The air temperature in Charleston has recently dropped below 80 for at least two days in a row and you know what that means…it’s Christmas!! 🙂 Well almost. Our local stores jump immediately from beach chairs and sunscreen to Holiday decorations and craft supplies. I find myself sweating as I down my Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks but, really, I have no choice…it’s “Fall” now!
As a Realtor, this time of year is always interesting because most of the people I come in contact with either want to wait until Spring to sell their home or they are considering pulling their current listing off of the market during the holidays. At first glance, it makes sense. I get it. It may sound like a good idea at first but let me give you a few things to consider when deciding what is right for you and your family.
1. Everyone else is doing it
If there is one thing we can all agree on from the last 5 years, it’s that the people that made out the best financially were often doing the opposite of what the “masses” were doing. Let me put it like this…if you were one of the ones following the trend and buying at the top of the market, you probably owe more on your home than it is worth today. If you were selling when everyone else was buying, or buying when everyone else was selling, you are most likely in great financial shape! The same is true with our yearly cyclical market. Especially in a resort town like Charleston, we have visitors come year round. Especially during the winter months, we see more and more tourists and second-home buyers travel down from the North East or from less desirable winter climates and decide to settle in Charleston. Every year we see a much more dramatic drop in listings than we do in buyers during these months. What that means is that your ratio of buyers to sellers actually IMPROVES during the holidays. Everyone else is pulling their home off of the market so if yours is there, hold it, and if it’s not, this may very well be the best buyer exposure you are going to get all year long!
2. It is beautifully decorated for the holidays
One thing all sellers have in common is that they want their home to look nice for showings. They want it to show well so they can get the highest possible value for their home. In real estate, a higher perception of a home’s condition translates into real dollars in the negotiations. So why in the world do we think it makes sense to pull it off the market when it is decorated more completely than any other time of the year? How beautiful do homes look when they are dripping with twinkling lights, smelling of cinnamon and evergreen trees, and have poinsettias sitting around the hearth. Actually, decorations like these can easily hide some of the cosmetic imperfections with your home without the appearance that you are trying to “cover something up.” It is expected that you would have some decorations and yummy smells around the house so the buyers’ antennas don’t go up. They can see that a home is loved and lived in and don’t lead with such a critical eye.
3. You’re busy
Wait…that is one of the reasons you DON’T want to sell your house right now? It should be one of the reasons that convince you to do it! No matter how you slice it, showing your home is inconvenient when you’re living in it all day every day but, during the holidays, you have more than enough excuses, errands, and grocery store needs to keep you busy when you have to pop out of the house for an hour. Load up the kids and go to the beach for an August showing? No thank you! That requires 2 hours of prep work and will just load the house full of sand upon the return. But head over to Walmart or Target to pick up a couple of teacher gifts? You had to do that anyway! The busyness of this time of the year actually helps with seller anxiety because there are so many legitimate reasons to be out of the house.
4. Buyers like turkey too
When sellers come to me asking about pulling their home off of the market, the most common comment I get is, “I’m not going to be able to show my house while cooking Thanksgiving dinner!” These types of sentiments always make me chuckle a little bit because what in the world would make you think that both a potential buyer AND their Realtor hate their families, turkey and football!? They will be doing their own thing that day, I guarantee you. 🙂 And on the off chance that you do get a showing request, you can easily decline or reschedule to a more convenient time. The great thing about working with a Realtor is that you don’t even have to field the call if you don’t want to–we’ll do it for you!
I would love to help you price your home in our current market and then you can decide if selling makes sense for you! Ask me about completing a competitive market analysis for free and with no obligations!! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 843.364.5818 to find out more!