Rush to Buy Homes During the Holidays?

SONY DSCHome owners may be doubtful that the months of November and December will bring about a home sale. After all, aren’t potential buyers sidetracked with the holidays and likelier to postpone their house hunt due to bad weather and shorter days?

But sometimes the “off-peak” time to sell can actually be the perfect moment for sellers. Several studies show that, on average, homes listed in November and December are more likely to sell, sell more quickly, and more closely approach the asking price, according to an article at Forbes.com.

A 2011 study conducted by realtor.com® found that 60 percent of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because they believe it’s an opportune time to sell. Nearly 80 percent of the real estate professionals surveyed said that more serious buyers emerge during the holidays, and 61 percent say less competition from other properties makes it an ideal time to sell.

Thanksgiving is particularly good, the article notes. Buyers may have held out through the busy summer months hoping to find a better deal, but now they may be searching with increased urgency. Some buyers may be motivated to close before the end of the year for tax purposes. They can purchase a home late in the year to deduct home purchase costs on their taxes, such as points, interest, and property taxes. Also, certain sellers who sold their homes during the summer season may be facing a capital gains tax. They may be highly motivated to buy in November to avoid paying capital gains tax (since closing on the purchase of another house is required within 180 days).

Source: “Why November Is the Best Month to Sell Your Home,” Forbes.com/Trulia

Post Holiday Cleanup

The holiday season has come and gone, and it’s now time to begin packing away your holiday decorations. While cleaning up after the holidays can be a drag, it doesn’t have to be. Follow these simple post-holiday clean up tips, and your home will be back to normal in no time.
Organizing your holiday decorations when you pack them away is a good way to save yourself the hassle when you go to decorate next year. Using large plastic containers can help you organize your decorations. They can also save you space in your basement or attic. Be sure to pack your decorations away in groups and mark each container, this way you can easily find each room’s decorations.
When packing away tree decorations, pack fragile ornaments in bubble wrap or shredded paper and place them inside smaller boxes. Tree lights should also be neatly packed away; a good trick is to wrap them around a piece of PVC piping. Artificial trees should also be cleaned of all tinsel and garland and stored in the original box making sure not to crush or break any of the branches.
Wreaths can be easily stored by attaching the wreath to a heavy-duty clothes hanger. Cover the wreath by cutting a small whole in a trash bag and feeding the hook of the clothes hanger through the hole. You can then easily hang the wreath to prevent damage and ensure use year after year.
Taking down your holiday decorations doesn’t mean sacrificing a lot of time. Keep in mind these tips and remember to stay organized and you will be on your way to enjoying a new year.

Throw a Memorable and Safe Holiday Party

Throwing a holiday party is a great way to celebrate the season with friends and family. From great food and drinks to decorations and songs, here is everything you need to know to have a memorable and safe holiday gathering.
Decorations can set the mood for your party. Whether you are looking for a formal feel with dark burgundies or hunter greens, or a relaxed environment with bright reds and greens, partygoers are sure to remember a well decorated party. Candles and white lights can also set a winter mood. Keep in mind, though, that the open flame of a candle can be unsafe around small children. Place candles in safe environments away from any decorations as to avoid catching on fire.
Food is also a key to any good holiday party. A major complaint of party hosts is spending too much time in the kitchen. Avoid this by preparing foods that can be served at room temperature. This also invites people to eat when they are ready instead of serving food at one time.
Holiday parties are not complete without festive drinks. Remember though, if serving alcohol at your party, do it responsibly. Stop serving alcoholic beverages at least one hour before the party ends to ensure safe travels. A good way to limit the consumption of alcohol is to have premixed drinks such as punch, this way you can control the amount of alcohol in each drink. Be sure to also provide an array of non-alcoholic drinks for guests who prefer not drink.
Keep these few tips in mind when planning your next holiday party. Just remember, the most important part of any party is to enjoy the festive time with family and friends.

Selling Your Home During the Holiday Season

The holidays are here, and the only gift you want is a “sold” sign in your front yard. In past years, it’s been difficult to sell a home during the winter months. It’s an extremely busy time of year, any an expensive one at that. However, selling your home during the holiday season doesn’t have to be hard.
If you’re determined to sell your home this holiday season, consider these tips.

Create curb appeal. Clear your driveway, walkways and stairs of snow and ice. Spruce up the front door with a wreath and a holiday welcome mat. Decorate the outside of the house with a few holiday lights. You can also put candles in your windows. However, remember to decorate tastefully; a little goes a long way when it comes to decorating.

Appear welcoming. Turn on the porch or garage light in the evening, as if you’re expecting guests. Keep the house warm and toasty. It will be much appreciated by visitors during these cold months. Light your fireplace (if you have one) to create a cozy feeling. Want a more friendly touch? Bake cookies! Your home will smell delicious, and you’ll have wonderful treats on hand. Not into baking? Put a drop of vanilla extract on a cookie sheet and place in the oven a few minutes before guests arrive; it will have the same effect as baking.

Don’t go overboard. Decorate the interior with a few holiday trinkets, but be careful not to overwhelm potential buyers. They need to see beyond these decorations that will only stay up one month of the year. Buyers will appreciate your holiday spirit, but are also interested in the look of your home as it will appear year round.

Keep in close contact with me, your real estate agent. You don’t want to have a showing in the middle of entertaining friends and family. Make sure that I’m aware of your schedule and alert me as soon as possible if something comes up.