To Sell or Not to Sell During the Holidays

Interested in selling before the end of the year but not sure about the timing over the Holidays? 

staged_for-christmas-home

It used to be a simple answer: In the days of past, home purchases dwindled during the holidays, homebuyer traffic dropped drastically, and it was more worth a seller’s (and a Realtor’s) time to get the sign out of the yard, save on advertising, and enjoy the holidays with their families.

That was then…times have changed; today is a different story. With the use of technology, buyers can now shop for homes at all hours of the day, in all weather, from their laptops or mobile devices and the buying season has become a year-round event. The Internet also cuts down on the amount of time that it takes to buy a home because many buyers do their shopping online. In reality, people are always looking for homes – before, during and after the holidays.

More important to consider is that most sellers prefer not to sell during the holidays, meaning more sellers will put their homes back on the market in January and the supply of homes goes up dramatically, which translates to less demand for your particular home and less money as well.

So, although the Holiday Season, between mid-November to beginning of January, may not be considered the best time to sell, here’s our top reasons why selling over the Holidays can still make sense: 

1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers!

2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you!

3. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays during the weekdays!

4. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market!

5. Some buyers have to buyer before the end of the year for tax reasons.

6. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the Holidays!

7. You can sell now for more money and we will provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year!

How House Hunters View Your Home When Selling

In a study conducted by Old Dominion University’s Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate, researcher Michael Seiler discovered that overall, when buyers view listings on-line they devoted 60 percent of their time to photos, 20 percent to property descriptions, and 20 percent to the agent’s comments; and he found that their interest diminished after clicking through numerous properties. So how can you use this to your advantage if you’re thinking of selling?

First Impressions Matter

I think the study is really important, especially in a seller’s market like we’re currently experiencing, because while it may be easy to sell a house, if you want to net the most proceeds you still have to work to create an emotional connection between the buyer and your home. And since, for most people these days (94% as discovered by National Association of REALTORS®), the first point of contact is through the internet so being sure to use captivating photography is essential to creating those connections.

Importance of Professional Photography

Our recommendation…always show your home with professional photography. It’s amazing how many sellers are still not aware of the power of professional photography when combined with the internet’s ability to expose their property to countless buyers. In order to catch the attention of potential buyers searching homes on the internet, according to the study, eye-catching photography is essential for them to spend more time reviewing the details of your property. And better yet, when buyers do find homes that they find visually pleasing in photos, they’re also more likely to share these photos with their friends and family through social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest.

Take Advantage of HD Video

So now that we know how to get an online buyer to spend more time looking through the photos of your home, how do you keep them engaged with your property in order for them to make an emotional connection? The next step up from professional photography is showcasing your home in high definition video…which will surely help your listing not only stand out, but most importantly, keep a potential buyer’s attention. As an example, here’s a listing we recently sold with multiple offers (and substantially over asking, as well as recent sales): www.1339SierraMar.com.

As you can see, the HD video makes a great attention grabber after viewing hundreds of pictures of homes available for sale on the internet, and when properly complimented by professional photography it can help a potential buyer picture themselves living in your home. Additionally, just as a potential buyer is likely to share eye-catching pictures of their favorite homes with their friends and family, sharing a video can be much more powerful and fun for them.  And it sure makes it easier for today’s buyers to get the approval from distant family when a home looks great behind the camera, versus one that was camera shy!

Read more about the study here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324077704578360750949646798.html

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