Selling your home during the holidays…
Sellers often ask whether it is a good idea to try to sell their home during the holiday season or if it is better to wait until January. Obviously, trying to sell your home during the holiday season can place some additional stress on an already busy schedule. However, the buyers that are out looking this time of year are serious buyers and one thing is for sure: you can’t sell your home if it is not listed. Over the past six years in the communities listed in this report there was an average of 43 homes that went pending in the month of December. This may be down from the 59 sales per month average we have had over the past twelve months, but I would bet that those sellers that did find buyers in December were pretty happy with their holiday gift.
Homes often look their very best when they are decorated for the holiday, so it can be the perfect time of the year to have a prospective buyer look at your home. But there are some things to remember. Make sure your walkway is cleared and sanded and that the entrance to your home is decorated conservatively with a nice wreath and maybe a string or two of lights rather than having it look like Chevy Chase’s house in “Christmas Vacation”. If global warming doesn’t get us this year, an old fashioned snowman would be a nice touch. Put out a colorful Christmas door mat so that visitors can wipe the snow off their feet before entering your home.
Make sure the inside of your home is at its holiday best and spotless. Go conservative on the decorations inside as well. Pick out a smaller tree than you normally get and remove some of the furniture if necessary to make your living room look larger. Instead of putting a lot of presents under the tree, just put a few (yes I know, this year we’ll be lucky to have anything under the tree anyway!) and hide the rest away in a closet. Don’t overdue the decorations to the point that they cover up the important details of your home. We want the buyer to be looking at the house, not the fifty piece Snow Village or a dozen Anna Lee Christmas characters perched precariously on the mantel. Less is more here. Be charming, not tacky.
Lighting the fireplace will help show how warm and cozy your home is during this time of year. Put on some great Christmas songs like Bing Crosby’s “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” or “Feliz Navidad”. Playing “Grandma Got Run over By a Reindeer” or ‘Snoopy’s Christmas” won’t create exactly the mood we are looking for. You should also appeal to the buyer’s sense of smell so baking (not burning) some cookies or brownies before the showing will do the trick. Leaving some fresh baked treats out for the buyers (and their agent) along with maybe some Egg Nog is a nice gesture and it might help seal the deal . (I like mine spiked just a little-that could even work on the buyers). The whole point is to show off your home at its holiday best. Creating a festive, warm and appealing feeling will make buyers feel that this just could be the home where they would like to spend the next holiday season.
The total number of residential homes available in the towns included in this marker report as of December 1 stood at 1004 which represents about 17.5 months worth of inventory. That is way more than Santa can haul around in his sleigh! But at least the inventory level is headed in the right direction as this total is down from the 1100 homes on the market last December as well as down from November’s total of 1146. Maybe Santa will help us out by bringing a few more buyers to the Lakes Region this Christmas. Have you done your Christmas wish list yet??