Don’t Fear The Holidays When Selling Your Home
Traditionally the summer months are the hot months of the real estate market (both literally and figuratively), but there are still tons of buyers and sellers looking to make their move in the fall in winter months. Listing your home for sale during the holidays does bring about some unique challenges, but with a little bit of attention, you can sell your home, even during the holidays.
- Winter weather woes. Ok, let’s be real. We’re in Texas…South Texas at that. The weather is never really that bad. But we do hit a few really good cold snaps each year and the occasional ice storm heads our way as well. Those freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on our homes, especially when we aren’t accustomed to handling it. If your home is listed for sale and the temperatures drop, here are a few things you can do to make sure your asset is protected.
- Cover pipes. Wrap them up so they don’t burst after freezing and warming does some contraction, pipe cracking magic on them.
- Cover plants. Most big box stores sell specialty plant covers, but a good old sheet will also work. The idea is to trap the heat of the plants and keep them from flash freezing and then dying.
- Keep thermostats set to reasonable temperatures. Especially if your house is vacant, you’ll want to keep the utilities (in this case the heater) on just enough to a) keep pipes inside from freezing and b) keep potential buyers comfortable enough that they can stand to spend some time admiring your beautiful property instead of making a mad dash for the warmth and comfort of their cars.
- Doormats are your friend. With the winter weather you see gross wet conditions. It rains outside, buyers want to come inside, and then they bring the wetness and the dirt along with them. Consider putting a mat at the front door (both on the inside and the outside your front door) as well as an umbrella stand or jacket hook and towels. It’s those extra touches that keep your home at the top of the list.
- Having professional marketing photos taken before the addition of any décor items. While you hope that the home sells quickly, it may not, and there is little in this world more awkward than looking at an MLS listing in March or April that still includes a Christmas tree.
- Keep it neutral. This is not one of those politically correct statements or even one trying to stop you from celebrating your religious beliefs or traditions. It’s about keeping your home as appealing and inviting to as many people as possible. For the same reasons that we advise a neutral color pallet, removal of highly personal items or photos, and other staging tips, we advise you to keep your holiday décor sophisticated, toned down a smidge, and inviting/appealing to all.
- Remember the children. At Halloween, you don’t want to terrify a potential buyer’s five year old so badly that they never want to set foot near the property ever again. And later in the year another set of potential buyers may have a roaming toddler eager to touch decorative candles, poke at (and possibly accidentally break) valuable tree ornaments, or even slip and fall on some faux snow piled near a door. Just be mindful that you will have potential buyers coming through your home at any given time.
image courtesy of Jamie McCaffrey