BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – The conventional wisdom used to say you shouldn't list your home for sale during the holidays, and you might even take it off the market.
However, these days, a Birmingham realtor said that thinking has become outdated. The combination of buyers shopping online and lower interest rates has made home buying a year-round pursuit. Plus, the people looking in the winter are usually very serious about buying.
"Put yourself in their place. If you're out there and you're looking for a home, you're very serious about buying a home," said Lora Kazanjian, with Max Broock Realtors in Birmingham.
That's just one of the reasons she says the holidays have become a hot time to sell your home.
"We do a ton of sales at this time of year. Inventory is low and so it's a great time to have your house up for sale," she said.
Kazanjian showed Ruth to the Rescue a home decked out for the holidays, just the right amount to make a sale. Whenever you stage your home for sale it's important to make it feel warm, spacious and welcoming.
"It evokes a thought amidst people that its family! 'Oh, this is what I did when I was a kid. This is so happy. I'd like to live here'", she said. "Inside the house, create spaces that show how you can entertain because that's what people are thinking at this time of year."
Religious items, do decorate, don't distract
When it come to the religious aspects of the holidays, Kazanjian says be true to yourself, but don't allow any type of religious decorations to become a distraction.
"If you are Jewish and you need to light your menorah or you menorah needs to be on the table, then it should be. Do you need to have a menorah in every corner? Probably not." she said.
Ann Damman has sold more than one home during the holiday season. She says it's the perfect time to give your home a little something extra.
"When you are being true to the season and you're decorating your home anyway, you create that inviting environment that you really don't have other times of the year," said Damman.
The realtor and the home owner agree lights can play a key role, and the holiday season gives you an excuse to throw up plenty of extra lights.
"There are a lot of night drivers, driving around looking at lights with their children, and to highlight your 'For Sale' sign is not a bad idea, " said homeowner Ann Damman.
Kazanjian says you don't have to go overboard. In fact, she says avoid doing the "National Lampoon's" version of holiday lights.
"Simple lighting. Maybe showing the front door so that somebody wants to come in, so they can find the house that's for sale," she said.
Damman says staging her home during the holidays paid off for her.
"There really wasn't a whole lot on the market. So, we had a steady stream of interested clients and we sold very quickly," she said.
Kazanjian also pointed out that Metro Detroit is home to many big corporations with new employees looking for homes this time of year, as they look to start new contracts in January. It all adds up to an opportunity that sellers probably shouldn't pass up.
"The biggest mistake people make when they try to sell during the holidays is not listing their home during the holidays!" said realtor Lorasaid Kazanjian.