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Christmas TreeShould you market your home for sale through the holidays?  It’s now early November, and if your property has been listed for sale but not gotten an acceptable purchase offer, you may be thinking of taking your house or condo off the market until sometime in the new year. Or you may be ready to sell but thinking that holding out until the new year will benefit you more. Is that a good idea?  Below, please find some considerations for you as you decide what to do.

Pricing: will the home sell for more now, or in the new year or spring?

No one can tell you whether prices will be better or worse in the first quarter of 2013 than they are now.  Prices are rising overall right now, in most areas of Santa Clara County.  But we do not know what will happen with the “fiscal cliff”.  We don’t know if the wonderful gains that 2012 brought will roll back in 2013 – we don’t expect them to, the economists believe that prices will continue going up, but no one can guarantee anything.  The market is never 100% uniform; even if the San Jose area as a whole appreciates or depreciates, it could be different from one price point to the next or one area to the next, with different markets in Almaden, Cambrian, or Los Gatos, or in your subdivision or school area.  But bottom line: we really don’t know what pricing will do, we only know the probable buyer’s value – a range of likely sales prices – right now.  Inventory is critically low, so there’s a far better chance of problem homes selling right now than when there’s a lot of competition.  Even homes with no issues will find that less competition is a big boon for selling.

Being disturbed during the holidays

Many home owners really don’t want a lot of traffic coming through the home from Thanksgiving through the New Year due to visiting relatives, events planned such as parties at the home, the presence of gifts and concerns over theft, etc.  They may also be worried about rainy weather and carpets getting soiled.

At the same time, though, during the holidays many of us make our homes warm, bright and inviting, particularly if we decorate for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, etc.  Even the smells can do wonders: gingerbread cookies, Christmas trees, hot mulled wine…. With family and friends coming to visit, we tend to “deck the halls” and make our houses really feel like homes.  For many condos, townhouses and houses, during the holidays these homes really show at their best.

The potential to sell a home in winter is actually a lot higher both because of the decor and ambiance, but also because so much of the competition is withdrawn from the market.  The odds shift much more in your favor if you keep your home on the market!

Market the home – but differently!

A great solution is to continue to market the home for sale during the holidays, but to do it differently:

  • remove the for sale sign & outside flyer box
  • remove the lock box, showings by appointment only (by agent or seller)
  • remove the seller’s phone number from the MLS – all visits will be by appointment only (via listing agent)
  • flyer stand, disclosure binder and other marketing materials out of sight
  • keep home listed for sale on MLSListings.com but more restricted hours

This sort of marketing will result in fewer showings but showings of more qualified, more motivated buyers.  It will be less intrusive to you and everyone in your household too.