Should You Sell Your Old Home During the Holidays?

The best time to sell your current home may surprise you

Putting your home on the market during the holiday season may not be such a bad idea.

Selling your home during the holidays may sound like a terrible idea.

Pause. Before you decide to close up shop until the spring, you might find that decking the halls this winter may be the right step for you to get your home sold.

Benefits of Selling Your Home During the Holidays

“It’s not a crazy idea to sell your home during the holidays,” says Lou Nimkoff, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA). “In fact, we have a relatively low inventory these days and I think there are buyers year-round. There are still a lot of houses that come on the market at that point. There’s not a shortage of people looking during the holidays.”

Nimkoff points out that last November and December, ORRA saw about 5,600 new listings, with almost 4,900 new contracts signed. “There are great opportunities — the people that come out during the holidays are the people who are going to buy. They’re invested.”

That’s especially true for those selling homes in areas of the country that get lots of snow during the holidays. For those selling homes in milder areas, like Florida, the holidays bring tourists visiting family and friends, so the holidays are a good time to sell a house. “Here, we have a number of people who come down during the holidays and see a second or investment home and then buy it,” Nimkoff says.

Because having your home on the market means keeping the home neat always, Realtor Jordan Barkin says the holidays make it easier to handle cleaning for showings and for holiday gatherings. “Sellers are already deep cleaning and decorating their homes for the holidays, so it is a good time to open it up to potential buyers,” says Barkin, of Harry Norman Realtors in Atlanta.

Challenges of Selling Your Home During the Holidays

It might be tough to balance the holidays with showing a home during the holidays, especially when it comes to high-priced gifts that may be laying around. Talk to your agent or Realtor to understand how to best protect your belongings — gifts or otherwise — while showing your home to prospective buyers.

Another challenge of selling your home during the holidays is that you are likely going to be busy! The holidays can be a stressful time of year, with end-of-year work projects ending, holiday parties, shopping, hosting and simply living. Adding showings, some that may pop up at inconvenient times, to your list of things to do can be overwhelming. Again, speak with your Realtor or agent to ensure showings are during times that work for you and prospective buyers.\

How to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

If you are going to sell your home during the holidays, here are some tips to get you through it:

  • To get top dollar, be prepared to make an investment in your home. Barkin suggests having the home professionally photographed and keeping your yard regularly maintained. Both investments will ensure your home always looks its best.

  • Whether it’s the holidays or the spring selling season, keep your home clutter free. And we’re not just talking tchotchkes. Nimkoff advises thinking about how seasonal items might look when brought into the home, too. “A huge (Christmas) tree might make a room look small; whereas, normally a small table in that space doesn’t make it seem small or cluttered.”

With serious buyers willing to make the trek to your ho-ho-home, selling your house during the holidays may be a better choice for you than selling during the more competitive spring selling season.

Patricia L. Garcia is an award-winning journalist and former content manager for NewHomeSource. You can find her on Google+.

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