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Stuart DrossnerThe winter holiday season might not be the best time to put a house on the market, but if circumstances demand it, fear not, for it can be done. There is less competition than in the spring, and that fact, along with the following strategies won’t leave the seller out in the cold.

Decorate Without Going Overboard

Use simple, classic decorations. Oversized ones or a look that’s too “busy” can make a room look less spacious and can distract buyers. Don’t personalize. This year, keep the kids’ handmade ornaments through the years packed up and stowed away. Avoid religious themes or something that might conflict with personal beliefs, and go with more general decorations.

Hire a Dependable Real Estate Agent

Check around and get recommendations for a good agent, one that is motivated and won’t slow down during the holidays. Find an agent that knows the area well and can seek out motivated buyers, like those who are relocating for jobs or investors wanting to beat the tax deadline.

Price to Sell

Price the home low for the market. An agent can give advice on a fair price by using comp sales. A home priced too high will scare off buyers more than anything. Most agents suggest slashing the price up front rather than making gradual reductions over time.

Keep Up With Curb Appeal

Spruce up the yard and keep all those autumn leaves raked up. Remember that bare trees mean more exposure, so touch up the exterior of the home accordingly. Make sure the gutters are clear. Everyone know clogged gutters spell trouble. If the weather permits, a pot of fall flowers is a nice touch.

Make it Look Cozy

During a showing is not the time to shiver and wear sweaters indoors. Keep the thermostat up so rooms feel warm and cozy. Toss around blankets, throws, and cushions in warm colors. If there is a fireplace, play this feature up with a cozy fire. Use scented candles or room fresheners with a cinnamon or baked cookie scent.

Be Flexible With Showings

The holidays are a busy time of the year for most everyone. Remain flexible when scheduling showings. Realize that the people in a limited pool of buyers may have obligations that arise. Stay less stressed by keeping up with light housework and not waiting until the last minute to prepare for a showing.