How to List & Sell More Homes During the Holidays

We have all heard it before, “No one buys during the holidays” or “I want to wait till after the holidays and sell during the selling season.” This type of mindset can be very common this time of year. There are even agents that pass on this type of information to their clients. The reality is, there are many agents that do not do their homework when it comes to selling during the holidays.

In this video, Greg Harrelson coaches his agents on identifying buyers & sellers, generating more business, and overcoming objections so that they can List & Sell More Homes During the Holidays!

Podcast available on iTunes and Stitcher

Get Notified of Future Episodes

To effectively sell during the holidays, we first need to cover the idea that the holidays are not a good time to sell. What often happens is that an uninformed agent tells this to a client and then it ends up being the only information a client has about selling during this time of year. Then they end up using the holidays to justify their procrastination and delay their real estate goals. The best script to approach this type of client is by asking why. You need to challenge this thought in an inquisitive manner. Ask them why they believe this. Make them own their statement. Then they will come to realize they have no reason to believe the holidays are a bad time to sell.

When you can identify this, and understand this behavior you will be less likely to buy into what the sellers are saying. You can help them accomplish what they want to accomplish and work around the holiday festivities and obligations.

Next, let’s take a look at the thought that the holidays are not the selling season. When it comes to selling during the different seasons, there is no such thing as an on-off. It is a matter of who. Simply put, you have to change who you are selling to. Who are the buyers during the winter? Snowbirds and retirees. In the spring it is golfers. In the summer it is younger families because of the school year. It's not that sales are on or off based on the season it is a matter of who we are selling to based on the season. A successful agent will know exactly who they are selling to during a particular season and change their marketing strategy to reflect that. The profile of the likely buyer changes during the particular season. When you say that to a seller this will be the first time they have heard that.

Advantages

Now that we have two good scripts to open the conversation, let’s discuss the advantages of selling during the holidays: 

Seller’s competition is lower during the holidays?
- Many agents are not following this dialogue or script, thus new listings to the market will be trending down?
- If buyers are still buyers, there will still be buyer demand, so sellers have less competition with the decreased inventory.
- Builders finish building by March. Less competition for buyers because there are fewer properties on the market?

Buyers are motivated during the holiday season
- The clientele you deal with in the winter will be a more mature clientele (Snowbirds and retirees)
- It will take fewer showings to get an offer (You don’t have enough time to window shop during the holidays as you do during the summer)
- Their finances are stronger.?

Actions You Should Take

1. You need to identify people who truly want to sell during the holidays. You need to share this information with them and explain the advantages of selling now during the holidays. Use these talking tips.

2. Make sure you are committed to making your contacts during this season. Look at your calendar, mark out days you can’t work. Set a contact goal for each day you will be working focus on making those contacts. Have a quality conversation with each contact.

3. Keep the long game in mind. You will get both today business and first quarter business in the new year. Inevitably, there will always be the people that will still want to wait. You can use this as momentum going into the first quarter. January will be a great month

4. You want to focus on follow up during this season. Go through your seller database and call these people. Call the expireds and the FSBOs. Pay special attention to your database. Don’t ignore your database during the last quarter of the year. If you do, they will ignore you the following year. This is your last chance of the year to remind them that you are committed to them and willing to work for and serve them that you want to earn their business. In the new year when they are thinking about their real estate goals and what they want to accomplish, they will think of you.

Useful Scripts
Let’s say a client is almost convinced to sell during this time of year and then you hear, “But I don’t want to show during the holidays.”

No problem. Use the term blackout dates. Let's get it on the market, and then we can discuss blackout dates. Any dates you don’t want to show the property we can block it out.

Then ask “What dates would you like me to block out for you?”

More than likely they won’t have any dates and will say "I’ll get back to you.”

Something else you may hear is “I don’t wanna close during the holidays.”

Assure them that you will negotiate closing dates so they don’t have to move out during Christmas.

Little tips like these can help to put a client’s mind at ease and smooth out any final objections they may have. You need to consider these objections before having these conversations.

Another great talking point is Redfin’s study on selling during different times of the year. Their findings showed that:

Homes listed from December 31st through March 21st had a 9% greater chance of selling within 6 months than homes put on the market between March 22nd and June 21st

Between December 31st and March 21st, those homes had a 10% greater chance of selling at or near their asking price versus listings between June 22 and September 20th

This study backs up what agents like Greg, have been saying for years. You have the duty to educate the consumer of this information. This will help you grow your business and then accomplish their goals. We are here to serve the consumer. Serving the consumer sometimes comes in the form of educating them and influencing them to do things that they didn’t think they should do, but after hearing this information they are actually compelled to do it.

Final Thoughts
The holidays are nothing more than a distraction. They are not an obstacle, they are not a condition, and they are not an objection. During the holidays, clients make their real estate goals less of a priority, but this is expected if other agents are telling them nothing sells during the holidays. When they hear your information, their real estate goals will go from low priority to high priority and then they will take action.

If you are here to serve the consumer. You serve them by contacting them and delivering helpful information.