Sell It, Santa! Debunking 3 Myths on Holiday Home Selling

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holiday home selling

It’s officially the holidays and you need to make a sale on your client’s house and fast. You’ve heard conflicting advice from other REALTORS®. Some say wait until next year to push the sale and others say it’s the best time to go for it. How do you know what’s right? How do you ensure your listing gets on Santa’s list and that he checks it twice? Let’s debunk three common myths we’ve heard about the holiday selling season. Rest assured, selling is definitely possible. We’ll tell you how here.

Holiday Home Selling Myths

Myth #1: No one wants to buy a home during the holidays. People often believe that during the holidays, the last thing people want to buy is a home. They want to avoid the hassle of looking, closing, and moving. The market just isn’t there.

Fact: Homebuyers who are serious about moving shop 365 days a year. The smart homebuyer knows there won’t be as much risk in getting into a bidding war with other homebuyers. The available homes might be slimmer, but perhaps homebuyers are fine with having fewer options. After all if they want to move in by the end of year, they need to act fast. For sellers, a smaller inventory of homes means they could probably get more value for the home than they could during any other season.

Myth 2: Transactions take twice as a long. People figure with the holidays arriving, businesses are on limited availability, employees are out, and transactions take twice as a long to get done. You’ll be lucky if you get this sale in the books this year.

Fact: While limited personnel might be true, there are fewer transactions that take place during this season. This means the mortgage lenders have fewer loans to process, attorneys have fewer closings to do, and home inspectors have fewer inspections to fulfill. All of these factors should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for everyone involved.

Myth 3: It’s ok to take a house off the market during the holidays if it hasn’t sold.
A house hasn’t sold in almost two months and the holidays are upon us. In Austin, this duration is almost unheard of that we might as well call it quits until the New Year right?

Fact: Don’t advise your clients to take it off the market just yet; there’s a whole different group of homebuyers coming into the picture. In fact, taking the property off the market abruptly may send the wrong message to prospects and destroy any possible opportunities you might have had. Take advantage of the time and think about offering incentives to homebuyers. Can you reduce the cost? Offer any concessions at closing? Just like buying a car, homebuyers appreciate extra incentives for these life-changing purchases, especially at holiday time.

Research Shows the Holidays Aren’t So Bad

A Realtor.com study shows that 79% of agents surveyed reported that more serious buyers come out during the holidays, and 61% said less competition from other properties make it a great time to sell. In addition, 17% of agents said the cold weather is actually a benefit, making homes feel cozier. These facts and others can be found in NAR’s Field Guides.

Get Your Listing on Santa’s List

Are you convinced your listing has a good chance of selling this holiday season? We’re sending you and your client good vibes. And when luck isn’t enough, here are a few tips we’ve compiled to help get the property sold quicker.

  • Encourage your clients to take advantage of the season, but don’t go overboard with décor. The house needs to be warm and inviting and less of an eyesore.
  • Price the house to sell. As mentioned earlier this is the best time for considering a price reduction. It motivates buyers to make decisions faster.
  • Remind sellers to be available and flexible with showing the property. Sellers may be busy juggling a home for sale and holiday parties. Remind them this is the case for homebuyers as well. With potential limited property visits due to the holidays, every opportunity counts.
  • Take new photos. Homebuyers may not a lot of time for open houses and “drivebys”, remind your clients to have the best property photos possible. Take an extra step and work with clients to create a virtual home tour.

Selling listings during the holidays is possible if you do it right. Project what the market will look like the end of the year based on years past. Last year home sales rose 11% in December 2014 compared to November, then dropped 30% in January 2015. The same trend holds true from November 2013-January 2014, which means the Austin area has loads of opportunity for home sales during the holidays. There’s no harm in keeping property on the market, especially when there are so many arrows pointing to the positives.

 

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