'Tis The Season To Sell

Navigating A Home Sale During The Holiday Season

by Tracy Dupler // October - November - December 2023

Before you say “EEEK!” to selling your house during the holidays, consider the potential benefits that come with it. While photographing the exterior might be a tad trickier due to your Bermuda grass turning brown and colder weather conditions, a successful sale is still very achievable with the right approach. Read on for some valuable tips to make your holiday home sale not only fun, but also lucrative.

1. Be Mindful Of Timing: List your home before the holiday rush begins if possible. Buyers who are actively looking during this period are likely motivated and serious. However, we all have busy lives, buyers included. They will have parties, shopping, sheer exhaustion, etc. Once December hits, there is an opportunity for a couple of weeks of intense marketing of your home, but then the holiday ham or turkey is being served. And then there’s the napping … lots of napping. So take advantage of the pre-holiday hangover and list as early as possible.

2. Decorate Thoughtfully: While it’s common to decorate your home for the holidays, try to aim for neutral and tasteful choices. Avoid going overboard with excessive decorations (like that Grim Reaper candy bowl or talking Santa) that might distract potential buyers from appreciating your home’s true potential.

3. Maintain Curb Appeal: Even during the cooler months of the year, curb appeal matters. Remove fallen leaves from walkways, keep the yard tidy, and use outdoor lighting to create an inviting atmosphere. Decorate your porch with simple yet inviting details.

4. Minimize Clutter: Decluttering – literally one of my favorite words – is essential for any home sale. Yes, go ahead and display the family ornaments or Menorah. But that reindeer that lost its head? Let’s face it … you really are not going to get around to fixing it, so toss it. During the holiday selling season, decluttering is even more important, as you want to create a spacious and inviting atmosphere. Simple, chic, and elegant. Repeat after me …

5. Professional Photos: Enlist a professional photographer to capture your home in the best possible light. The photos should highlight your home’s features without showcasing any holiday decorations. Here’s a little secret … did you know we can digitally remove anything from your home in photos? Yes, like my Jersey origins would tell ya, I got a guy for that!

6. Highlight Coziness: Emphasize the cozy and warm aspects of your home. If you have a fireplace, showcase it. But while I understand how fun it is to decorate that mantel, please leave Jack Skelington and your gnomes in their boxes. After all, you are moving soon – you need to pack anyway and this alleviates the additional step of repacking those items. Ensure the heating system is working well to create a comfortable environment.

7. Showcase Storage Solutions: With winter gear and holiday decorations, storage becomes important. Highlight any storage solutions your home offers.

8. Price Competitively: Research the local real estate market and set a competitive price for your home. Serious buyers are active during the holiday season. No one else in their right mind (besides that nosy neighbor up the block) is wasting their time houselooking during the holiday season. Trust me. But as always, a well-priced home will sell almost overnight.

9. Flexible Showings: Be accommodating with showing times – a more flexible schedule will get more people into your home and possibly get you more offers as well. Buyers might have tighter schedules due to holiday commitments, so allowing flexible viewing hours can increase your chances of attracting serious buyers. You may not, however, get as many morning showings on the weekend, what with all those holiday parties – this may work in your favor.

10. Online Presentation: Make sure your real estate professional presents your listing well online. High-quality photos and a detailed description are essential, as many buyers start their searches online.

11. Host Open Houses: Host open houses on weekends or during evenings when potential buyers have more time to attend. Or consider extending it to a weekend of open houses … this will allow you to showcase your home throughout one full weekend for maximum exposure. Then once that offer comes in, you can enjoy the rest of your weekends during the holiday season.

12. Work With An Experienced Realtor: An experienced real estate agent can provide valuable insights and guidance to help you navigate the unique challenges of the season. Choose someone skilled and ready to market your home in the best light possible and with maximum exposure.

13. Offer Incentives: Depending on current market trends, consider enticing buyers with incentives like covering closing costs or providing a home warranty. Consult with your realtor to determine if these are necessary. In today’s competitive market, incentives are helping tremendously.

Selling your home during the holidays demands a bit of extra effort, but it can attract motivated buyers. By following these tips and maintaining a positive attitude, you can increase your chances of a successful holiday sale. Don’t underestimate the value of working with an experienced realtor to help you navigate your journey to the closing table.

Tracy Dupler

A luxury real estate agent serving the Triangle area, and the owner of Tracy Dupler Realty Group, LLC.