I swear it was the middle of summer like five days ago and boom, here we are looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s is literally right around the corner. Where are the days going? While a lot of the country is looking forward to the holiday season, some people are concerned about selling. It’s not ideal to sell your home or even buy a home around the holidays, but it still happens and whether it’s a job change, family status change, or you have finally found the home of your dreams, selling before the end of the year can be stressful. However, there are some ways to do it so that you feel confident and prepared. Here are my top 10 tips for selling your home before Christmas.
Make sure you’ve done enough research on the current housing market before listing your home or even before nailing down a real estate agent. And remember, real estate markets change from one neighborhood to another so it’s a good idea to browse the neighborhood and find out what’s selling and tour any open houses that might be available.
#2. Get prepared.
“Start arranging your finances early. If you know about what your home will sell for you should be able to work out a budget so that you can plan on putting a hefty down payment on your next home. Make sure you’re financially prepared for the move itself including moving vans, traveling costs, and packing materials.”– Panama City Beach Condo Specialist
#3. Get listed as quickly as possible.
Find a real estate agent that is familiar with homes and how they’re selling in your particular neighborhood. Get the home on the market as quickly as possible. Remember, someone else’s going to want to buy and close before Christmas as well.
#4. Have a list of items that need fixing, repairs, or replacements.
“There’s always odd jobs and minor repairs that need to happen before the home sells and whether your home inspection report tells you to do it or not, it’s a good idea to get started on that. Have a DIY list of resources or ask your real estate agent who they use for minor repairs.” – Denlin Properties
#5. Get your staging under control.
Stage homes tend to sell faster and for more money so you’ll definitely want to make sure that your home is properly staged. If you need to, hire a staging company to give you tips and tricks and whether they use their furniture or your own, the home needs to have a great flow and welcome buyers in.
#6. Stay on top of all timelines.
“One of the biggest challenges to selling this time of year is keeping everyone on the right timeline. Make sure your agent is very familiar with the process of buying and selling simultaneously. Stay in communication with escrow, lenders, agents, and anyone else involved in the purchase and sale of both properties.” – Westbrook REI Cash Home Buyers in Sacramento
#7. Be flexible.
This time of year it gets darker earlier and we have to be flexible with showing the home on the buyer’s schedule. Of course, buyers need to be reasonable as you would be showing a house at midnight or 6 AM, but being flexible means that more people will be in the door and be able to see your home.
#8. Offer photos of the home during different seasons.
“Because it gets so dark this time of year buyers might not be able to even see the backyard or how beautiful the landscaping is. Take photos of the home during the day when it’s light or even if you have photos during the summer and spring when a beautiful tree may be in full bloom. If buyers can see the home in all seasons they have a better idea of what they are buying.” – Lineage Tree Care
#9. Don’t forget tax breaks.
Winter homebuyers may be more motivated to get the tax benefits of buying a home before the end of the year. Homebuyers can write off some of the expenses of their home purchase such as mortgage interest, private mortgage insurance premiums, and real estate taxes. Make sure you talk to your real estate agent about the benefits you can get to selling before the end of the year.
#10. Trust your agent.
As a real estate agent, I don’t mess around with pricing a home. If you’re serious about selling you have to trust me when I’m pricing it for today’s buyers. The market changes on a dime around here and by not pricing it properly you risk sitting on the market longer than necessary. If you want to close before Christmas we need to get in, get serious, and price the home to sell. I’m not necessarily saying that we are giving the home away, but we also don’t have the luxury of sitting on the market for six months.