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.

how to sell a haunted house

Can You Sell a Haunted House?

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A haunted house? Seriously? Yes. Selling a haunted house is not an unusual inquiry, especially during October, the spookiest time of the year.

64% of millennials and 55% of baby boomers say they’d be willing to purchase a haunted house.

There are four states that deal with paranormal activity or the supernatural in their real estate disclosure laws. We will go over these and answer two questions: (1) can you sell a haunted house, and (2) how?

States that Deal with the Paranormal in Housing

New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Minnesota discuss the paranormal in real estate.

New York says that a court can overturn a house sale if the seller was not forthcoming about the property’s ghostly reputation, after spreading rumors that it’s haunted. An example: let’s say your New York condo features on a reality ghost hunters television show. If later, you sell the place without telling the buyer it’s haunted, the court can cancel the sale.

New Jersey insists that if a buyer asks about phantoms, the seller disclose the truth.

Massachusetts and Minnesota directly mention “paranormal or supernatural activity” as a “psychologically affected” attribute of a property that does NOT need to be disclosed.

States that Deal with Death in Housing

Other states, while not acknowledging hauntings, do insist that a death on the property be disclosed.

In California, a death on the property must be disclosed within three years. In Alaska, within one year.

Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and South Carolina all state a death on the property should be disclosed only if the buyer asks.

South Dakota insists a homicide must be revealed to buyers.

Whether or not you believe a death on the property is followed by the spirit haunting the premises does not matter in these or other states not mentioned.

How Do You Sell a Haunted House?

Can you sell a haunted house? Yes. On a rare occasion, with the right audience, it can be a selling point. Most times, though, it discourages buyers who believe in the mysterious and unnatural. So what can you do?

1. First things first: confirm you live in a haunted house

Sometimes weird occurrences can be explained. Get the house inspected for maintenance issues and make repairs. If, after doing this, strange things keep happening, keep a log to establish a pattern that points to the paranormal.

2. Talk with a realtor

If your house is haunted or cursed, or where a homicide, suicide, or other criminal activity occurred, or as they call it in the real estate industry, is “psychologically impacted” or a “stigmatized property,” talk with your realtor about associated laws and selling options.

3. Unless Law Requires, Say Nothing

If you live in a state where real estate disclosure laws do not require revealing deaths and hauntings, why say anything? If after you sell, the buyer claims the house is haunted, they have to prove to a court first that the house is in fact haunted, and then that you knew about it. Impossible, right?

Sell the Property and Its Ghosts to an Investor

Real estate investors are not afraid of no ghosts. They will pay cash for a property “as-is,” be it damaged, neglected, or inhabited by spirits. The investor buys without traditional sale warranties or inspections, and covers the closing costs and additional sale fees. You can offload your haunted property in less than 30 days and use the cash proceeds for a down payment on a new house with no specters.

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.

autumn house fallen leaves

Top 7 Tips to Sell a House in Autumn

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Selling a house in autumn can be difficult with fewer buyers and less inventory, not to mention fast-approaching holidays, but it’s not impossible. There are some things you can do to improve your chances of a sale in the fall.

1. Price It Right

Analyze your local market to determine its condition in the fall. Most times the number of houses for sale dips, and there are fewer buyers, but they are eager to purchase. Rather than overprice, ask for less to encourage more showings.

Be aware that the longer a house sits on the market, the less likely it’ll sell, because buyers will think there’s something wrong with it.

2. Be Prepared to Move

A fast sale goes better with a fast closing. Holidays are coming up quick. If you manage to sell before school starts, you’ll want to move into your new place before it does. So be ready to move out of your old house when the closing papers are signed.

3. Check the HVAC

Your HVAC is one of the most important components of your house. When the weather turns colder in autumn, it needs to be in working order. Get it inspected and perform necessary maintenance so that it keeps your house comfortable when buyers visit.

4. Perform Seasonal Maintenance

Be prepared for the buyer’s home inspector to give your house a thorough once-over. A house in working order sells faster, so you’ll want to perform seasonal maintenance, as necessary. Here are some essential fall house maintenance items:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Check heating system, fireplace and chimney
  • Prepare plumbing and drainage systems for cold weather
  • Inspect insulation and ventilation

Additional items include inspecting the windows and doors, weatherstripping and trim, and protecting the house against pests.

5. Clean Up the Exterior

Fall foliage falls. You need to maintain your curb appeal by raking leaves, removing sticks, weeding flower beds, and trimming shrubbery. You can also enhance it by using autumn accents, like pumpkins and potted mums.

6. Improve Lighting

Shorter, darker days after the time change make a house look less inviting. Open the blinds, turn on lights inside the house, and consider replacing your outdoor lights. The more warm light you offer, the more appealing your property appears.

7. Keep It Cozy

Autumn tends to get colder, and buyers are easily distracted in a cold house. Keep the thermostat at a comfortable temperature, and consider lighting the fireplace, if you have one. Turn on the lights, and add accents, like pillows and a nice, fall-colored throw to staged rooms.

Sell to an Investor

Fall is a busy season. School starts, and the holidays are around the corner. If you want to sell fast and move into your new house sooner rather than later, consider selling to a real estate investor.

Most investors pay cash for a property “as-is,” and they save you time by forgoing mortgage approval, traditional sale warranties and inspections. They also let you pick the closing date, which can be in a month, 15 days or less. You can enjoy a quick closing and be in your new house in time for autumn (and later winter) happenings.

autumn house Pros and Cons of Selling a House in the Fall

The Pros and Cons of Selling a House in the Fall

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You may have heard spring and summer are the peak times to sell a house. Real estate is busy during those seasons, and the housing market cools down in the fall and winter. Still, this is not a bad time to list your property. Here are the pros and cons of selling a house in autumn.

Advantages

1. Buyers Are Serious

Buyers who missed out in the spring and summer are highly motivated to find a place in the fall. Whatever their reason – corporate relocation or the start of school – they are eager to buy and move in quickly.

2. Less Inventory

A lot of properties sell in the spring and summer, so the number of houses for sale dips in the fall. Your property, then, may stand out amidst the competition.

3. Weather is Nice

Touring houses and moving in the summer is a hot venture, sweaty too. The weather cools down in the fall, making buyers more comfortable during walkthroughs. Moving is also less taxing, and road conditions are still safe before the winter snow and ice.

4. House Shows Well

Autumn is a beautiful season. The changing leaves, seasonal flowers, and any fall décor you add enhance the curb appeal of your house. Staging the front door is easy, and aside from raking and bagging leaves, the natural beauty of your front yard will do the rest.

5. Settle into Your New Home Before the Holidays

Eager buyers plus low inventory can add up to less time your house spends on the market. Assuming a buyer makes a fast offer, and you close right away, you’ll be able to move into a new house before the holiday season.

Disadvantages

1. School is Back in Session

Fall is the school season, and moving your kids between school districts is hard enough without it being during school. Showings are also difficult if your children are home schooled.

2. Fewer Buyers

The majority of buyers found their new home in the spring or summertime, so there are not many left shopping the market. Getting their attention may be difficult, and you’ll have to compromise on some things, like the next point. 

3. Lower Your Listing Price

As eager as buyers are to purchase, they know sellers are just as eager to offload their properties. So they look for lower listing prices or negotiate with sellers to pay less.

4. Time is Brief

Besides the start of school, there are the fast-approaching holidays, starting in October with Halloween. Selling a house and moving during the holidays is a nightmare, so you want to sell in the early fall months.

5. Curb Appeal (Can) Diminish

But wait: did I not say fall enhances your curb appeal? I did. To clarify though: this condition depends on where you live. In some parts of the country, the weather shifts rapidly, and foliage loses all its leaves and snow falls early.

Sell to an Investor

If you want to sell fast, before school or the holidays start, consider selling to a real estate investor. Most investors make a cash offer for a property “as-is,” no repairs or renovations necessary.

Investors do not require mortgage approval, or traditional sale warranties and inspections. They pay all closing costs and additional sale fees, actually saving you money. And they let you choose the closing date, which can be in a month, 15 days or less, giving you time to pack and move out.