Most people’s first reaction to listing their North Conway real estate this time of year is not a positive one. Thoughts of snow, regardless of how much we may love it, also bring images (and the reality!) of muddy boots in our homes, open doors and obligatory clean and safe walkways. All the while, we assume the buyers are nestled in their warm homes not wanting to leave. There is no question that a nice warm summer day is a preferable setting for spending a few hours viewing potential homes to purchase. But we strongly feel the holidays bring a special set of benefits that should not be overlooked.
A couple weeks ago we talked about setting up your home for the holidays and we talked about including all of the senses to set this “theme”. What better way to make the most of all that hard work? Most people have fond memories of this time of year including decorated homes with lights and garland. Combine that with the smells of cinnamon and spices and the senses are sent into overdrive. That whole environment teems with thoughts of “home” and “family” and encourages that strong nesting instinct for all. Very often folks are coming back to where they grew up during the holidays. If they are thinking of moving back, now is the time they will be looking at houses. You have learned over the years that people buy with emotion. This is a great time to make the most of that and present a warm, inviting and festively decorated home.
We have also seen a trend that both buyers and sellers taking action during this time of year tend to be a more serious bunch. Traditionally people close their doors before Thanksgiving and don’t come out again until mid-January. This is a time for family, year-end wrap-ups and preparation for winter. People out there taking the time and effort required to buy or sell a home are going to be more serious.
Availability is critical during this time as well. We encourage all of our sellers to accept all invitations for showings and don’t put time limits on them. The easier you make it for those buyers, the more likely they will be to accept. While this is clearly good advice any time of the year, the expectation during the holidays is that the homes won’t be available. If you can buck that notion and encourage all showings, you are more likely to capture more opportunities.
Since people tend to be vacationing or at least taking a few days off during this time of year, they tend to have more free time. Weekends and evenings are no longer the only time people have to look at houses. This is a great time to take advantage of their free time and make sure your home is available and open as often as possible. The opportunity for buyers to visit an open house is great now than in most other times of the year. Why not throw some cookies in the oven and give it a shot? We all know that any kind of sales is a numbers game. The more people walking through your door, the better your chances are you will find a buyer for your Jackson NH real estate.
I was raised in a home where we took our shoes off before making it past the front door. If you’re like me, you want to keep muddy boots and shoes off your floors and carpets. A great tip for showings is to invest in some disposable booties that people can wear as they walk through your home. It is far more convenient for those wearing lace-up boots and will show that you have taken good care of your home for the new owners!
We always encourage potential buyers to get pre-approved. This not only gives the buyers a stronger sense of what they can afford, but gives the sellers the confidence that the people viewing their home have the capacity to buy it. I think this is even more critical during this time of year. If someone is going to take the time to open their home for showings, it is a strong sign of respect for their time that the buyers are willing, able and financially capable to make the purchase.
The inventory also tends to shrink a bit right now. Many sellers are taking their homes off the market until spring or at least until after the New Year. If your home is open and you are willing to show at any time, you should see a nice uptick in traffic. After January, the number of homes on the market tends to jump up a bit. This will not only create more competition for you, but will give buyers far more variety to choose from and lessen your chances of being found.
Having said all that, keeping your home on the market during the holidays does not mean you have to take on the mentality of a B&B. You are still in control and can always adjust things to suit you needs. You can delay the closing for a few days as you celebrate the holidays. You can even limit the showings during those important family times. There is no need to toss reason out the window and sacrifice your whole season in an effort to sell your North Conway real estate. We suggest you simply keep yourself in the shoes of the buyers and make every effort to keep the process as simple easy for them.