Real Estate and the Year-End Holidays

The end of the year holiday season can seem like utter madness in the real estate business. On one hand, the chances are this is a truly busy time of year for you even if you weren’t a real estate agent. After all, you’ve got gifts to buy for friends and family, parties to give and attend that have little to do with your business – and wouldn’t it be nice to get away for awhile! On the other hand, buyers and sellers still expect you to be available. Property does sell over the holidays. How do you manage? It’s mostly in the planning.

The real estate business doesn’t stop

As you know, the real estate business doesn’t stop for the holidays. Oh, you might officially get Christmas eve and Christmas day off, or other holiday, and few work on New Year’s eve, but most of your clients are pretty active. If you check, you’ll also find articles on why November and December are great times to either buy or sell a home. Many people take that seriously. Which means you may be busier than you expect.

Help your sellers

People selling homes may become more anxious during the holidays – we all tend to afterall. Help them understand that while some people look for homes during this season, probably fewer are actually house hunting than usual. This means the sellers should get on with their lives rather than wait for buyers. You can also help by advising them on their holiday decorations. Yes, they should go ahead and decorate, but here are a few things they should keep in mind:

Holiday decorations should decorate, but be careful of creating clutter

Whatever their decorating style is, with a couple of exceptions noted below, you want to warn them against creating clutter. The too-big Christmas tree that makes a door hard to open or close, the huge display of cards that blows over every time someone walks by, so many decorations you can’t really see the house – inside or out – these are the things your seller wants to avoid. Another consideration is to be careful not to offend. That doesn’t mean your client shouldn’t express their faith in their decorations, far from it. But a wreath made of shotgun shells or something sexual is best avoided. You get the idea.

Get a handle on your schedule

It only makes sense to get a handle not only on your schedule, but on the schedules of the people you work with as well. Make sure you block out the times you won’t be available so you can quickly tell when you will be. Don’t feel guilty about shorter working hours – your family is entitled to some of your time; you need to go to school plays and parties or other celebrations with friends. Just schedule all those in during this extra busy time so you know what times you have available for clients – then stick with it. You also need to know when your home inspectors, escrow companies, title companies, and mortgage brokers are going to be available and when they are not. You don’t want offers and sales to fall through simply becasue you didn’t know the escrow office was closing for X days. So check. The holidays are also times when you and your colleagues will want to party together. These can be great fun and great networking opportunities. Or they can be crashingly boring and drunk. It’s the fun parties that offer the best opportunities; you can always leave early if the party is falling apart. Remember to have a great time yourself during this special time of year. Do you have a holiday experience you’d like to share? Tell us in comments.
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