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Tips for Selling Your Home Before the End of the Year
Typically, many buyers are eager to move and get settled in before the school year and holidays begin but that doesn't mean you should be discouraged. While the spring is considered a peak selling period, I recall looking for a home in the winter months and successfully closing just after the New Year. However, I am on the west coast and location does make a difference. Looking for homes in California doesn't require driving around on icy roads, trudging through snow-covered walkways or stormy weather. Even if you're not in more mild climates, there is still time to sell your home.
In fact, there are some key factors that may help sell your home. First remember that the number of buyers may be reduced as we head closer to the holidays. Many people simply don't want to juggle the holiday rush and house hunting.
Make The Most of Every Home Showing
On the other hand, there will be some serious buyers looking for a very nice holiday gift for themselves. If they're out shopping in dreary weather or nearing the holidays, it could be because they're extremely serious about making a purchase before the end of the year. With this in mind, be sure to make the most of every showing. Don't let things slide with the upkeep of your home because you are juggling selling a home, working, or taking care of the kids. Selling your home in the fourth quarter must be a priority and the closer to the beginning of the quarter the better.
When considering how long to keep your home listed through the holidays, experts suggest looking at the rates of sales activity in your market. Some areas can be pretty bleak, but that doesn't necessarily mean there's no chance of selling. Remember, that some people may even have tax reasons and need to purchase before the end of the year.
Home Staging is Essential
Expert staging of your home will suit you well. This is a time of year when homeowners bring out a lot of stuff that may be very appealing to them-pumpkins, turkeys, holiday and religious ornaments-but those things don't always impress buyers. In fact, they can annoy them and make the house seem cluttered. This is not to say you can't have some nice seasonally appropriate decor. However, the fourth-quarter sale requires a good strategy like using an expert stager. If there are a a reduced number of buyers seeing your home, make the most of each showing by having a spectacularly staged and clutter-free house to show off. Staging provides a competitive advantage.
Another reason this fourth quarter may see more buyers is that interest rates remain historically low. The potential threat of a rise in mortgage rates could have more buyers eager to lock into an excellent rate, even if it means a move during the holidays.
However, you can also negotiate the sale and make arrangements so that you can still stay in your home for the holidays and make the move after the first of the year. Another effect of the holidays, buyers tend to be more emotional and may spend more during this time of year. Couple that with potentially fewer homes on the market and you may have the perfect setting for an ideal sale.
Written by Phoebe Chongchua September 9, 2011