Buying or Selling a Home at Christmas Time

Buying or Selling a Home at Christmas Time


A home in a neighborhood adjoining the one where I live went on the market shortly before Thanksgiving. In our combined neighborhoods, there are probably no more than a half dozen houses available for sale, not bad considering the economic times we’re in. However, unlike the newest Christmas Tree
listing, these homes have been on the market for a bit longer and have seen some traffic thanks to real estate agent showings and open houses.

The one thing I noticed about this newly listed home is that it has been abandoned. Not entirely, but the owners have left, taped up the mailbox, and the house looks empty from the street. This is unfortunate because I can’t think of anything less attractive to see than an empty home, especially during the holiday season.

I had to dig through my archives to find the information, but I posted something two or three years ago on another blog about selling a home during the Christmas season. I’ve updated the information for today and present it to you as follows:

5 Tips For Selling Your Home During The Holidays

If you are planning to list your home between Thanksgiving and the New Year, you may find it to be more challenging than at other times of the year. People are shopping, busy with holiday activities and enjoying their own homes, with not too many buyers out there. However, the real estate market never completely dries up – there could be someone who needs a home now and would be willing to make an offer during this most festive season of the year.

If you are planning to list your home, please keep the following in mind:

Curb Appeal Matters – Winter doesn’t make your home particularly inviting especially when the lawn is dormant and trees have lost their leaves. Still, why not tastefully decorate the outside of your home and make sure that the lawn is free of debris and the sidewalk and driveway swept clean? If snow is an issue where you live, make sure that all walkways are dry and free of ice. Also, a fresh Christmas wreath or door swag would look wonderful on your front door.

Bake Those Cookies – Real estate agents encourage sellers to have something baking in the oven when people stop by, to give the home a warm, inviting look and smell. If you’re home you can stick something in the oven, but if you aren’t then make sure that your Glade air spray is automatically ejecting a balsam whiff every few minutes.

Decorate Within – Even if you’re planning to pack up and leave as soon as possible, a home with a lived in look has a better chance of selling then one where the owners have already packed up and left. You can move out excess furniture and pack away some rarely used items, but why not set up the Christmas tree, put the garland in place, and hang up the Christmas cards? Just keep out the clutter – you don’t want anything to distract potential buyers.

Touch Up – Keen eyes notice things so make sure that rooms have a fresh coat of paint, door knobs can close tightly, faucets aren’t running, toilets are working, appliances are doing their job, etc. In other words, walk through your entire home to make sure that everything is working fine and looking great.

Your Guests – Remember, not every person who crosses your threshold celebrates Christmas. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t decorate (or offer Santa sprinkle cookies to your guests) but it could explain why someone is interested in your home now – their most important holidays are celebrated during other months, giving you a welcome – if unexpected visitor – who just may end up purchasing your home.

All it takes to sell a home during any season of the year is one interested buyer. Don’t let the holiday season stop you from listing if you must sell now – you just have to figure out a way to balance celebrating Christmas with marketing your home and preparing to move.

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Categories: Home Selling

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".