Holiday Listings Know How
Once upon a time, it was considered a desperate move to list a home for sale during the holiday season, both in the Calgary real estate market and anywhere else. The thinking was that only “truly motivated” sellers kept their homes on the market over the festive season. Likewise, only the most interested buyers would take time out to go and view a property.
And this made good sense, way back when. After all, who wants to trudge through the snow and cold to go view a property? On the flip side, why would you want strangers traipsing through your home at such a busy and stressful time of year?
But That, ‘twas Then…
Luckily, all that’s changed thanks to 21st century technology. No longer do prospective home buyers need to take time to go and physically view a property – thanks to the internet, they can view hundreds of properties from the comfort of, well, virtually anywhere!
MLS listings make it easier than ever to view properties without physically visiting them. It’s also easy to filter the properties being searched so prospective buyers only see those they would realistically want to view.
In other words, the miracle of modern technology has made it almost hassle-free to put a home on the market during the holiday season.
The fact remains that there are still some things that can make or break a successful home sale during the holidays.
Knowledge + Experience = We’ve Seen It All
The real estate professionals here at Elite Home Real Estate have the combined experience of several decades in the Calgary real estate market. In this time, we’ve learned quite a few things about selling & buying a home over the holidays.
We could give you a list to rival Santa’s with the many tips & tricks we’ve gleamed from holiday home sales throughout the years! However, there are some questions we regularly get and certain gaffes that we consistently see during this season. With this in mind, what follows is a “Top 4 List of Key Considerations” to keep in mind if you’re selling a home over the holidays.
Read on to learn more!
1. Yuletide Vibes & Festive Decorations (this is a big one!)
There’s a cheery warmth that comes with a home that’s decorated for the holidays. Flames dancing the hearth, Nat King Cole crooning in the background, and the scent of fresh holiday cooking tickling your nose… The thought alone gives us the festive feels!
Thing is, it’s all-too-easy to go overboard with seasonal decorations. The trick of prepping a home for sale during the holidays is to keep it classy & understated. After all, there’s tasteful holiday decorating and then there’s going a step too far. (Helpful hint: Giant glowing inflatables on the lawn and/or rooftop are a prime example of taking it too far.)
Remember to keep it simple and inclusive. Fresh evergreen wreaths and boughs with basic silver & gold colour schemes are fantastic and festive. They add fresh greenery, lovely seasonal scents, and a splash of natural colour to your home.
Seasonal wreaths and cooler colour schemes also appeal to pretty much everyone, regardless of whether they’re celebrating a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Joyous Kwanzaa, or classic Season’s Greetings.
2. Market Competition
Selling a home in Calgary is big business and, most of the time, the Calgary real estate market is very competitive. But most sellers and many buyers choose to take time off over the holidays, preferring to focus on warmth and merriment instead of walk-throughs and MLS listings. If you choose to list your property during the holidays, then this decreased competition works to your advantage – both as a buyer and a seller!
Part of the reasoning for this is that holiday home shoppers are already in the right frame of mind for buying. Not only are they more motivated and usually ready to move in, but most buyers are also already doing other shopping. This fosters a more concrete and receptive mindset for big purchases, making the idea of realistically purchasing a home less overwhelming and easier to digest.
What’s more, logic dictates and stats confirm that holiday home buyers peruse online listings more when the weather outside is frightful. This, combined with the decreased market competition, means that your listing gets more all-around attention from serious buyers.
3. Fast Closings
There’s nothing like the New Year to motivate people to get stuff done and start anew. Researchers call this the “fresh start effect”, and this is especially the case for those in the market to buy a new home.
Research behind this “fresh start effect” suggests that natural transition points and temporal landmarks – such as a birthday, start of the month, or major holiday – make it easier for people to adopt new habits and make positive changes. Buying a home and moving into your new place is one of the biggest transitions and most positive changes people make, which just adds to the motivation for buyers to close the deal!
If the “fresh start effect” of the New Year isn’t motivation enough itself, then the end of the tax year and start of a new one could very well be. First time home buyers qualify for tax credit, and the Canadian Home Buyer’s Plan allows the withdrawal of up to $25,000 from RRSPs to put towards the purchase or construction of a home. For some buyers, this is the extra incentive they need to buy a home.
Listing a home during the Yuletide season comes with special accessibility considerations, both in terms of physical access and timing.
The first and most obvious accessibility consideration is, well, pretty obvious. Namely, it’s making sure people can safely enter your home! We refer to this as “physical access”.
Physical Access: Keep those sidewalks clear of snow and ice, and make sure the shoveled snow is piled somewhere out of the way. Have an icy patch? Make sure it’s been salted/sanded. Is there a cute walkway or quaint path in the backyard? Shovel that too. The easier you make it for potential buyers to access the different areas on your property, the more likely they are to fall in love with it!
Another type of accessibility is a bit trickier to pin down, and that’s because it involves people’s hectic holiday schedules! We’ll call this “logistical accessibility”.
Logistical Accessibility: This one can get a bit more complicated, but accessibility also includes viewing schedules. Why? Because it’s mighty rare that people don’t have some changes to their schedules over the holidays, whether it’s extra time off or more social obligations.
If you’re lucky enough to go on vacation during the holidays then you have little to worry about since your home is pretty much available for viewings 24/7. But if you’re like the rest of us, your holiday schedule creates extra demands on your time. Family obligations, holiday parties, dinner gatherings, school breaks, and travel plans all impact the times for when both sellers and buyers can view a property.
A great way of working around the special scheduling demands this festive time of year creates is to make a “showings calendar” with days & times of availability, as well as establishing any “black out dates” where you simply can’t host and showings.
A Merry Home Sale To All, and To All a Good Price!
The above 4 Top Tips are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to successfully selling a home over the holidays – every home listing is unique, and so are the details that go into a strong listing!