Should you sell your home over the holidays?

Private Property South Africa
Taryn Isaac

Is the festive season the right time to put your home up for sale? Find out what the pros and cons of selling during the holidays are.

Conventional wisdom dictates that you should not try to sell your home during the holidays, but with the technology available today, buyers are searching for property all year round.

While there are several benefits to listing your home for sale during this period, there are also pitfalls. Here’s everything you need to know:

The advantages of selling your home during the holidays:

1. Seller competition is lighter during the holidays:

One of the great advantages to selling your home during the festive season is less competition.

Sellers often assume that home buyers stop searching for a home come mid-November and as a result, many sellers become reluctant to list their homes for sale during this time.

For homeowners who do decide to sell, this puts them in an advantageous position as a smaller number of listings creates a shortage of inventory, which creates a strong seller’s market.

Fewer properties on the market mean that motivated buyers will have fewer prospects to tempt them and sellers will be more likely to sell their home for the price they’re hoping to get.

2. You are likely to meet motivated buyers:

Another great reason to list your home for sale during the holiday season is that the quality of potential home buyers improves greatly.

Anyone who takes time out of their busy holiday schedule to shop for a new home is often serious about purchasing a home as soon as possible, which could lead to a quick sale.

3. The festive season adds romantic appeal:

The holidays are a joyful occasional which home sellers can use to their advantage to help create a more inviting space.

By incorporating a few Christmas decorations around the house, you can add some festive cheer to your home and create a bright and joyful atmosphere.

Very few home buyers are truly turned off by holiday decorations.

In many instances, a decorated home could possibly tug at the heart strings of potential buyers and increase the likeability of your home.

4. Buyers are relaxed and happy:

It’s no doubt that the holiday season puts most people in a good mood.

As the work commitments begin to slow down during the festive season, most people are left feeling relaxed and much happier.

For homeowners looking to sell their home, this is beneficial as it is likely to make the act of negotiating with a buyer that much easier.

Cheerful buyers are usually in a better mood to compromise and are likely to reach an agreement faster than normal.

5. Buyers are always searching online:

The world we live in today is a digital one, and searching for a home is no different.

The availability of mobile technology, such as smartphones and tablets, has made property shopping a convenient and on-the-go process.

By using their smartphones, home buyers can easily access and browse through the latest property listings online.

Online statistics reveal that many home buyers continue to actively search for a home online, even during the festive period, which makes it an opportune time to have your home listed on a property portal, like Private Property.

By doing so, your home is likely to gain more exposure as those with time off from work will be able to devote a larger portion of their time to successfully looking for a home.

The disadvantages of selling your home during the holidays:

1. The number of buyers shrinks during the festive season:

While you may meet a few serious buyers, the number of people looking to buy a home during this time decreases significantly as many people head out of town for the holidays or get caught up in the season’s celebrations.

Prospective buyers who have been house hunting leading up to the festive period might use this time to take a break and focus on enjoying the festivities of the season.

2. Many real estate agents go on holiday:

Enlisting the help of a real estate agent is essential as they will not only provide valuable advice concerning all aspects of selling your home, but they will also have the necessary networking capabilities to find buyers that are on a similar deadline as you.

However, as the market moves into a seasonal slowdown during the festive period, it can be difficult to find a qualified real estate agent to work with as many agencies shut down or run with a skeleton staff during this time.

For sellers looking to sell their homes before the new year rolls around, this could mean a delay in concluding their property transactions.

3. Selling your home can disrupt your holiday plans:

The holidays are not always a convenient time to have your home prepped for a showing.

During this time, most homeowners are caught up with hosting a variety of festive parties, vacationing in another city, or having their extended family stay over for Christmas.

Trying to keep your home in tip-top shape to accommodate any buyers who may want to view your home can be difficult during this busy social period.

If you do decide to take the plunge this festive season and sell your home, be sure to consider these top tips:

  • Make your home listing stand out from the crowd

Nothing makes a home stand out quite like a detailed home listing that provides an informative description of the property’s features.

You can also make a good first impression on your home listing by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home or even including a video tour of your property.

  • Decorate in moderation

Deck the halls, but remember not to go too overboard. While festive décor can often increase a home’s appeal, it is important for sellers to decorate tastefully as one too many adornments can make your home look crowded and distract a buyer.

  • Price your home to sell

It is important to be realistic about what the property market expectations are and price your home in accordance with the demand of your neighbourhood.

A well-priced home is likely to receive multiple offers from prospective. An overpriced home will not only restrict the pool of buyers you attract but it may give off the impression of you being an unreasonable seller which may scare away potential home buyers.

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