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Tips for Stress-free Holiday Selling

November 16 2015

winter family sold 2Selling a home around the holidays is stressful for both you and your client. Most families moving during this time are doing so because of a sudden job relocation, bankruptcy or other situation; few purposely choose to move late in the year.

As an agent, how can you help ease the stress and burden of selling a home during the holidays? Here are a few tips.

1. Smart scheduling - Try to cluster showings, if possible. Find one or two days a week that work best for your client and concentrate showings then. Alternatively, try scheduling appointments when you know your sellers will be out of the house--during events like school plays, office parties and holiday recitals, etc. Above all, communicate clearly with them about what times are best, or use a solution like TourSimply with a shared calendar that all parties can see. Strong communication avoids stress and scheduling mishaps.

2. Proactive preparation - Ideally, all conversations and education about the transaction process should be complete prior to the holidays, if possible. Make sure your clients are clear on the steps ahead – review the disclosure documents, go over the home inspection process, etc. Fix obvious repair needs before the holidays are in full swing to improve the chances of an easy inspection.

3. Help with decorations - Holiday decorations can go from subtle to overwhelming pretty quick. Tell the family to keep their family ornaments and fragile keepsakes packed away; it's easier for moving and prevents holiday decor overload. Instead, consider helping the family decorate with rented or low cost options. Find simple ways to make the home festive, but not so busy that it takes away from viewing the lines of the home. The decor should be warm and welcoming, but not personal or cluttered.

4. Lean on technology - Let tech tools you already own relieve as much burden from the transaction process as possible. The transaction management system offered by your MLS or broker is a good place to start. Coupled with electronic signatures, these tools can save you a trip across town to sign a disclosure document or escrow papers.

5. Relax and be supportive - Empathy is probably the most important thing you can offer during this stressful time. Try bringing over a few holiday treats, or invite the kids to go caroling with you while your partner shows the property. The idea is to help the family enjoy the holidays and still successfully sell their home.

Be Good to Yourself

Now, let's talk about you. You are busy with your own family and holiday obligations, so it can be difficult to stay calm and supportive. Taking a deep breath when the stress starts to get to you, or take a few minutes to walk around and clear your head.

Try to balance your expectations, keeping in mind what you can reasonably get done. Don't over-commit! Instead, prioritize the most important activities that bring you and your family the most pleasure. Ask for help from others and eliminate the tasks you really do not enjoy. Think about what you enjoy least and simply stop doing it.

You may also want to decline a few party invites. Attend the parties of your closest friends and family, and eliminate those obligatory parties that you don't enjoy that much anyway.

Those are just a few practical tips for maintaining the sanity of you and your clients. How do you stay on top of work and life obligations during the holidays?