How to Sell Your Home During the Off Season

The holiday season can be a bit of a challenge for sellers considering all the vacations that families tend to take while the kids are off school. But while this might not necessarily be a hot season to sell, there’s no reason why you can’t find a buyer within a reasonable amount of time who’s willing to offer you a fair price for your home.

With a few sound strategies, you can still be successful in selling your home during the off-season.

Go Easy on the Holiday Decor

It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities of the holiday season, and that includes decking the halls with all of your favorite Christmas decor. But as festive and cheerful as you want to make your home at this time of year, going too far with the decor can throw buyers off and take away from what your home really looks like without all the tinsel and ornaments.

Christmas Day literally just ended, but homeowners tend to keep their holiday decor up for at least a week or two into the new year (and sometimes even longer). But since you’re putting your home up for sale, consider taking down all your decorations, or at least minimize it while still keeping true to the holiday season.

Include Photos From Other Seasons

Consider adding photos to your listing that are from weeks past before you put your holiday decor up. As mentioned above, buyers may not be able to visualize what your home may look like on a day-to-day basis if they have to see past all of your Christmas decorations. While it’s totally fine to have a photo or two with holiday ornaments, you also want to have photos that provide a truer depiction of your home every day.

Brighten Up Your Curb Appeal

Obviously, the inside of your home needs to be prepped to attract buyers and help them easily connect with it. But what about the outside? Curb appeal plays a crucial role in selling within a reasonable amount of time and for top dollar, so don’t forget to trim the bushes, cut the grass, plant some flowers, clean the dead leaves and loose twigs, and freshen up the mailbox and doormat.

Price to Sell

No matter how awesome your home looks, it’s got to be priced according to the market. If you’re selling during the holidays when there may not be too much activity, now might not be the best time to shoot high on price. A price that’s too high can turn off buyers, while an aggressive one can pique buyers’ interest much faster. 

Be Open to Negotiation

During a hot selling market when buyer activity is high, sellers have a more solid foundation to stand on and therefore tend to have more negotiating power. But if there are fewer offers coming in as a result of a slower selling season, you might want to keep a more open mind when negotiating. Further, you may also want to consider offering incentives to sweeten the deal so you don’t have to negotiate lower than you’d prefer to. 

Have a Pre-Home Inspection Done

While buyers will probably want to have their own home inspection done after an offer has been accepted on both sides, having a pre-inspection done can be a great way to attract buyers and make them feel at ease knowing what condition the home is in as per the pre-inspection report.

Buyers don’t like any last-minute surprises after thinking they had ironed out all the details of the offer. Making any issues with the property known before buyers put in an offer is always a good thing.

Complete All Necessary Repairs

Unless they’re specifically looking for a fixer-upper, buyers typically want a home that is move-in ready and doesn’t require any repairs. Any issues should ideally be taken care of before they move in, so make sure to get any repairs or maintenance tasks taken care of before you list.

Have Your Home Professionally Staged

Professional home staging is highly recommended no matter what type of selling season you happen to be in. But when the season is a bit on the slow side, it becomes even more important. Home stagers understand exactly what buyers in the area are looking for and give it to them on a silver platter thanks to their staging techniques. Don’t skimp on having your home staged, as you can easily recoup whatever you spend on these services when you sell.

Ensure There’s Plenty of Light

A well-lit home certainly shows much better than a dim and dark one. Always make sure there’s as much natural light flowing throughout your home as possible. That means ensuring that no window treatments are blocking light from shining through your windows and hanging mirrors strategically to allow natural light to bounce off them. Further, make sure all lights are kept on during showings and open houses, especially if your home is lacking in windows.

Be Flexible With Showings

When you’re trying to get as many buyers in your home as possible to check it out, you don’t want to make things difficult for them by being too picky about when they can and can’t visit.

Generally speaking, you should allow your home to have showings booked seven days a week between the hours of 10am to 8pm. Further, you shouldn’t ask for too much notice to be given. Ideally, two hours’ notice should be enough, though you should also be open to allowing last-minute showings. That means your home should be in show-ready condition at all times.

The Bottom Line

Many will argue that the spring season is the best time to sell. But while there may be certain advantages to selling during this traditional selling season, you can still be successful if you list during the off-season. Consider the above tips to help boost your odds of finding a willing buyer sooner rather than later and gift yourself a home sale this holiday season!