Your Florida holiday listing may have more potential than you think
In some real estate markets, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is a bust. Real estate agents and ready-to-sell owners might feel that with the world focused on shopping, decorating, and entertaining, potential buyers will be impervious to their efforts. The happy news is, at this time, there is a client base out there that is ready, willing and able to buy, especially in Florida, especially during the holiday season.
In fact, when you make all the right moves to help new home buyers make theirs, it can be the most lucrative time of the year. Despite the noise and distractions, every year, there are Florida residents and visitors who are highly motivated to make new home purchases.
Cut Through the Noise with Laser Sharp Targeting
The real estate industry does not halt on the fourth Thursday in November. Studies show that
The client base that you want is alive and well. According to the Florida Association of Realtors, as reported Florida.Realestate, in December of 2022, the number of closed sales of single-family homes across the state of Florida was 19,158.
Even so, because fewer people choose to list their homes during the holidays, sellers will have less competition. That means an offer is more likely to be accepted because there is less to choose from. Additionally, agents who do take the initiative to show homes during the holiday benefit from festive surroundings and pre-decorated staging opportunities. From the seller’s point of view, the home is likely looking it’s best, and from the agent’s point of view, the quieter selling season means there is more time to give each selling opportunity the white-glove treatment.
Know Your Holiday Buyers
Despite it being a time of year heady with parties and social obligations, life goes on. Those who are looking to purchase homes between Thanksgiving and Christmas are very motivated. They may be in the midst of a major life event, like a death, or a job loss or transfer—many U.S. businesses tend to offer positions to new employees at years end.
The holiday home-shopper may need to downsize for retirement or upsize for a growing family. And while millennials and single women make up a large number of this specialized market, there are also those buyers who are looking for year-end tax breaks. Another group joining these holiday buyers are people who lost bidding wars to cash buyers and investors during the hot post-pandemic real estate market. This includes a lot of first-time Florida homebuyers as well as down-payment assisted buyers who know that it is now their turn. These should be first on your list to contact.
Perhaps, the most compelling reason for non-residents to purchase a Florida home over the holidays—is simply a desire to live in a warmer, easier climate. Florida’s huge influx of vacationers and part-time residents during the winter months provide a unique group of potential consumers who have decided to use that time to shop for their happy place on a more permanent basis.
And then there are those who are simply purchasing a wonderful holiday gift for their family—where better than in Florida, where big money tends to roll in along with the non-stop sunshine and burgeoning population.
Make 2023 go out with a bang by using this quick check list to ensure you assume the strongest selling position possible for closing in Florida’s holiday market:
Get Into Step with the Holiday Buyer’s Quicker Pace
Timing is everything. And this is the time to match the holiday shoppers, quickened pace. This group has less time to waste. Because they have made the choice to spend their precious holiday weeks looking at houses and moving, it’s probably for a compelling must-do reason. If they are from out of state, their days are limited. Make sure your closing associates are at the ready, you’ve locked in viewing times so you can show at a moment’s notice, have fast access to keys at all times, and carefully perfect pre-staging to avoid dashing out at the last-minute for a potted poinsettia.
Go Easy on Decking the Halls
Similar staging rules apply when you’re showing your home during the holidays as any other time: the space should be clean and clear of clutter. While it’s great when holiday decorations add a festive note, remember: less is still more. For holiday lighting, go with white lights instead of multicolored, as it creates a neutral tone. Too much ornamentation will make a space feel cluttered and small. You want to project a clean palette that allows buyers to imagine their own living space. Depersonalize holiday space by going with neutral decorations such as pinecones for a natural, rustic feel, or a beach theme as a nod to a breezy Florida lifestyle. Additionally, keep the decorations secular to avoid off-putting prospects who do not observe a particular religion.
Use the Holiday Vibe to Make the Space Feel Extra Cozy and Inviting
Make the home feel welcoming to potential buyers by playing up the warm camaraderie of the season. Soft holiday music playing in the background, a warm plate of freshly baked cookies, and light holiday-themed scented candles help set the mood to get potential buyers thinking that the space could be their next home sweet home.
Show Off that Fine Florida Outdoor Space
While we take our climate for granted, year-round playground weather may seem like paradise to the out-of-towner. Play up the property’s outdoor living space by making sure patio and pool areas are well-maintained. Here, staging topped off with strategic lighting can be especially enchanting.
Photos & Videos Are Paramount
Pictures and videos will be even more important. Make a well-edited video walkthrough of the property; include documenting the area before it’s decorated for the holidays. If the home doesn’t sell before Christmas Day, holiday decorations are going to make your listing photos look dated come January 3rd. Web-posted virtual tours will help compensate for less foot traffic and enable your listing to be viewed by those who need to work around hectic holiday schedules.
Be Sensitive to Holiday Schedules & Price to Sell
Remember that banks, mortgage companies, and title firms will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and getting home inspections and appraisals might be tricky. Make sure the parties you need involved are contacted ahead of time for availabilities. Finally, as with any other time of year, a home priced conservatively will always get a buyer’s attention. Since everyone’s time is at premium, this is not the season to ‘wait it out.’ Realtors and sellers need to determine realistic expectations based on neighborhood comps, and then go as low as they can right out of the gate. This is not the time to price high and expect to gradually work down to an actual selling price point.
When it’s time to choose a closing lawyer, be sure to contact David E. Klein, Esq. and Guy Rabideau, Esq. at Rabideauklein.com. Florida Bar Board-Certified in Real Estate Law, they have the knowledge and experience you need to protect your interests, fight for your client’s best interests, and provide access to the information and support you need to navigate even the most complex Florida real estate transaction.