The 3 “P’s of Selling Your Home Before Christmas

While generally shopping around the Holidays brings to mind Black Friday, crowded malls and lists of presents for the family, others opt to house hunt during this time.
 
Why? While the majority of people are focused on Holiday events, potential Buyers are looking for something more appealing than a deal on a big-screen TV; a new house for the new year.
 
However, if you are selling your home during the Holidays, there’s some important things to remember to appeal to the savvy “holiday shopper” to make sure your home is the most attractive. Let’s start with:
 
PRICING
 
This should go without saying to begin with, however; it’s just as if not more important during the traditionally slower time of year. If your home is priced too high, it’s going to detract from Holiday-time Buyers, typically thought to be more of a serious shopper since they’re out looking this time of year. You’ll want to have spoken with a local agent who can show you the value of your home based on its current condition, the expected time on market and how other homes compare to yours. Pricing it well is just the first step to getting prospects interested in your home.
 
PICTURES
 
The next most important element of attracting great Buyers and selling your home before Christmas will be how it shows online. The majority of Buyers, during any time of year, are actively searching on large portals like Zillow, Trulia and you need to make sure your home stands out. Blurry, low-lit and non-purposeful shots are simply unprofessional. Make sure your listing agent hires a professional photographer to not only highlight the homes features, but truly show it in it’s best light with high-resolution photos. Usually between 15-20 pictures is ideal for an average size house and is enough to preview the best features of the home; you don’t need 50 pictures of multiple angles of every single room. You want enough to peak their interest and have them come see the home themselves.
 
PRESENCE 
 
Your homes pictures are wowing Buyers, the pricing is fair and now you’re getting appointments from interested agents with Holiday home buyers. Now, you want to make sure that from the moment they park the car at the front, the home gives off a sense of presence.  Just like any first impression, every prospect is going subconsciously get a sense of “Is this appealing? Do I feel like I want to live here?”  You’ll want to create an environment that is not only welcoming, but attractive and showcases the best features of the house. Let’s talk about these a bit more specifically.
 
Clean and Clutter free
 
I can’t stress enough how far a deep cleaning and reducing and eliminating clutter go to provide a sense of welcome in house. You can never deep clean too much or reduce too much clutter, either! If doing so is intimidating, my top hint to get started is “clean from top to bottom”. Which means, starting with the tops of closets, working your way down over sills, cabinetry, doors, windows and lastly floors. You will be amazed on how much you come to realize you probably have stored away that is no longer useful, you can sell or simply give away. And not only will you feel more refreshed, your potential holiday home buyers will appreciate the organization.  Since you’ll be moving soon anyway, doing this before you list the home will also save you time, effort and money for your move! Heck, maybe you can even re-gift some old treasures or donate them to a family who needs them.
 
When it comes to cleaning, same goes; clean from top to bottom. If it has been awhile since you’ve last given your home a deep clean, you may need to soak the surfaces first (with color-safe products) and then go back to wipe them down again. Be sure to wipe down handprints from walls, wipe down baseboards and even face plates.
 
Cleaning the interior and exterior of your windows also creates a tremendous sense of “openness” when you’re trying to sell your home. Again, you may need to soak them first, then use a squeegee to wash them with commercial-strength cleaner, then go back and wipe them down with a streak-free window cleaner.
 
As far as highlighting the best features, make sure especially that those areas are well-lit, clutter free and clean. Have an updated kitchen? Make it stand out by removing anything save a few necessary items/staging items from the countertops and making sure it’s sparkling clean, including deep cleaning and wiping down all appliances.
 
Décor or not décor?
 
Sometimes people will ask me, “Should we use Christmas or Holiday decorations”? My response is, “If they’re done tastefully, but if you weren’t going to put them out in the first place, then I would not.” Reason being, you’re trying to create as clean as a palette to appeal to any number of people and extra decorations can be distracting for some. You also don’t know if your potential Holiday homebuyers celebrate the same way, so it may be best to simply leave the Holiday décor in storage this year. If you tend to decorate like Clark Griswold, then especially, let’s save those Christmas lights for next year in your next home and focus on selling your home to a savvy Holiday buyer.
 
If you’re thinking of Selling your home before Christmas, the Buyers on the hunt tend to be more serious in nature and great deals can be made for both Buyer and Seller. By making sure the home is priced well to begin with, showcased online through beautiful photos and welcoming by being clutter-free and clean, you too can start your New Year with a fresh start and make your holiday buyers happy for their purchase as well.
 
What do you think? Leave your best tips or comments about selling your home during the Holidays below! 
 
 
photo credit: Love this pic.com http://www.lovethispic.com/image/54725/beautiful-home-decorated-for-christmas

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