Selling your home during the Winter Holidays?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with RICOASTALLIVING.COM

Winter day in Rhode IslandAre you thinking of selling your home in the Rhode Island area and perhaps moving South, to Florida?  

I went on two listing appointments this week for that exact reason. Both sellers wanted to go south, one to Florida and one to Georgia.  They were both ready to go and sincerely wanted to get away from the cold.  Some people have children and grandchildren and they want to be closer.  At this time of year, it's understandable to want to get out of Dodge!  

Because I have been specialising in this very type of listing, ie moving to Florida, I get asked many questions about selling during the Holidays.   People want to know if they put up a tree or some other form of Holiday decorations, will this turn off buyers? Well, it all depends.

First of all, there are all kinds of buyers and they do not all practice the same Holiday themes as you might. If you want to entice everyone, then you need to be very light on the decorations! This is not to say that you must stop celebrating, but rather than pulling out 30 years of decorations, you might want to limit it to smaller, but attractive decorating. Your Realtor can help you with this and she may suggest a stager for this very reason if you find it too overwhelming.  

Your home is your castle. It is already emotional to be selling your home and moving to another state, especially if you have been there for years, possibly raised a family and certainly have numerous memories! However, you, as the seller have to put yourself in the mindframe of the future. You are selling your home to start a new future and in that process, you need to be able to let new buyers see their own future in your home! This means, less is best and cutting back on decorations, family photos and any accumulating items that are personal to you. You want the new buyer to be able to visualize themselves in their new home, not be looking at the house as if they were visiting. 

The other question I get asked is "should I sell during the winter"? The honest answer is no, because Rhode Island in the spring, summer and fall is absolutely beautiful. However, in the winter you will most certainly get serious buyers and not lookers, so if you really want to move, then even selling in the winter can be a pleasurable experience. And let's face it, the winter is when you want to move!

If you are thinking about selling and moving to Florida, I can help you as I know many Realtors that can walk you through finding your new home on both the east and west coasts, so don't sit out another winter! Call me!



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Opinions are of Karen Hurst, Broker/Owner of Stonehurst Realty only. For a free consultation, visit me at and find out if this is your time to buy or sell!

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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Very good advice - another reason to go light on the decorations at Christmas is that there is only so much room in a house and if you fill it to the brim with 30 years of Christmas decorations, it is hard to see the house for itself. Might be an easier response than telling someone to go easy on the decorations for fear of offending buyers - which is often what we tell people. 

Nov 21, 2014 10:43 PM #1
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!

Lise, I agree, it can be very difficult to not offend sellers because they take it personal, when it really isn't. The main objective is to Sell the house! And we all know buyers like space!

Nov 21, 2014 10:51 PM #2
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, Keller William Capital Properties - Bethesda, MD
Lead Associate Broker

Sometimes the decorations are so nice, they become the focal point. Later, the buyers can't remember anything about the home itself. 

Dec 07, 2014 11:20 AM #3
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Karen, After another winter like this last one I understand more and more why people head South!

Mar 21, 2015 01:44 PM #4
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Karen Hurst

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