Selling your home during the holidays? How to jingle all the way!
The voice of experience – Brittany Fisher with Financially Well shares about selling your home during the holidays!
Home (for Sale) for the Holidays
When my husband called me last Halloween and told me he’d been given a promotion, I was ecstatic. When he got home that afternoon, he told me the promotion also involved moving to another state. We were four weeks from Thanksgiving, eight weeks from Christmas, and coming up on winter break. I was nervous at first because the holidays are already hectic. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to keep the house clean and ready for showings with two kids, three dogs, and a busy work schedule myself. But we managed. Here are a few tips I picked up along the way:
Make it exciting for the kids. The holidays are an exciting time for children; throwing a move into the mix may dampen their spirits. However, you and your kids will find the process goes much more smoothly if you break the news as soon as you’ve made the decision to relocate. My six-year-old was concerned that Santa would not be able to find him at our new home, so we wrote a letter explaining that our forwarding address was forthcoming. We sent it with our elf, Jangle Jinglemaster, and my son got started on his list of things he might like for his new bedroom.
Find someone to help you with the pets. We have a rather territorial Chihuahua and two intimidating-looking mastiff mixes. I figured out quickly that I had to sweep, dust, mop, and vacuum every day but I had no idea what to do with our dogs when my Realtor called me about our first showing. So I left them at home. The buyers refused to come through the front doors. Three days later, my agent called again. This time, I found a pet sitter on Rover. I got lucky and found a college student that took classes at home and was able to come and get all three dogs on a moment’s notice. He got called several more times over the next several weeks until the home sold and the new owners had their final walk-through.
Coordinate showings during business hours. While most buyers have jobs just like the rest of us, I found that scheduling my showings during daylight hours helped me keep things in showable condition. Once the kids were off to school, I did a 30 minute sweep through the house (I used this checklist from Real Simple). On the days buyers wanted to come in after school or on the weekends, the kids and I made a game out of tidying up and I took them for ice cream, to play video games, or to the bookstore until we could return home.
Purge your closets and storage spaces first. The biggest mistake I made was not getting rid of the things I didn’t need. If I had to do it all over again, I would’ve cleaned out the storage room under my stairs so that I’d have a place to hide Christmas gifts without sticking blatantly obvious Amazon boxes in the top of my closet. If I had been smart, I would’ve invested in a portable storage unit so that we can begin to clear the clutter and make things look much nicer for our buyers. Angie’s List offers more information on the pros and cons of alternative storage solutions here if you’re not sure which option is right for you.
Keep holiday decor to a tasteful minimum. It was Thanksgiving weekend by the time we had our open house. By this time, I had already went all out with my Christmas decorations. Big mistake. Since our first buyers left because of the dogs, I was really hoping that a little holiday spirit would make the house more welcoming. It didn’t and three realtors commented that their buyers felt a little overwhelmed by all of the Holly and Jolly decking of the halls. My advice, put up the tree and the stockings and place a beautiful bright red bow on the front door and leave it at that.
Well, those are my ideas. But since this these certainly not the only things to consider when selling your home during the holiday season, here’s a few more tips from HGTV to get you started.