Holiday Home Shopping
Is December really a good time to list our home? Are buyers really shopping for homes during the holidays? Year after year we hear sellers asking these questions, and the answer is YES…and sometimes no.
You see, the holiday season can be a bit tricky and December is traditionally thought to be one of the worst months to put a home on the market from a national perspective. That said, we live in Florida and traditional schools of thought are usually thrown out the door. We don’t have snow to impede driving. We don’t have dead lawns, trees bearing no leaves, dirty road slush, etc. We don’t have to pile on the coats and mittens or drag out an ice scraper just to leave the driveway. Our homes tend to look bright and cheerful no matter what the season. This nuance makes it much easier to buy and sell during winter months.
If your home is currently listed or if you’re thinking of listing, consider the following:
- Don’t deck the halls out too much. This is the same advice I give no matter what month we’re in. Decoration overload can kill a sales opportunity. Maybe this is the year to cut down on a few strands of lights, 86 the yard blowups and minimize the Santa themed knickknacks. Remember, a buyer wants to picture their living space, not yours.
- Do embrace the scents of the season. Faint hints of cinnamon, citrus or vanilla help to bring warmth to your space. Just don’t overpower the nose because doing so can turn buyers away.
- Make sure your real estate agent will be in-town for the season. Holiday buyers are serious customers and it’s no different when applied to real estate. If they are making the effort to see a home during one of the busiest times of the year, be ready and prepared to sell.
At last month’s sales meeting one of our agents cited a recent poll which revealed most individuals can only do about 4 hours of family time during the holiday season. Smile. One might assume those needing an escape will seize the opportunity and call a real estate agent about the house they drove by on the way to the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!
Last year, on Christmas Day, as we were finishing up the last bites of the third or fourth meal of the day, I heard an email ping on my phone. One of our listings had received an offer! I hesitated to call the homeowner but decided the news could be a happy holiday surprise for them. Shortly after finishing their family dinner they opened the offer and felt this was the sign they were looking for! It was perfect timing. It’s a great holiday story they will certainly share for years to come.
Don’t feel bad for your agent. After almost 44 years of wearing a real estate hat, I can tell you with great certainty there is no such thing as a true “day off.” Even when we are out