Selling your home during the holidays shouldn’t be a problem and can be a real plus, says Leah Caro, president of Bronxville-Ley Real Estate.
She insists she is not just putting a positive spin on snowy days and open houses.
“Homes can look their most charming at holiday time,” she says enthusiastically.
At our request she shares some of her wisdom on why this season might be the best time to sell or buy a property.
It all comes down to two main points:
The season brings in very serious buyers. Who looks now when family visits and shopping awaits if they don’t want to sign a deal. Motivated buyers are fabulous for sellers.
And holidays have the potential to make houses look and feel cozy — smell those gingerbread cookies baking in the oven? And if there is snow on the ground it just adds to the warmth of the inside of the house.
Here are Caro’s perspectives on selling in the winter. Incidentally, the above photo is a winter listing from her agency: 128 Boulder Trail in Yonkers, Bronxville post office, listed for $1,150,000 by Victoria Carter of Bronxville-Ley Real Estate.
“Some sellers think they should take their property off the market until after New Year’s but I disagree. Firstly, any buyer seeing a house between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are likely to be a serious buyer, and because showings will be reduced to some degree, the sellers are less likely to feel the pressure of constant visits from “lookers.” But mostly, houses look great! Buyers can see where the Christmas tree goes, how the kitchen accommodates cooking for the holidays, the warmth of the kids home from college, etc.”
Once the holidays have ended and the decorations are gone, Caro agrees winter can be a challenging season and the so-called spring market starts when trees are still without their leaves and flowers have not bloomed.
But she offers some advice to remind us to keep houses warm, smells appealing and the lights on!
“Tips for the winter seller include making sure the temperature inside the house is inviting. Nobody wants to spend more than necessary to heat the house, but the buyers need to feel comfortable – we want them to linger! Keep walkways and steps free of snow and ice. If buyers are requested to remove their shoes (because of the snow and ice and salt) providing booties is a nice touch.”
And she adds: “Good smells work year-round! But make sure they’re not too overpowering – you don’t want ‘pine’ to smell like Pine-Sol.”
Caro also reminds us of another obvious, but clearly important, detail.
“Because the dark descends so early (well before 5), outdoor lights should either be on or on motion sensors. And some interior lights left on always looks good, and is also inviting.
“Fires in the fireplace should be restricted to when someone will be home – never unattended. A public open house could be the right occasion – but only with the express permission of the homeowner. Make sure the chimney vents properly before starting a roaring fire. A smoke filled room is not inviting!”
Happy holidays and happy showings.
(Photo of 128 Boulder Trail in Bronxville/Yonkers courtesy of Bronxville-Ley Real Estate.)