It is believed that December and January are not a great time to put your house/condo on the market, however, I found that buyers in Toronto don’t believe it. Many buyers see no problems in hunting for homes during holiday season of December and January.
As the majority of buyers strive to avoid competition and get a good deal during the slow winter times, the sellers should think about it as an opportunity and be prepared for it.
Here are some seasonal strategies to make your home stand out in the December/January market.
Tip 1. Be ready to negotiate
You’re going to be dealing with serious buyers. Many people who want to buy in December and January are aware that there are bargains out there. Consult with your agent to determine the ideal price for your home and make a plan for negotiating to reach it. Initial lowball offers shouldn’t necessarily be rejected. They may be just a starting point.
Tip 2. Maintain your curb appeal
How do the front and back yard look? It’s winter and the garden is sleeping, but can you make it look better with pots of attractive winter-hardy plants? If you’re planning on selling, it’s probably worth the investment to hire people who can add curb appeal to your home.
Tip 3. Stage it and say good bye to clutter
This goes for any time you’re selling your home. Eliminate all clutter, remove personal touches — make your home as neutral as possible so buyers can imagine their own lives in your space. If you can’t bear to part with your personal decorations or clutter, hire a stager. Getting rid of stuff adds huge value to your home
Tip 4. Decorate with discretion
Heavy decorations equal clutter, and clutter is a bad thing at an open house . Instead of decking the halls to the hilt, just put up a few dramatic but simple decorations.
Tip 5. Do not overdo with religious decor
Avoid overtly religious seasonal decorations during the holidays. Toronto is a home to so many cultures. House hunters have their own religious and cultural ideas. In our multicultural region, you’re best to decorate with a nature theme: evergreens, rosemary branches, candles, berries, pinecones, lights. A few dramatic sprays or a small tree are festive without being overbearing.
Tip 6. Make it smell delicious
This is the season when you can really appeal to the most primal sense: smell. For open houses, simmer a big pot of some kind of punch with apple and spices on the stove to make the space smell like everyone’s best memories. Or bake some special cookies just before you leave. Avoid having meals with strong smells during or before showings as this accelerates the buyers’ wish to exit the door.
Tip 7. Try not to be present during the showings
If possible, schedule the showings when you are not at home. Your presence will make the potential buyers feel uncomfortable. Buyers want to imagine themselves living there, share thoughts between the family members regarding room layout, their current furniture placing and etc.
Tip 8. Cooperate with your agent to create the most of your online listing
Buyers will be doing much of their house hunting online, so work with your Realtor to make your listing really sell your home. Remove all clutter from areas being photographed, and use throw pillows or other small decorative accents to add drama .High quality photos and a professionally created virtual tour can get a real sense of your home. Provide a couple of summer photos so people can see what the garden looks like at its best.
If you have any comments or tips, feel free to share with me.
Happy Holidays to you and your families!