Ten Reasons to List Your Home During the Holidays

Aside

As with every decision in life, there are pros and cons and choosing when to sell a home is no different. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding when to sell a home. Many homeowners believe selling a home during the fall or winter months is not a good idea and that the spring is the only time a house should be sold. This is the furthest from the truth. Certainly most real estate markets across the United States experience a “spring market rush” every year. There is no doubt that the “spring market” is a great time to be selling and buying real estate, however, the fall and winter seasons may be the best fit for you for many reasons.

Less Competition – Most people wait until spring and summer to list their home, which means during the winter you will have far less competition than any other time of the year.

Serious Buyers Are Out There – Homes are sold and bought 365 days a year. Many homeowners believe that buyers aren’t out there during the fall and winter months. This simply is not the case. Serious buyers are always out there! Some buyers may stop their home search because it is the fall or winter, but serious buyers will continue to look at homes, no matter what time of year it is.

Mortgage Rates Are Low – If you’ve read about real estate in the past year, it’s likely you’ve read that the mortgage rates are low.  You also probably read that there is an expectation that the rates will increase very soon. Since mortgage rates are so low right now, buyers are able to afford more expensive homes. If mortgage rates increase over the fall and winter months while you’re waiting for the spring market, it could cost you thousands of dollars as it could eliminate many buyers from the real estate marketplace! Less demand for your home will mean less money. Bottom line: take advantage of selling your home while the rates are this low.

Quicker Transactions – Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring. The fewer number of transactions means the mortgage lenders have fewer loans to process and home inspectors have fewer inspections to do. All of these factors should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for all the parties involved. A quicker transaction is going to be less stress for you.

Homes May Show Better During the Holiday – Buyers love homes that can tell a story.   The holidays are a great time to show homes because the home is usually dressed up for the holiday season. Simple “seasonal” staging such as adjusting the color of the decor or having an aroma in the air that is relative to the time of year can go a long way with some potential buyers and possibly be the difference between a home selling or not.

January is the Biggest Transfer Month – Did you know that more corporate moves happen during January than any other time of the year? This may be a great reason to list your home during the holiday season.

More Time to Get Top Dollar – By starting to market your home early you may be able to secure a higher price.

Tax Benefits – By selling now you can have a closing before or after the new year for tax purposes.

More Time – Buyers may be looking at homes more during the holidays because of vacation time.

Showings – Yes, there may be fewer buyers during the winter months, but great prospects!

By considering all of the reasons above, you will be able to determine whether now is a good time to sell or if you should wait until the spring.

Holiday party cleanup tips

The holidays aren’t quite in full swing, and that means it’s time to start planning for holiday parties. As you probably already know, when you host a holiday get-together, the worst part is the cleaning, of course.

Here are some tips to help you with the chore that you face after the party.

Clean up the prep work

Starting with an empty dishwasher is always a good idea. Make sure to clean up the pre-party prep work before the party begins. As the party progresses you can load at least some items in your dishwasher. Out of sight, out of mind.

Keep the boxes

If you buy holiday dishes, glasses and tableware, make sure to keep the boxes handy for quick cleanup and storage.

Less is more

When it comes to party decorations, keep it to a minimum. Remember that banners, balloons, streamers and centerpieces add to what you have to clean up and put away later.

Cutting down on cleaning

If you plan to cook anything in the oven, line your pans with parchment paper and you can avoid having to scrub them after your guests leave.

Disposable

Sure, it’s not as elegant, but if you’re having an informal gathering, using disposable utensils and dishware means you’ll have more going into the trash and recycling, but less going into the dishwasher.

Party favors/decorations

If you choose decorations that also serve as party favors, your guests will take them home!

Pick up while you party

Stay on top of the cleaning as the party goes on, but not to the point where you’re not able to be social and enjoy your guests. Speaking of guests, one or two will ALWAYS volunteer to help you.

Plan for spills

Cleaning spills as soon as they occur – and they will – is important to keep them from setting in. A solution of white vinegar, dish soap and water in a spray bottle is a good, all-purpose cleaner.

Water rings

No matter how many coasters you have, you’ll still end up with a water ring or two. Rub a dab of non-gel toothpaste onto the spot then buff with a clean cloth.

Tissue paper

Help prevent wrinkles when you travel; save gift-bag tissue to separate layers of clothing in the suitcase.

Ribbon

Save ribbon to tie clusters of silverware or hang ornaments.

Which Tree is for You? Top Choices for Christmas Trees

Do you have your favorite type of tree to use for a Christmas tree or do you just buy the first tree you see on the lot? It can be a difficult decision if you are looking for the perfectly shaped, fullest, most beautiful tree but it can be lots of fun for the family too.  Make a day of it and enjoy some winter fun in Northeast Ohio!      

 1. Fraser Fir

The Fraser Fir may be the perfect holiday tree. Its attractive 1″ needles are silvery-green and soft to the touch. Because there is space between the branches, the Fraser is easier to decorate than some trees. The firm branches hold heavier ornaments. The trees grow to almost perfect shapes, and as long as the cut tree is kept properly watered, the Frasier Fir has excellent needle retention.

 2. Noble Fir

The Noble Fir is deep green in color and has unusually lovely branch shape. Its branches are sturdy yet the needles are not too sharp to decorate easily. Like the Fraser Fir, the Noble’s branches have good spacing between branches so it’s easy to hang ornaments on them.

 3. Colorado Blue Spruce

A Colorado Blue Spruce has a nice pyramidal shape with strong limbs that can hold heavy ornaments. The Blue Spruce is known for its lovely blue foliage which can also appear silvery.

 4. Grand Fir

The Grand Fir has a glossy dark green color with needles that are 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. This tree is soft to the touch and may not be able to hold heavier ornaments. It’s a pretty tree that grows as high as 300 feet and it’s becoming more popular for homes.

 5. Balsam Fir

The Balsam Fir is a beautiful dark-green color with airy, flexible branches that may not be able to hold heavy ornaments. It has an attractive form, it holds its needles well, and gives off a pleasant fragrance for your home.

 6. White Fir (or Concolor Fir)

The National Christmas Tree Association notes that “Needles are usually 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch long, pointed or notched at the tip, bluish-green when young turning dull green with age…. As a Christmas tree, white fir has good foliage color, a pleasing natural shape and aroma, and good needle retention.”

 7. Eastern White Pine

Branches from the White Pine are often used in garlands, wreaths, and centerpieces due to their long, feathery, soft needles. Though it is a beautiful tree, branches can be a bit too flexible to support heavier decorations. Its lush fullness also makes it difficult to squeeze in ornaments. The White Pine needles last a long time when properly watered.

 8. Douglas Fir

A Douglas Fir is beautiful Christmas tree with soft shiny green needles. It may be difficult to decorate if the branches have been sheared into a perfect conical shape, leaving too little space between branches to hang decorations.

 9. Scotch Pine

You’ll want to wear gloves when decorating a Scotch Pine, since its needles can be sharp as pins! Also, due to heavy shearing, there may be little space between branches for ornaments. It resists drying and if permitted to become dry does not drop its needles.”

 10. Norway Spruce

The Norway Spruce is a beautiful tree but does not hold its needles well, and should be purchased just just a week or so before December 25th. The National Christmas Tree Association notes that the “overall color of Norway spruce is fair to excellent, but needle retention is considered poor unless the trees are cut fresh and kept properly watered.”

 Click here to find where you can find a comprehensive guide to more than 40 tree farms in Northeast Ohio including, Lake County, Geauga County, Cuyahoga County and more.  You may want to call ahead of time to check on hours of operation and directions.  

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