ShowingTime is now part of ShowingTime+
The pumpkins have been replaced with poinsettias, yet for many home sellers, the holiday season can be more frightening than even the scariest Halloween display. While the holidays may have a well-earned reputation for being a particularly slow time of the year for real estate, home sellers should take heart – the season can be bright for them, too. To show how, we’ve combined a few of our favorite tips for how sellers can take advantage of the seasonal revelry and host successful showings during the holidays.

Subtle Scents Sell

It’s the prime season for baking sweets and everyone knows that baking fresh cookies is a slam-dunk strategy for making a home more enticing during a showing. But a 2012 study by researchers at Washington State University threw some cold water on that bit of wisdom. The study found that while the commonly held belief that baking cookies could pique buyers’ interest during a showing may not be a bad one, simple scents have actually been found to be more effective for positively influencing would-be buyers.

Instead of overdoing it scent-wise by baking or using strong candles, sellers can add natural ingredients to a boiling pot of water prior to a showing to get a light scent. Using ingredients like cinnamon sticks, pine or cloves can subtly evoke thoughts of the holidays, without being cloying or running the risk of upsetting those who are sensitive to strong scents or chemicals.

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly (and Not Much Else) 

While keeping a Clark Griswold-esque display of festive lights may seem like a good idea for attracting attention to a home, the truth is, sellers will have much more success attracting more favorable attention with subtle displays of holiday pageantry.

Sellers are encouraged to keep the festoonery to a minimum. Though they may be pretty, lights, displays and other assorted festive accoutrements can distract from and obscure important home features that would otherwise be key selling points. When it comes to decorations, a little goes a long way.

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

The holidays are already full enough of obligations without having to worry about coordinating home showings as well. Fortunately, sellers who are working with a real estate agent who uses ShowingTime can rest easy knowing that they won’t have to be ready to accommodate a home showing at a moment’s notice. An agent can incorporate listing rules and restrictions to accommodate a seller’s availability, allowing sellers to designate times that work best and days that are unavailable for showings.

Sellers can also take advantage of Home by ShowingTime, which gives them the full picture of their listing by letting them view all the events that have occurred on their listing in chronological order, including showings, price changes, lockbox access and more. Empowered with Home by ShowingTime, the only surprises sellers will find this season will be wrapped under a tree.

Offer a Gift

Retail sales specials and discounts are big this time of year and for good reason – they bring shoppers in. Likewise in home sales, to entice even motivated buyers a seller needs to sweeten the deal a bit to stand out among the competition. An agent will be able to help a seller determine if a discount is appropriate. Better still, if working with an agent who has access to one of ShowingTime’s MarketStats solutions, a seller can have a data-driven conversation about the market and whether or not it may be time to drop the asking price to compensate for any market slowdown.

Are you a real estate agent looking for tools that will help you save time while also empowering your clients? Learn how the ShowingTime Appointment Center helps free up your time to focus on supporting your clients through the home selling process.