Louisville, Ky. – There is the perception that the winter months are considered the worst time of year to sell your home. While the thought might put a damper your holiday cheer, the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors (GLAR) has five good reasons to consider listing your home during this most special time of year, as well as some helpful tips.
- American Homeowner Mobility Continues to Increase
Americans are far more mobile in their lifestyles than they used to be. Occupations change at a higher rate. Companies relocate more often. The vast changes in technology create boom scenarios that make one region flush with jobs after another. Home buyers employed in these business sectors are called upon to move across the country at any point in the year, and their employers often reimburse them through a relocation package to sell their home and buy a new one. When they arrive in a new city, it doesn’t matter if it’s January or July, they’re going to buy a home fairly quickly.
- Seller Competition Is Lighter During the Holidays
While these new crops of international and mobile American home buyers are searching for homes at odd times of the year, home sellers are often still reluctant to list their homes during the holidays. This creates a shortage of inventory and a strong seller’s market in many cases. The home seller who is on the market in an area with very few comparable homes is in a unique position of power because of the scarcity of comparable homes, and can often stick strongly to the price they’re hoping to get.
- Holiday Home Shoppers Are More Motivated
Take the average American home buyer who isn’t relocating. They’d just like to buy a home in the town they live in, and they aren’t particularly motivated by time so they will often take a break from searching during the holidays. The home buyers who remain active in their searches, however, are the extremely motivated buyers. They’re willing to alter their holiday schedules and brave bad weather to get into a home. These are the kinds of buyers that home sellers dream about because they want to move right away and are willing to spend significant money to relieve their anxiousness about getting on with the home buying process.
- Internet Searches During the Holidays Surge
Many home buyers devote a larger portion of their house hunting time during the holidays to searching online, as opposed to seeing homes in person. The added convenience of whittling down a list of preferred homes from the warmth of the buyer’s home during bad weather makes real estate website traffic kick up significantly when the overall market sales might be slowing down. To have your home discovered during this timeframe, it must be on the market. Word-of-mouth, drive-by sightings, and other forms of direct-contact marketing diminish significantly during bad weather, but homes advertised correctly online get significantly more exposure than the average home, and the sellers that are taking a break from being on the market are as good as non-existent to the online buyer.
- The Growth of International Buyers
The number of home buyers from foreign nations has increased dramatically as the real estate market in the U.S. has improved over the past few years, and these buyers don’t observe the same calendar of events as most Americans. We’ve seen significant upticks in buyer showings and home sales around holiday periods that traditionally were unofficial vacation periods for the real estate industry.
A few tips to help your home sell during the holidays include:
- Don’t go overboard with holiday décor.
Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornmentsthat are too large can clutter your home and distract buyers. Also, be sensitive to the possibility of offending buyers by opting for general winter decorations rather than religious themes.
- Make curb appeal a top priority.
After the leaves change colors and the trees lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior appearance of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are cleared of snow, ice and leaves.
- Take professional real estate photos.
As stated above, then the weather is inclement, homebuyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings online. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.
- Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold.
Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings by cranking up the heat, playing soft classical music and offering holiday treats. When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features.