How to sell a home leading up to the holidays

By Dustin Graham

There is no controlling the time of year that a real estate investor might be required to divest of a property, but what about the busy period leading up to the holiday season?

Although listing a home too close to Christmas isn’t ideal in many cases, it can yield positive results if done properly.
One advantage of selling a property around the holidays is that there’s typically less competition. With fewer listings on the market at this time of year, you can take advantage of the more serious active buyers. It’s not uncommon that work schedules lighten up leading up to the holidays, which may allow active buyers to focus on house hunting.

The amount of active buyers will be somewhat dictated by the condition of the local market – for instance, a seller's market will typically see more buyer foot traffic at any point during the year when compared to a buyer or balanced market. With that said, many people simply stop looking for homes at this time of year, so an impactful marketing strategy is critical in order to generate interest.
The rules for staging a home leading up to the holidays change slightly as well. Prepare your property in such a way that buyers will feel warm and comfortable. Selectively decorate for the holidays, but do not go overboard as you want to appeal to all cultures.

If the home has a fireplace, be sure to have it lit for showings. Have the heat set to a comfortable 21 degrees or slightly higher on a really cold day. Ensuring your property shows well is of utmost importance during this time of year.
It goes without saying that pricing the home properly to reflect current market conditions will greatly contribute to the sale success.  

Dustin Graham is a sales representative with Re/Max and the leader of The Graham Partners team located in the west Greater Toronto Area.

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  • by Carol Martin 2016-07-19 8:23:58 AM

    Thank you for the information.
    It is really very helpful.

  • by Lucielle Ralle 2016-09-08 10:24:09 AM

    I identify very strongly with this letter. When my husband and I tried to sell our beautiful 18th Century farmhouse in St. Jacob’s County, we were faced with a string of realtors who were unable to comprehend the beauty of the place, or how valuable its surrounding acreage was (equipped with natural fruit trees and hiking trails). However, its unique offerings were apparent to everyone we spoke with outside of the industry. Located off on a gravel side road, it lacked that traditional sense of proximity to transportation and retail - but that was exactly why we had purchased it in the first place. By listing our home on, we were able to communicate directly with other homebuyers and show them what had bewitched us. Without the opportunity to present our home in its best light, it never would have sold at the price it did. Thanks Prelist! I’d highly recommend it to anyone with a lifestyle property.

  • by Julia Winters 2016-09-08 10:25:33 AM

    Last year I experienced this challenge myself. Partially by luck and partially through trial and error, I managed to find little tricks like the ones outlined here to help the house show better. We added wreaths to all the doors, lit baking themed candles, and put soft and fluffy blankets everywhere. I know it sounds cliché, but it truly delivered on creating the atmosphere I needed. It was such a short- notice affair I used rather than a realtor, something which I would definitely recommend! It’s a site that lets you sell your own home yourself by connecting you with buyers. I was not only able to present my home in its best light, but avoid fees for involving a third party. It can take a great deal of luck to sell it that quickly, but the process was incredibly simple. I plan to use it again the next time I have to move – but hopefully not for awhile!

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