12/9/09

Seasonal Tips for Home Buyers and Sellers

Searching for or selling a home in November or December does not have to be stressful during the holiday frenzy. These simple tips for buyers and sellers can minimize stress and possibly facilitate a sale.

SELLERS:
  • Less is more when decorating a home for the holidays while you are trying to sell. Streamline the amount of holiday specific decorations you display.
  • Large over-size Christmas trees and other holiday decorations consume space that might make rooms or landscapes appear smaller.
  • Turn off animated holiday decorations before showings, buyers should focus on your home and not your decorations.
  • If you are having out-of-town house guests, ask your real estate agent to postpone showings until after your guests depart.
  • Display summer photos of home and gardens to inform buyers of the features of the home in other seasons. Holiday buyers are serious shoppers.

BUYERS:

  • You can find motivated sellers at year-end, but don't think they'll give away their home. Do your homework before drafting an offer. Look only at sold comparable's from the last six months.
  • Patience rules at the holidays. Everyone is busy, and if it takes an extra day to view a property, it's not uncommon.

BOTH:

  • If you plan to close the purchase or sale of a home near a holiday, check with your agent, title company and lender to verify two business days before closing that they have all the required documents and funds have been wired to complete the transaction.
  • If you are closing on your new home, select a mid-week day, early in the day, to schedule your closing time, to accommodate last minute delays by a mortgage loan processor, insurance or title company – especially during the holidays.
  • If you plan to move during the holidays, keep in mind that moving companies will require more notice and could charge additional fees for packing, moving and delivering household goods on week-ends and holidays.