Posted in: Selling a home, Homeowner tips

Top tips for selling your home before the holidays

Selling a home during holidays

Key insights:

  • If you plan to sell this winter, consider taking listing photos before the first snowfall
  • Follow general staging tips and reconsider your holiday décor to draw in the most buyers
  • Today's sellers can look at local sales numbers to determine if now is the right time to sell

If you're thinking of selling, consider listing now when buyers are still in the market and hoping to find the right home before the holidays. Below, we share insights you can use to determine if you should sell your home during the holidays.

Take early, professional photos to net a higher price and faster offers

Many buyers prefer to see what a home looks like before the first snowfall, so try to get your home's listing photos taken even if you don't plan to list just yet.

It's also proven that homes sell for more when professional photos are taken. Homes listed for $200,000 net an additional $3,400 on average when high-end photos are taken, and luxury homes priced at $1 million or more sell for an additional $11,200.

Think about warmth

When buyers pull up to your home, you want them to feel a pull toward the front door – even if they have to brave the elements to get there! Be sure that you turn on the exterior lights so buyers can find your home easily. Plus, turn on the interior lights, which will make the home look more welcoming from the street. Add a wreath or other touch of holiday cheer to the front door, and make sure all walkways are cleared of snow and ice.

Inside your house, the goal is to make the house as comfortable as possible – even if the temperatures outside are subzero. Turn on your fireplace if you have one, or turn up the heat before each showing. Plus, create a homey feel in your living room by adding extra blankets and pillows.

Don't over-decorate for the holidays

Before you list your home, it's important to remove clutter and to make room color and décor as neutral as possible. This process is called staging, and smart sellers do it regardless of the time of year.

If you're selling in the fall and winter, part of staging is to make sure you don't over-decorate your home for the holidays. A simple wreath or a few gourds on the front porch are fine – just avoid the shelves of knick-knacks or collectables you've gathered over the years. It's important that buyers are able to picture their own traditions in your home, and you don't want to block that with too much holiday clutter.

Get a higher sales price

Home prices have been on the rise for more than four and a half years and today, the median sales price in our 13-county area rose to $230,000 (Northstar MLS). Just for the sake of comparison, our market's median home sale price in December 2011 was $150,000.

This is great news for homeowners who have waited to sell, but the days of double-digit price gains are over; this year's market has shown just a 5 percent increase in home prices total. With no guarantee of a higher price in the spring, homeowners may want to sell now to get a fresh start and a high price.

The long and short of it

Even though some buyers exit the market during these next few months, the ones who remain are seriously motivated to move before the holidays roll in. Contact us today to get started on the process of selling your home.

For more tips on selling your home this holiday season, check out #SellerInsights on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings