Many For Sale By Owners [FSBOs] across Canada have been led to believe that the worst time to sell is between November and January, but that may not be completely true… There are some advantages to selling during the holiday season.
For one thing, there are always fewer homes on the market. Any FSBO buyers that are out house shopping during this season are usually serious buyers. If you need to sell during the holidays, here are five hot tips to help you out:
1. Deck The Halls
…but don’t go overboard. Homes that are tastefully decorated can be very appealing; the trick is not to ‘clutter’. Use only decorations that do not crowd the space of the room. In most cases, less is better.
2. Target Your Buyers
As a For Sale by Owner [FSBO], you need to identify and target the right buyer for your home. Home shoppers during the holidays are usually in a hurry to find a home. Their reasons may range from job relocation, late transfer or even a desire to invest before the year’s end. Target potential buyers by using carefully chosen statements in your ads, such as “Price Reduced” or “Quick Possession Date”. The language you use is very important once you know exactly the type of buyer you hope to attract.
3. Price It Right
If selling over the holidays is a genuine concern, then be sure you have priced the property correctly! Many FSBOs across Canada have been led to believe that they can get a higher price in the winter months due to lack of competition. This is only a myth.
Overpricing the home cause two major problems: 1) wasting your time and effort by slowly chipping away at the listed price until it is finally reduced to market value, and 2) wasting the time of any and all qualified buyers who would have been ready to purchase the home in the first place, had the price been right.
4. Enhance Curb Appeal
During the winter season, the yard and trees may be quite bare, at least in comparison with the full trees and flower beds of the summer months. Walk your property and remove all dead plants, weeds and leaves. Be sure that the exteriot of the home itself is clean by removing all mud splashes and spider webs. Keep sidewalks and driveways clear of dead leaves or snow. Always keep in mind the safety of your visitors, who could easily slip on ice and snow.
5. Seasonal Photos
Be sure to offer a variety of photos of the property. Where possible, include all seasons in this presentation, as well as crisp, clear photos of the interior. The Lower Mainland and other BC regions have little to no snow year-round, but in the northern regions, East Coast and Prairie Provinces the snow covers everything. This makes winter selling difficult. It becomes impossible for buyers to visualize how the yard may look in the summer, when it is likely to be a huge improvement!
During the winter months, buyers are less inclined to leave their houses unless they absolutely have to. They will do most of their house shopping from the comfort of their own residences. Online marketing, then, is key to attracting the attention of buyers. A For Sale by Owner [FSBO] needs to make their ads enticing, informative, and complete with as many flattering photos as possible.
“I Still Want A Festive Home During The Holidays… Help!”
For some folks, this article may resonate as the equivalent of pushing Santa off their roof… We wouldn’t want that! And we’re not saying you need to turn your normally festive home into the Grinch’s lair…
While we do recommended that you decorate with a lot of restraint, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done tastefully. So if you do decide to decorate, keep the decorations to a minimum. When decorating, make sure to keep important selling features free and open. Examples include fireplace mantles, staircases, light fixtures, and feature walls etc. Here are some holiday decorating tips to remain festive, and still make a great impression on prospective homebuyers:
- Tone down tree size.
- Stack wrapped gifts in one corner.
- Use more red than green; red is more emotionally appealing.
- Resist hanging banners; try using greenery instead.
- Use nature pieces as centerpieces i.e. pinecone candleholder.
- Always make sure candles are not left unattended.
- Set a plate of cookies on the counter with festive napkins.
- Simmer spicy apple cider on the stove, and set out cups and a ladle.
In the end, selling during the holidays can be done easily by following these helpful tips. The best gift may turn out to be closing your home sale with the perfect buyer.
If you haven’t already, check out CanadianHomeFind.com’s Selling Packages.