. Go with all neutrals and mixed metallics. Or try unique color combinations that may not scream holiday, but create a sophisticated celebratory look when used in the right way.

This tree was inspired by the navy, turquoise, red and peach vintage shawl used here as a tree skirt.

Carry the theme throughout your holiday home with colored ornaments, pillows and throws.

Surprising color pairings like this blue woven throw with the red floral pillow really freshen up your decor. But nearly any color scheme can convey holiday spirit when you bring in shiny ornaments and cozy textures.

Use Natural Elements

Using natural elements like greenery, pinecones and berries brings in festive charm without feeling cheesy.

Plain garlands are beautiful all on their own! They don’t even need the traditional red bows. Local grocery stores, home improvement stores and farmer’s markets have great selections of natural garlands and wreaths.

For an even more unique holiday look, try magnolia garlands or garlands made from materials other than traditional pine branches.

Think Outside the Box

Look at materials differently. Find everyday items that, when used in the right way, can be great holiday decor. For example, trims from your local fabric store can make great garlands, on their own or paired with greenery. They will feel new and unique compared to a traditional ornament garland.

Also, experiment with using fabrics and patterns that wouldn’t normally be seen as Christmas. While plaid is a traditional Christmas pattern, pairing it here with a brighter teal napkin feels unexpected.

Mint green plates wouldn’t normally be used for a holiday place setting, but pairing them with gold pinecones and collected tree centerpiece creates a stylish holiday table, ready for entertaining.

Forget the traditional holiday decorating rules and push yourself to find decor that is new, fresh and fits within your home’s current home style. Not only will you end up with a beautiful holiday home, but one that is a complete reflection of you and your family. What more could you want this time of year?

This post was originally published by Lindsay Jackman on Zillow Blog.

How to Decorate for the Holidays When Selling Your Home

Although the holiday season can be a hectic time for showing and selling your home, there is a major advantage to staging and showing your home at this time of year: You have a chance to show your home at its very best, adorned with warmth and cheer that’s sure to charm.

YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Thinkstock

YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Thinkstock

Nothing is more inviting than a home brimming with greenery, twinkling lights and holiday decorations. But how do you do it without overdoing it for potential buyers?

The Exterior

First impressions are important. If you live in a snowy area, make sure walkways are cleared. Do you have late fall leaves littering the ground? Rake them up. Also, make sure the walks and stairs are free of ice.

A few exterior holiday lights or decorations show pride in ownership and seasonal cheer, but they don’t add anything during the day when potential home buyers will be looking at your home—so don’t overdo them.

Another thing to consider: Would-be buyers may view it favorably if nearby homes are brimming with lights—it shows unity and neighborliness—so you’ll want to find a tasteful balance.

To make your home shine during the day, look for a few tasteful seasonal decorations, such as a pine wreath for the front door or a holiday-themed welcome mat.

The Interior

A tree in the living room or den can help potential buyers envision themselves spending many holidays to come in your home, but keep these tips in mind when choosing and decorating your tree:

  • Look for a tree that fits in the space, without crowding it. You don’t want to make the room look small or uninviting.
  • Choose neutral decorations such as clear lights, gold ball ornaments or simple snowflakes. Keep the personal family ornaments packed up this year.
  • Move furniture out of the room if necessary to make the tree fit.

Adding a few decorations throughout the house can enhance the beauty of your home; however, keep decorations on the conservative side. You want your house to be noticed—not your stuff. For example, a simple garland along the staircase or a few holiday candles on the mantle or in the kitchen all add a touch of the season without going overboard.

Setting the Stage for Selling Your Home

When you’re showing your home to potential buyers, add a few finishing touches to make your home feel more open and inviting.

  • Winter can be a dreary season; to combat this open curtains and blinds to let in more natural light.
  • If it won’t be left unattended, ask a REALTOR® to start a fire in the fireplace.
  • Turn up the heat so buyers aren’t rushing through to get out of the cold.
  • Bake holiday cookies or make hot chocolate on the stove. The scents will fill the air and remind buyers of their own holiday traditions.
  • Turn on the outside lights if the sun is setting and light up the tree.

Ultimately, you want to convey the love, comfort and joy your family has shared in the house, so that buyers will be eager to move in and create their own holiday memories.

Published by Angela Colley on realtor.com. Updated from an earlier version by the realtor.com® team.