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5 Tips For Selling a House During the Holidays

The holiday season is a notoriously slow time for home sales. People are busy during the holidays, or they’re visiting or hosting family, so a lot of people choose to wait until spring to list their homes.

But there can be some substantial advantages to selling during the holiday season. There’s less inventory, so you’re not competing with the flood of homes that hit the market every spring. Buyers are serious — the people who like to visit open houses casually aren’t out and about when the weather is cold. And you can take advantage of the spirit of the holidays by making the home seem nice and cozy. Here’s how.

1. Keep it Warm

When people come to see your house and are walking in out of the cold, their immediate first impression should be, “it’s nice in here!” Keep the thermostat up to a balmy 72 degrees, and make sure to heat the place well before guests arrive or before the open house starts.

2. Decorate, But Don’t Go Overboard

You want to embrace the holidays, but you don’t want the house to seem tacky or overdone. New buyers need to see the house as a blank canvas, and they can’t do that if there’s a ten-foot inflatable snowman in the front yard.

Instead, go with some subtle garlands on the porch, a simple wreath on the door, and maybe a few frosted pine cones in a bowl on the dining table. Outside, make sure to put lights on the balcony and the trees in the front yard — people like to drive by the house they’re considering when there’s no one there, and you want it to look festive then, too!

3. Protect the Carpets

On a logistical note, you don’t want to mess up the house you’re selling by letting people track mud all over the place from the messy roads outside. Encourage guests to take off their shoes at the door — you can even have a bin of festive slippers for them to change into — and the carpets will see a lot less wear and tear.

In some cases, you might even want to replace the carpets entirely. With Sloane’s Carpet Secret’s Partner Program, our real estate partners can save an extra 10 percent off of new carpets and pads, on top of the 50 to 70 percent that you’re already saving off of other carpet retailers’ products.

4. Keep Curb Appeal Up

Fallen leaves and dirty piles of snow can really make a house look more dilapidated than it needs to. You can find maintenance services for cheap that will rake leaves, mow lawns, shovel snow, and de-ice sidewalks for a very affordable price so that everything stays looking nice when prospective buyers come by.

5. Focus on Photos

You’ll get less foot traffic in the winter, as people don’t want to be out in the cold — and that means that more people will be shopping online than usual. If they’re looking at listings online, photos will be even more important than they usually are.

Take lots and lots of thorough, professional, well-lit photos of every room in the house from multiple angles. Take pictures of the outside as well. You might even want to consider doing a video tour to give people a sense of the layout and flow of the place, just in case they can’t make it for a tour themselves.

Finally, Remember Not To Panic

The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone — there are gifts to buy, dinners to prepare, relatives to entertain, trips to book, and so on — not to mention your job! So if you don’t sell many houses this winter, it’s not the end of the world. There’s always the springtime to get your feet back under you!