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Two of the questions realtor Betsy Anderson hears annually are "How can I market my home during the holiday season?" and "Is this the ideal time to market your home?"
"Historically, the spring market has always been the strongest," says Anderson. "But since that dark time in real estate in 2008, we haven't quite found a new 'normal.' Three years in a row, I received offers on homes on the market on New Year's Eve–never would have predicted that! Hopefully the weather will cooperate, but remember, if they like your home in the rain or snow, they'll probably love it more on a sunny day!"
To make your home stand out during holiday season, Anderson has some tips.
"Rule #1 remains the same regardless what season you're selling," she says. "Price the home realistically! Recent comparable sold properties dictate the price for your home. Pricing is critical. Some sellers prefer to leave room to negotiate, but an accurately priced property will draw an offer closer to asking.
"Photographs are the next most important marketing tool," says Anderson. "Almost all buyers will begin their search online, so do not over-decorate. Let's keep it simple with some fresh greens on the inside and the outside, which will both photograph well and smell welcoming during a showing. Be certain to have the walkway from the driveway and/or sidewalk cleared to avoid any unfortunate slip and falls and allows the buyers to focus on the curb appeal. Battery operated candles will enhance the mood and reduce fire risk. Even if your home is empty, don't be tempted to skimp on the heat. Welcome the buyers into a friendly, warm home on a chilly Connecticut evening.
"Finally, many buyers who are shopping at this time of year need to move and it can be a great benefit to be one of the few homes on the market during holiday season," she says. "Make certain the curb appeal is fresh, the walkways are clear, the home is welcoming and get ready to market. Yes, it can be difficult to move out the kids, parents, pets, clutter during the holidays–but let's face it, it's difficult year-round. So, make your home stand out online to attract the next owner! Cheers to the new house in the New Year!"
This story was provided by Betsy Anderson, a real estate agent for William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty. She can be reached at 203-641-3233, 203-245-6700 x207, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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