Sell a House During the Holidays

You’re trying to sell a house and now this. Who knows how it happened. Maybe you’ve got the house with the dining room filled with grandma’s china and the extra bedrooms. Or maybe your sister hosted last year so it’s just dumb luck that it’s your turn. Either way, you’ve got guests heading over the river and through the woods and to your house they’ll go. They’ll bring packages and too much luggage. The driveway will be full of extra cars. Your dad might even bring his dog. But you’ll all be together. Isn’t that what really matters during the holidays?

Sure it is. Until the morning everyone is chatting and sipping coffee in the kitchen and you hear the distant buzz of your phone. It’s a text from your Realtor. It says she has received a showing request for that afternoon. Can she confirm? Oh crap! Your house is still for sale!  

Take a breath and resist the urge to immediately decline the request. First, consider that most folks looking at homes during holiday weeks are serious buyers. They may be in town for a limited time and the number of sellers that will accept a showing request will be lower than usual. Hmm, serious buyers and limited competition, bring it on. Let’s sell a house!

A little communication with your guests and some planning before they arrive is key to make it easy to accept these requests if they come. Try these ideas;

  • Clear space in closets and drawers for your guests to unpack and stow away their luggage.
  • Provide your guests with a basket in their room. Ask that in the event of a showing, they corral all their loose items in it.
  • Clear space in a drawer or under the sink in the bathroom for guests to store personal items and toiletries. 
  • Place glass cleaner and paper towel in the guest bathroom for easy clean up.
  • Ask neighbors if your guests can temporarily park in their driveway during possible showings.
  • Ask guests bringing pets to also bring a crate or carrier for the pet to stay in during possible showings.
  • Print showtimes for a local movie theater. Keep it handy as a guide for last minute entertainment ideas during showings.
Remember, the buyers know that it’s the holidays and they probably feel awful about touring occupied homes. They are only doing it because they HAVE to BUY SOON. If the house doesn’t look perfect, don’t sweat it. Accept the request if you can. Go see a movie about an elf with your family and have some fun. Besides, next year is your sister’s turn!

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