Traditionally, the holiday season can be a tough time to put your home on the market. Most people’s focus shifts to friends and family and getting away for a well-deserved break, so buyer activity isn’t usually particularly high.
According to David Jacobs, Gauteng Regional Manager for the Rawson Property Group, however, there are ways to make selling during the festive season work in your favour.
Make the most of digital media
“The advance of digital media like online property platforms and apps means buyers are connected to the property market all year round these days,” says Jacobs. “Regardless of whether they’re home or on holiday, they’re still actively monitoring listings and keeping tabs on interesting options. If you can capture their attention online, they may well make further enquiries, even if they weren’t planning on actively house hunting over the holiday period.”
To make the most of your online presence, Jacobs strongly recommends using a professional real estate agent with an established online distribution network.
“You really want to maximise your online exposure with as compelling a listing as possible,” he says. “That means quality imagery and a well-crafted description.”
Take advantage of less competition
According to Jacobs, a lot of sellers avoid listing at this time, creating a very convenient drop in competition.
“Homeowners who are keen to sell over Christmas and New Year can benefit significantly from lower competition, and the fact that buyers who are active at this time are usually quite motivated,” he says. “You’re far more likely to be a ‘destination’ show house rather than one of many during December, which is a great opportunity to connect with buyers and create a really positive impression.”
Show off your home’s entertainment possibilities
The festive season is all about friends, family and entertaining, and Jacobs says tapping into this holiday spirit can work wonders for a home on show.
“Buyers are going to be in holiday mode, feeling happy, vibey and enjoying the summer,” he says. “By highlighting your home’s summery side and entertainment potential, you can really capture their attention on an emotional level.”
Jacobs recommends making gardens and outdoor entertainment areas as inviting as possible, and maximising light and fresh air indoors.
“The idea is to make it easy for buyers to picture themselves living their best lives in your home. If you can do that, you’re halfway to a sale.”
Decorate subtly for the season
A little Christmas cheer can go a long way towards warming up a home and making it feel inviting, but Jacobs warns sellers not to go overboard when staging a show house.
“Not all South Africans celebrate Christmas, so too many decorations can be off-putting,” he says. “Even the most die-hard Christmas fan is also unlikely to fall in love with your home if they can’t see it underneath all the tinsel and lights.”
Be price smart
Pricing your home appropriately is essential at any time of the year, but Jacobs says it’s even more important over the festive season.
“It may be Christmas bonus time, but the holidays are expensive for all of us and most people feel quite price-conscious around this time,” he says. “An overpriced home is going to struggle to attract attention and is unlikely to sell quickly or well, so be sure to position your property intelligently according to your agent’s recommendations.”
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