Why the Holidays are a Good Time to Sell a house

Why the Holidays are a Good Time to Sell a House

Home » House Selling 101 » Selling During the Holidays


You’d think the opposite, but selling a house around the holidays is not a bad thing. Most people believe spring is the best time to sell – there are more bidding wars, but also more competition. Wintertime has its advantages and disadvantages too, but around the holidays, the market often comes alive.

If you position your property the right way, market it effectively, and prepare for buyers, you can close fast, maybe in time for the holidays or even the New Year. But why would you want to sell around the holidays? Maybe you can’t wait – relocation, growing family, downsizing, ending forbearance, etc.

Here are five reasons why the holidays are a good time to sell.

1. Buyers are Serious

A lot of buyers in the springtime like to look at houses but are in no rush to purchase. Anyone who shops the market between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is no doubt serious. Think about it: winter holidays are when we plan festivities, visit family, and shop for presents. If a person takes time away from those things to look at a property, chances are they’re ready to buy.

2. Housing Inventory is Low

Since most sellers aim for spring, there is less competition in your market around the winter holidays. Fewer houses for sale increases your chances of buyer interest and getting offers.

Price wars may break out in your neighborhood. So long as the price is right, and you have a lot of potential buyers, your property may only sit on the market for a few weeks, maybe even a few days.

3. End-of-Year Tax Breaks

Tax breaks are one of several reasons buyers are serious towards the end of the year. If a house sale closes on or by December 31, the buyer can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, and interest costs (of the loan).

Can a home seller get a tax break? Yes, but only if you owned and lived in the house for 2 of the 5 years before sale.

4. More Attention from Realtors

With fewer house listings to be concerned with, your realtor, if you have one, can focus more on your property. They are available for more showings, appointments, and negotiating deals.

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, so hiring a real estate agent may take some of the stress off of you. Otherwise, if you do not want to pay commission, you can sell For Sale By Owner (FSBO).

5. Festive Time of Year

Believe it or not, the holidays spark warm feelings in buyers. They visit a house that is staged for comfy, homey vibes, appealing to their emotions. So they are more likely to fall in love with the feelings the house conjures and make an offer.

In contrast, during the spring, there’s a lot of foot traffic and distractions, and buyers cannot focus during a walkthrough.

Want a Guaranteed Sale By or Before Christmas / New Year’s?

Sometimes you cannot wait for a traditional buyer. You have your reasons to sell now, before the end of the year, and you cannot afford to wait. If that is the case, consider selling to a real estate investor for cash.

Most investors make a cash offer on a property “as-is,” without repairs or renovations. Even if the property is damaged, vacant, or mid-renovation, they will still buy it. They do not require traditional sale warranties, an appraisal or inspection, and since they pay with cash, there’s no lengthy mortgage approval process.

You (the seller) choose the closing date. It can be in several months, giving you time to pack and enjoy the holidays, or in 30 days or less, if you’re ready to move right now.

Home Improvements to Do Before the Holidays if Selling christmas tree

Home Improvements to Do Before the Holidays if Selling

Home » House Selling 101 » Selling During the Holidays


Are you selling your house around the holidays? Does it need a facelift? Some home improvements can help you sell faster or even get a better deal. The alternative is to lower your asking price to cover renovations the buyer pays out of their own pocket.

But which improvements have the most impact and the best ROI? Here are 11 home improvements we recommend to do before the holidays, if you’re selling a property.

1. Remodel the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where family comes together, especially around the holidays. So when buyers visit this time of year, you want the kitchen to make a good, lasting impression.

Kitchen improvements include a new backsplash, upgraded countertops and flooring, refinished cabinets, and better lighting.

2. Fix Up the Bathroom

The bathroom is a private space, and it should be nice. Fortunately, most bathrooms are small, so improvements do not take long. You can replace light fixtures, upgrade faucets and fixtures, retile the floor and shower, and repaint the walls.

3. Put Down New Floors

Your floors take a beating and see a lot of foot traffic. Wood floors especially get scratched and chipped and lose luster. Consider laying new planks or making the switch to tile for a fresh look.

4. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

Inside and out! Interior walls and the exterior house siding will benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Think about it: when buyers drive up, do you want them to see drab or life?

You might also consider a coat of sealer on any surface of the house that gets covered by snow.

5. Repair the Roof

Winter is coming, and you’ll never go wrong if you patch or replace the roof to prevent leaks. Leaks can cause damage inside the house, so why not prevent additional repairs?

6. Seal Gaps and Add Insulation

Chilly drafts ruin energy bills and the warm, cozy feeling of the house interior. Check caulking and weather stripping, and seal where necessary. Get an R-Value for your insulation levels. The recommended level of insulation for most attics is about 10 to 14 inches.

7. Tune Up the Furnace

Speaking of cold weather and energy, get your HVAC system inspected to ensure its functionality. If it needs work, make repairs so your house is kept at a comfortable temperature, so that it’s cozy for buyers during walkthroughs.

8. Winterize Your Property

One of the most common mistakes by sellers, especially those with vacant properties, is failing to winterize. The worst is not draining and protecting your pipes from freezing: you risk them bursting and flooding the property.

Winterizing your house includes looking after the pipes, insulation, fireplace, gutters, roof, furnace, and windows and doors.

9. Improve Curb Appeal

Winter is when your plants go dormant. Hopefully, your online listing shows photos of your house in the spring or summer, when it looks its best.

The outside of the house is the first impression buyers have of the property as a whole. To jazz it up, you can do the following:

  • Add cold weather plants
  • Trim back trees and bushes
  • Manicure the lawn
  • Clean windows
  • Paint front door
  • Furnish the front porch
  • Update lightning

Sell Your House Without Making Improvements

If you have neither the time nor the money to make improvements, you can always sell “as-is” to a real estate investor for cash.

But will I lose money? Most investors pay 70% of the market value AFTER repair value. The investor does not require repairs or renovations, even if the property is degraded or damaged. There’s no mortgage approval, no appraisal, nor an inspection. Moreover, the investor often pays all closing costs and additional sale fees, saving you money compared to a traditional sale.

If, however, the property is in good shape and in a good location, some investors will consider paying the market price or perhaps 2% to 3% less.

Either way, you can enjoy a quick closing, in 30 days or less, and focus on spending the holidays with family, perhaps in your new home.

turkey Tips to Sell Your House Around Thanksgiving

6 Tips to Sell Your House Around Thanksgiving

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Contrary to popular belief, selling a house between Thanksgiving and the New Year is not a bust. Buyers are serious during the winter holidays, and competition thins with fewer houses for sale. If you’re listing your property in November, here is what you can do to improve your chances of selling around Turkey Day.

Tip #1: Avoid Clutter and Keep the House Clean

When buyers visit, they want to picture themselves living in the house. Too many belongings disrupt their vision and limit the perceived size of rooms and the house overall.

Family visiting during Thanksgiving can add to the clutter. Encourage your relatives to keep spaces clean, and consider hiring professional cleaning services to tidy up before showings. You can also move your own belongings (that you can spare) into storage.

Tip #2: Price Property to Sell

The right price makes buyers merry, or in this case thankful. Your real estate agent should recommend a good price, based on your property’s current condition, age, issues, and comps in the area.

If you do not have a realtor, you can still price the property yourself by:

  • Pulling comparable listings;
  • Researching the market; and
  • Getting an inspection and deducting repairs

If you need to sell fast, lowering your price may be necessary.

Tip #3: Spruce Up House Listing

More people are searching for houses online, so make your listing attractive and word it properly. Any photos you show should be during the warmer seasons, when curb appeal is at its best. Be sure to also stage the interior for photos.

Tip #4: Do Not Go Overboard on Decorations

While it’s fine to get in the spirit of the holiday, you never want to over decorate. Decorations are distracting and can clutter spaces. Focus instead on creating a warm atmosphere that encourages buyers to envision themselves celebrating the holidays in the house.

Tip #5: Send Family Out During Showings

There’s nothing more distracting than a bunch of bodies, making noise and being disruptive. The best thing you can do is let your realtor handle showings, while you and your family go out.

Should you not have a realtor, though, you can show the house yourself. Treat your family to tickets to a museum, movie, or something else entertaining, while you host an open house.

If it’s easier, consider putting your family up in a hotel, so the house is free of bodies and messes at all times.

Tip #6: Enjoy Your Thanksgiving

Do not stress out about selling your house on Thanksgiving Day. Buyers will not be shopping then, nor is it likely that they’ll be searching on Black Friday. So enjoy your Turkey Day with your family.

The holiday is also a good time to relax and recover before you start hosting open houses again or continue with buyer negotiations.

Sell Before or by Thanksgiving

If you need to sell before or by the holiday, consider selling it to a real estate investor. Most investors pay cash for a house “as-is,” without repairs or renovations. There are also no warranties or inspections, and no commissions like a traditional sale.

Investors often cover all closing costs and additional sale fees, saving you money. You pick the closing date, which can be in less than 30 days or in several months. This way, you enjoy a quick closing and can celebrate Turkey Day with family, maybe even in your new home.

decorating house for Halloween

How to Decorate for Halloween If Selling a House

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Decorating for Halloween is great fun, but be careful if you’re trying to sell your house. You may frighten off buyers. I’m all for skeletons and ghouls, and lots of pumpkins round the mantelpiece, but when buyers visit, they want to envision themselves living there. Bones, blood, and gore distract from that vision.

Do not get discouraged though: you can still decorate for October. Here are 5 tips on how to decorate for Halloween if you’re selling your house, so spirits and buyers feel welcome.

1. Keep It Outside

The less you clutter the inside of your house, the better. You want to create the illusion of space and NOT distract buyers who imagine living there. After all, you’re not showing a haunted house, though that’d be more fun, right?

Stick to decorating the outside of your house, but make sure your decorations are not too scary. You do not want to take away from your curb appeal when buyers pull up.

You can put out faux pumpkins and planters, a creepy, but charming wreath, and a pleasant foot mat that welcomes fall or trick-or-treaters.

2. Do Not Go Overboard, and Think Safety

Turning your front yard into a cemetery, or covering it with inflatable ghosts distracts from the house. Buyers can even miss the “For Sale” sign out front.

Also, do not clutter the front stoop. The last thing you need is a buyer or their realtor tripping over decorations. You can decorate, but leave an open footpath, so visitors can come and go without trouble.

3. The Inside Is Not Completely Off Limits

While you don’t want to over decorate inside, you can still add some hints of the Fall season. Embrace the color scheme with autumn accents, like pillows and a nice throw in the living room, or candles and towels in the bathroom. Even glass candy dishes, full of treats, in the kitchen are acceptable.

But again: avoid clutter and being too scary.

4. Take Snapshots Before Decorating

Before decorating, take photos of the inside and outside of your house for its listing. Buyers should see how the house looks “at its best” (on a regular day) when they search it online. Make it presentable, clean and ready for move-in in your pictures.

5. Clean Up as Soon as the Holiday Is Over

When Halloween is over, put away the decorations on November 1st. Buyers find post-holiday decorations tacky and detracting from the house.

Sell Before the Holiday

If you are eager to move – maybe you are getting ready to close on another house, or you just want Halloween to be a thriller and not deal with twitchy buyers, sell to an investor. Real estate investors are not superstitious or put off by ghouls and goblins. They’ll actually give you a treat: a cash offer for your property “as-is,” no repairs or renovations necessary.

Want another treat? An investor requires no traditional sale warranties or inspections, and they pay all closing costs and additional sale fees. You pick the closing date, which can be in less than 30 days, and move just in time to enjoy trick-or-treating in a new neighborhood.

solid offers decorating for christmas if you want to sell the house during holidays

How to Decorate for Christmas When Your House is for Sale

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No one wants to be a Scrooge, but if you want to sell a home during the holidays, you have to be careful about spreading holiday cheer throughout the house. This is not to say you absolutely cannot decorate for Christmas; lights and merry colors can make a home feel warm and inviting to buyers. However, too much mirth can crowd and even disorient buyers when they try to imagine themselves in the house. Here are some ways you can decorate your home for the holidays without jeopardizing your chances of selling.

Keep it secular.

You can have the manger scene, a menorah, or kinara out for personal celebrations, but be aware that a buyer may have different beliefs. For this reason, we recommend you put such symbols away during showings. We understand that it can be sensitive for you as well, and the choice to put these decorations out of sight is optional; however, consider the urgency to sell your home when making your decision.

Depersonalize decorations.

To help buyers envision themselves in your home, avoid putting out greeting cards, family photos, and family-sentiment items like “Best Grandma” tree ornaments. Your home will soon be someone else’s home, and putting out these personal tokens can upstage the buyer’s vision of them living there.

Appreciate classic decorations.

A simply decorated Christmas tree, a holly wreath on the front door, or a mantelpiece with ivy and candles are all elegant accents that pleasantly warm the home atmosphere but do not distract or overwhelm buyers.

Avoid too many lights.

Opt-out of colorful, flashing lights on the front lawn, and nix the inflatable Santa, snowmen, and reindeer. Too much merry can be tacky when selling a home. Instead, simple white string lighting can highlight the home’s architecture and draw eyes to attractive greenery.

Match the colors.

Make sure your decorations match the color scheme of your rooms. If the living room walls are a soothing blue, choose snowflakes and silver accents over clashing reds. If the dining room has an earthy tone, put out forest greens and golds. Contrasting colors disorient and put off buyer minds.

Clear the stage.

Staging a home is a delicate practice, and if rooms are already cluttered, adding Christmas ornaments will not improve the look and feel of a space. Look at showcase examples, model home photos, and clean up your home. Once the room is clear of distractions, you can add delightful holiday accents to cheer up these spaces.

If you have already decked the halls and do not want to take things down, consider selling your home to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer without paying mind to your displays of holiday cheer. Enjoy your traditional holiday flair as well as the joy of a merry sale and quick closing.

solid offers Selling your house during the holidays how to decorate

Top 5 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

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The thought of selling a home over the holidays can be intimidating. ‘Tis the season for other things – fun, family moments, wholesome meals, and gift-giving. The greatest gift right now would be to offload your home and fetch a merry price for it. These five tips on preparing your home to sell it during the holidays (or low season) are our small gift to you.

Tip 1: Deck the halls, but not too much

Too much clutter and sparkle is visually overwhelming. Too large or too many decorations can make rooms busy, crowded, and distract eyes. Also, remember that buyers want to envision their own furniture and belongings in these rooms, and so many loud, bright decorations can dominate the scene. Keep it simple.

Tip 2: Maintain curb appeal

The outside of a home is just as important as the inside. During the fall, trees drop their leaves, and bare trees expose more of the home. Spruce up the yard – rake leaves, trim grass and bushes, but also clean gutters, touch up paint, power wash the driveway, and keep all foot surfaces free of ice or snow to prevent slipping hazards.

Tip 3: Take quality pictures

A picture is worth 1,000 words. Start with the outside: a barren or snow-covered landscape does not (typically) sell well. If possible, take exterior photos a month or two before the autumn season, and make sure the curb appeal attracts. Outdoor features, like a swimming pool or hot tub, also look better in the summertime. Interior photos should show clean, showcase-worthy rooms, preferably without seasonal decorations.

Tip 4: Winterize the home

Seasonal maintenance is always a good idea, whether you presently live in the home or leave it vacant till it sells. Essential steps, like inspecting the furnace and protecting against frozen pipes, keep the home functioning through the cold season, so neither you nor future buyers have to worry about related repairs.

Tip 5: Make it cozy

The weather outside is frightful, so make your home delightful. During showings, turn up the heat, light a fire in the fireplace, play soft classical music, and offer homemade goodies or a steamy mug of hot chocolate or hot apple cider. The more comfortable buyers feel in your home, the longer they will stay to look around.

 

If you are short on time and want to enjoy the holidays, consider selling your home to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a property as-is, be it old, outdated, or a fixer-upper. This saves you the hassle of buyer negotiations, home repairs, and uncertain financing, and instead, you enjoy a sure deal backed by a quick closing. Cheers to you!