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  • Writer's pictureDonna Baker


One of the questions that real estate agents often get from homeowners is “should I sell my home during the holidays”? They will follow up that question with “is it better to wait until after the New Year or Springtime?”. Another often asked question that real estate agents receive from sellers that already have their home on the market is “should I take my home off the market for the holidays?”.

There is no clear-cut, and dry answer as everyone’s personal circumstances are different.

The holidays are hectic enough right? Let’s assume the best choice for you is to sell that house! What will put you in the best position to make a smooth transition? Donna Baker and Delores Doussard of The DREAM Team, RE/MAX Preferred in O’Fallon, Illinois have compiled some tips below to assist you in that goal.

· CONSIDER HOLIDAY DECORATIONS CAREFULLY: Keep your seasonal decorations tasteful, simple and easy to maintain. Not everyone has the same love of holiday decorations and being the Clark Griswold of your neighborhood may have endeared you to your neighbors but may turn off potential buyers. This applies both on the interior and exterior of your home.

· KEEP IT CLEAN: Keeping the home free of tracked-in mud, snow or other debris can be difficult in the winter months. Vacuum well and often! Keep wood and other hard surface floors shining. Provide a space to store your coats, boots and shoes out of the entrance spaces and ask your Realtor® to provide shoe covers for showings. Don’t forget about the outside! Bare trees may show areas of your home that are usually less visible. Deal with any cosmetic issues such as leaf filled gutters, house paint, dated: mailboxes, exterior lighting or house numbers, and door knobs. Make sure leaves are raked out of corners, off porches and your lawn. To the extent possible keep your driveway, sidewalk and front steps free of snow and ice.

· PRICE IT RIGHT: Buyers at this time of year are typically motivated and not interested in dickering. They are out at this time of year on a mission. Consult with your Realtor® about the proper price for your home and then take their advice, even if you don’t like it.

· MAKE YOUR HOME ACCESSIBLE: The holidays can make it more difficult than usual for agents to schedule showings since parties involved have holiday activities and distractions. Clear your schedule as much as possible to accommodate potential buyers. Make sure your agent is clear on any dates you do not wish to show the property and keep these to a minimum.

· KEEP IT COZY: Living in a cold climate makes it important to keep the heat at a comfortable (not stifling) temperature. A SUBTLE baking or scent that matches the season can add a nice welcoming touch (key word is subtle). Make sure the home is well lit to counter act the potentially drab weather—leaving lights on for showings even during the day is a great idea. We never recommend leaving candles or other open flames burning when you leave the home.

· SHOW YOUR PROPERTY AT ALTERNATE TIMES OF THE YEAR: Having pictures of your beautiful landscaping or other important features in spring and summer on display for buyers to view is an excellent way to showcase this.

· BE PREPARED FOR YOUR MOVE: Be sure you have considered your next move. Be prepared to pack up your holiday decorations and move quickly as many buyers at this time of year are on tight time frames. Have contingency plans for temporary housing, storage, and moving companies priced out and at hand so your decision process is easy and quick. Be sure to assess your personal items for “need to have at hand” and keep a list so that you can box those separately and keep them with you.

From Donna Baker and Delores Doussard, The DREAM Team, RE/MAX Preferred, “Our holiday wish for you is that you will receive the holiday gift of a swift and profitable home sale. That should make the holidays even merrier.”

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