December 2022

Tips to keep holiday home sales moving

While sales may slow down a bit during the winter holidays, they rarely stop. In fact, data shows that December can be a great month for both buyers and sellers. Sales volume may decrease somewhat (an approximate average of 3.2 million compared to 3.56 million in May), but since buyers tend to pay less of a premium above market value, they're more willing to make a reasonable offer.Footnote1

Here are some tips to help you take advantage of this season and keep your listings moving.Footnote2

Assume all buyers are serious

Casual home shoppers tend to be turned off by colder weather and the distractions of the holidays. That means you can expect that anyone who bothers to look at a house in December is a serious prospect, so you and your clients should be poised and ready to receive offers.

Think twice about price

While there may be less competition at this time of year, it still pays to spend a little extra time to be sure the property is priced right for the market. Since buyers in December on average pay only 3.7% above market value, compared to 10.5% in May,Footnote1 pricing a home over market could make it harder to get people in the door.

Get a preemptive inspection

Rather than wait for potential buyers to get their own inspection, encourage the seller to get one. Then develop a list of things that need to be dealt with and start making repairs. If buyers notice an issue when touring the home, you can respond confidently that it's already being taken care of.

Check in with local buyer's agents

Don't just wait for the right buyer - do a little prospecting. One way is to connect with buyers' agents in your area and let them know about your listings. If they have questions, you may be able to give immediate answers that will spark more interest in the property.

Don't forget curb appeal

No matter where you live, there's always extra yard cleanup this time of year. Take extra care to be sure your listing is as neat and trim as possible. Remind your clients to cut back overgrown plantings, clean up dead leaves and branches, and even add a little paint to fencing or porches if they need it. And of course, if there's snow or ice, be sure the walkways are clear before any showings.

If the temperature is low, warm things up

Especially in colder climates, buyers need coziness to help them feel at home. When staging the inside, be sure there's plenty of light, and turn the heat up a notch before a showing. You can also leverage holiday scents like baking or cinnamon potpourri to encourage an emotional response from buyers. Just be sure to keep the holiday decorations to a minimum.

Pack your listing with info

When the weather is bad and people are busy with the holidays, even serious homebuyers are looking for ways to save time. So be sure your listings give online buyers everything they need to sort through available homes and zero in on what they want. Adding blog posts, social media and even an email blast can help get the attention of likely buyers.

With the right tactics, you and your client could ring in the new year with a successful sale.

A note from your lending specialist

Whatever the season, I'm here for you and your clients. If your sellers are also in the market for a new home, let them know that I can help them explore financing options.

1 "October Is The Time To Buy For Homebuyers According To Analysis From ATTOM On Historical Home Sales," by ATTOM Staff, Oct 6, 2022. Accessed October 2022.

2 "How to Sell a Home in The Off-Season: 17 Tips From Top Producers," Chris Linsell, The Close, March 7, 2019. Accessed October 2022.

MAP5093224 | 11/2022