Deck the Halls

‘Tis the season for shopping, parties, baking, decorating and cleaning. With all of the added things to find time for during the holidays, selling a home can seem an additional job we may not have time for. There are benefits though to selling during the holiday season and certainly things to be mindful of. Continue reading

Austin Real Estate Market Winter Homes for Sale

Zilker Park  Christmas Tree

‘Tis the season for shopping, baking, cleaning and sitting in Austin traffic. With all of the things to find time for during the holidays, selling or buying a home in Austin, or anywhere, is often taken off the to-do list. There are benefits to selling and buying during the holiday season which can make the prospect of doing so a little merrier.

Austin Winter Real Estate Market

The holiday season is also the start of colder weather. In other parts of the country snow can really impact winter home sales. Fortunately, for the Austin real estate market, snow days are few and far between. Home buyers in Austin can generally shop year round though it may be hard to find the time during the holidays.

Buying a Home, Selling a Home and Creating a Win-Win

The holiday season holds benefits for home buyers. Less buyers mean less competition. There are typically less multiple offers this time of year which can drive up prices along with stress levels. There is often more flexibility with a standard 30-day closing turnaround this time of year as well. Both buyers and sellers have a lot going on besides the thought of moving. In addition, banks and title companies are closed for the holidays which decreases the amount of business days. For some, a shorter closing timeline may be appealing and for others adding 10 days to the timeline to get past the holidays or doing a lease back so nobody has to move right away works nicely. The goal this time of year is to make it work and it usually can.

‘Tis the Season for Serious Buyers

Only the must-see homes on the hot list make the cut this time of year. There are fewer buyers this time of year and with little time, those coming out to see a house are serious shoppers. Sellers will get less traffic but those that come out want or need to buy — now.

Home Staging Made Simple

Decorations set the stage by making a house feel like a home. A seller’s biggest challenge, in any given month, is keeping the home constantly clean. We tend to clean more this time of year anyway for visiting friends and family, so why not take advantage of the opportunity to show it.

There are many sellers that will take their house off the market between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I always encourage my sellers to keep their houses on the market. Serious buyers will miss a home if it is not for actively for sale, which is exactly the type of buyer they want.

Time to Deck the Halls

holiday decor

‘Tis the season for shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning and maybe a little pepper spray in your eye. With all of the added things to find time for during the holidays, selling a home can seem an additional job we may not have time for. There are benefits though to selling during the holiday season and certainly things to be mindful of.

Austin Winter Real Estate Market

The holiday season is also the start of colder weather. In other parts of the country snow can really impact winter home sales. Fortunately, for the Austin real estate market snow and ice days are little and far between. Buyers can generally shop year round though it may be hard to find the time.

Deck the Halls

‘Tis the season for shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning and maybe a little pepper spray in your eye. With all of the added things to find time for during the holidays, selling a home can seem an additional job we may not have time for. There are benefits though to selling during the holiday season and certainly things to be mindful of.

Austin Winter Real Estate Market

The holiday season is also the start of colder weather. In other parts of the country snow can really impact winter home sales. Fortunately, for the Austin real estate market snow and ice days are little and far between. Buyers can generally shop year round though it may be hard to find the time.

Only the must-see homes on the hot list make the cut this time of year. There are fewer buyers this time of year and with little time, those coming out to see a house are serious shoppers. Sellers will get less traffic but those that come out want or need to buy — now.

A decorated house brings warmth and whimsy to the décor which makes people feel good. Decorations help set the stage for your home. One of my sellers’ biggest challenges for selling a home is keeping it clean. Houses are generally cleaner this time of year because we clean anyway when friend and family are coming to visit.

Houses smell better this time of year as well. The real Christmas tree, those fresh baked cookies and gingerbread room deodorizers make buyers feel good when they come see your home.

There are many sellers that will take their house off the market between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I always encourage by sellers to keep their houses on the market. Serious buyers will miss your home if it is not for sale.

Doreen’s Favorite Things

Don’t get too excited here.  Try and control yourself, we don’t have medics standing by. I’m not Oprah, so I don’t have anything to offer you for free, except advice.  When it comes to real estate though, I do have a list of favorite things.  These are products that I have found over time that work well in regard to cleaning, staging and prepping a home for sale.  Not all of them are pricey; in fact you may already have a few of them.  I mention many of them in my listing presentations as I walk around a home to see what seller’s might need to do, to show their home in its best light. Here is a list my favorite things and why they made the list.  They are in no particular order.

Drumroll please………………………..

Glade Vanilla Scented Plug-Ins

The Vanilla and Lilac scent is ok too.  They give a nice warm undertone to a home.  Seller’s have a tendency to make a home smell too fragrant.  Buyers just want a home to smell clean, floral scents are often over powering.

Dyson Vacuum Cleaners

I am not going to get model specific, because I don’t think it matters.  I have pets and have a tendency to kill my vacuum cleaner every 2 – 3 years.  The Dyson picks up pet hair others leave behind.  It is great for picking up after the kids as well.

Candles

Candles are a great staging tool, because they work in every room of your home.  Try putting 3 together on a shelf, a dresser or centerpiece on a table.  They give a home a warm feeling even when they are not lit.

Area Rugs

Buy a couple to help divide a large room up, and give smaller areas more definition.

Shoe Boxes

How many of you have a closet with empty show boxes?  Shoe boxes are a great way to store items you don’t necessarily want potential buyers to see when viewing your home.

Bamboo

Bamboo lives a long time, just in water.  It’s a great plant to add to a room even if you don’t have a green thumb.  Try putting 3 stalks together in a clear vase with pebbles or glass beads.

Duvet Covers

Let’s face it, comforters can be pricey.  Duvet covers are a great way to use the same comforter when you change the décor of a room.  Or, if you need a new comforter you can save money and buy any pattern you want, because no one will see it with a duvet.

Kaboom

I use Kaboom on everything including my carpet.  I advise you test an area before trying this.

Books

Books are another great staging tool that works in every room of a home.

IKEA

IKEA is a great store if you are looking to re-do a room, add extra storage or if you simply want to finish a room with items like bookshelves.

 

Buyer Turn-Ons

Buyers typically find a house to view for sale, from going to an open house or making an appointment with me to see one.  No matter how a Buyer comes to view a home, the Seller knows ahead time that a Buyer is going to be touring their home with possibly little notice.  I explain to my Sellers that once we actively market their house – it’s Showtime!  Your audience can arrive any minute, so your house always has to be in show ready condition. After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

So what turns Buyers on when they see a home?  Like anything else in life – it’s the little things that really get their attention.

Top 10 Buyer Turn-ons

1-     a clean house with freshly vacuumed carpet

2-     an edged lawn

3-     live plants in outdoor and indoor pots

4-     an organized pantry

5-     clothing and linen closets in color order

6-     a set dining room table

7-     clutter free kitchen counters (it makes them look bigger)

8-     a quiet house

9-     a pleasant scent

10-  set beds

Some of these sound silly – I know.  Yes, many of them have absolutely nothing to do with the house itself.  Like I mentioned earlier, it’s the little things that Buyer’s read into. Buyers develop an over all impression of the condition of the house based on the attention to detail Sellers pay to the little things.

Do what your mother told you – pick up your underwear

Selling a home can be challenging, between homes not appraising, buyers unable to obtain loans, throw in a hail storm (which can literally blow the roof off a deal) and you often feel like you’ve scaled Mt. Everest when you actually get to the closing table.  Having no control over many aspects that can go wrong, only makes taking control of things we can…that much more important.  

I often tell buyers, when its meant to be – it will, but that wisdom very much applies to Seller’s as well.  There isn’t always a logical reason why one house sells faster than another, sometimes it is an emotional one.  We don’t post remarks like wood flooring matched color of grand piano, or bedroom paint color matched bedding buyer already had.  Again – I didn’t say it was logical.

What should be logical for Seller’s are things like putting underwear away or picking up toys so that you can walk into a room.  Yes, some of the homes I saw last week defied logic.

I actually told a Seller last week that when he was serious about selling his home – to give me a call.  If they know you are coming…and still can’t pick up the underwear, are they serious Sellers?  You instantly get the message that they don’t really care to sell it.  Again – an emotional response, not typically the truth.   You want someone to buy it, right?  Serious Sellers will attract serious Buyers that really want to get to that closing table, so its important to send the right message.