The question of whether or not to sell your home in Michigan during the holidays comes up every year. It is a legitimate question.The answer is…it is really up to the seller, homes sell year round…but it could have advantages.
What would you say if I told you, December has been my highest selling month six of my 32 years, even outselling May and June! Surprising, right?
I know it sounds like showing your home to strangers is an intrusion during the holidays, but it just might be worth the effort. Buyers that are out trudging through the snow to view homes during the holidays here in Michigan are serious about buying. Everyone has a million other things to do this time of year.
The agents here at The Integrity Team have come up with a few tips to consider to make the process a success:
1. Yes, Decorate!
You know how you feel driving through downtown Rochester at Christmas? With the glow of a million multi-colored lights bouncing off the windows of all the shops, it is entirely magical and impossible not to be in a good mood.
That’s the way buyers feel when they walk into a well-decorated home at Christmas!
NOTE: Having professional photographs of your home is a given, but during the holidays we recommend photographing it before you decorate. Holiday decorations in your photographs online can make a home appear cluttered and distract from its beautiful features.
2. Keep it simple.
Just like a Norman Rockwell, nothing looks more inviting than a warmly decorated home during the holidays. A well-placed wreath and string of lights instantly cozy up any atmosphere.
We’re not talking Clark Griswold here. Just like your eggnog, moderation is key. You want your holiday decor to compliment the features of your home, not distract from them. Keep it simple.
3. You’ll have less competition.
There are fewer homes on the market for prospective buyers to choose from at the Holidays. You could sell your home faster, and for a little more money than in a busier market.
4. You’ll have fewer showings.
This is a good thing! There won’t be as many interruptions to your holiday plans! Buyers who are spending their time walking through homes during the holidays are serious. They have already scoured the photos of your home online and decided it is worth their time to view it in person. Prepare for them as if it is the second showing since they have already scoured your photos online, and let them come!
5. Peppermint, spruce or pumpkin spice room fresheners – NO.
Ok, I sneaked that one in here. While it’s not really an advantage, it sure needs to be said.
A clean, fresh smell makes the best impression, any time of the year. Baking bread, vanilla, even Murphy’s Oil Soap scent is perfect; throw those plug-ins away. I’ve had more than one client have to leave a showing early it was so uncomfortable to breathe.
A very subtle clean smell is all we’re going for. (One exception, is the smell of the swanky “W” hotel. I love the light, clean smell of this hotel. They sell their fragrance online, at W Hotel website.)
5. Establish a few showing boundaries to save your sanity.
To avoid the stress of rushing around for last-minute showings during the holidays, set special showing hours.
For example, limit your showing hours from noon-7pm. When you do have a showing, take the dog and the kids for a walk in the park. Getting outside just might help prevent screen blindness in the kids, and cabin fever melt-downs. The nagging to pick up their toys and make their beds make showings stressful for kids, too.
Caution: This could hinder a sale any other time of the year, but during the holidays, buyers understand showing your home is an inconvenience; doubly so if the kids are out of school.
6. Establish a little “notice to show.”
Requesting a couple of hours’ notice to show (or even 24-hour notice if you have relatives staying with you) gives everyone time to get things picked up and properly prepare for your showing. Remember the reason you’re going through this exercise is to sell your home during the holidays, not show it. We have written extensively about preparing your home for sale to get an enticing offer here.
If your home is currently on the market, it doesn’t make sense to take your home off the market and re-list after the new year. Follow these simple tips and just keep showing, you might get a “Sold” sign for Christmas!
If you’d like to talk more about the process or timing of selling your home, shoot us an email at Hey@TheIntegrityTeam.com!