Selling your FL home in the holidays
What helps sell a home in South Florida during the Holidays? Although the ideas here are for Florida homes, most of the concepts hold true around the country.
You know that we do not have snow! - However, we do normally have some of the coolest weather of the year which is perfect for hosting outdoor events, dining al fresco, organizing receptions with fine art displays, entertainers and music, and to exemplify the lifestyle and the environment that a prospective buyer might be hoping to enjoy here in South Florida. It is highly recommended to recruit the help of an event planner and partner with local service providers who should be eager to have the opportunity to show off their flower arrangements, musical or culinary skills to local residents and prospective buyers. Even luxury automobile dealers and yacht brokers have provided vehicles and boats in their inventory to display at open house receptions hosted for luxurious residences throughout South Florida.
Rudolf had a bright red nose but your home doesn’t! – It gets dark early at this time of year and, at the same time, home buyers still get out of work at 5 or later and then can’t get to the areas where they home to buy and start touring homes until 6 or later which means there is a good chance it will be pitch dark outside by the time they get to drive up top your home. So, at this time of year, a great way to improve your homes curb appeal and the overall attractiveness of all exterior areas is with plenty of bright lights. This is a great opportunity to invest in perimeter lighting, yard lighting and flood lights to show off all the great exterior features of the home and let them stand out against the competition. A brightly lit driveway and front yard will allow prospective home buyers to feel welcomed and appreciate all the attractive features of the home with well placed accent lights and the bases of trees and the foot of walls near your homes features. Also, a well trimmed yard, cleanly maintained and well lit, will outshine the competition every time!
It’s the ha – happiest time, of the year! – Decorating your Ho Ho Home for sale properly can be helpful because this is an excellent time to help a prospective buyer to experience what it would be like to celebrate the holidays with friends and family at their new home. So, even if the seller is not a big fan of holiday decorating and/or baking, this is a great time to stage the home that way, put some vanilla or mulling spices on the stove and create an ambiance of Holiday Bliss for prospective buyers to experience while viewing the home. Highly important though is that the decorating should not be personal in nature. Excessive family pictures, religious statuettes or clutter are not generally considered helpful. Hiring the assistance of an interior decorator or home staging professional (if your agent does not provide those services) would be highly recommended to the extent that it is economically feasible. However, even a small investment in decorating or staging can pay off.
Don’t be a scrooge this Holiday Season! If you really want to sell your home, attract the snowbirds and capitalize on vacation time – since most people in the Northeast and throughout Canada take their vacation time at this time of year to escape the frigid cold and local residents take time off work to enjoy the Holidays at their home with their families this means that during these few weeks prospective buyers are likely to be available any day of the week and any time during the day to view a home. So, it is of key importance to make the home available at all times of the day, during weekdays and evenings and host as many open houses, as possible.
Give the gift of peace of mind! This could be of great value to many buyers so to the extent that it is possible, be prepared to be creative and flexible about closing dates and occupancy – people that buy or sell during the holidays may be very well be doing so because they need to relocate for employment reasons so being able to make flexible occupancy arrangements may create a huge incentive for a prospective buyer. Equally important is to offer the home as a certified home for sale, especially here in South Florida since insurer’s will require a home to pass a thorough four point inspection before they will issue an insurance binder for the home. So, having on hand a home inspection, appraisal and home warranty plan help the new home owner rest assured that there will be no issues with the bank required appraisal, or insurance mandated four point inspections, the likelihood of a smooth transaction and fast closing especially at such a critical time of year is all but certain.
Patience is a virtue! – Especially during the Holiday Season. So, expect delays and prepare accordingly by taking into consideration that title agents, mortgage loan officers, processors, underwriters, inspectors, appraisers and insurance agents are all likely to also take their vacation time during the Holiday Season so that means the entire closing process may take at least a couple of weeks longer than it normally would and it’s best to take these longer timelines into account even while negotiating contract terms so as to avoid potential conflicts later on resulting from unreasonably short closing date clauses.