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Home Selling Tips

Home for the Holidays: How to Pull Off a Stress-Free Move this Winter

Reading Time — 5 minutes

December 14, 2023

By Merav Bloch

Home for the Holidays

Reading Time — 5 minutes

December 14, 2023

Winter holidays are widely considered “the most wonderful time of the year” — from bringing people together to decking out your home with cozy and festive decor — but they can also be the most stressful. Whether you’re responsible for hosting family gatherings, traveling on the busiest days of the year, or finding (and budgeting for) perfect gifts for loved ones, it can be a lot. Yet, people tell us they find the holidays less stressful than selling a home. 

A recent Opendoor survey* found most homeowners would prefer the typical holiday stressors to enduring the traditional selling process. 78% of homeowners think selling a home is as stressful or more stressful than being delayed at the airport for 10+ hours over the holidays, and 66% think it’s as or more stressful than hosting Thanksgiving dinner for 10+ members of their extended family. Another 77% think it’s as stressful or more stressful than talking about their love life to relatives — a true testament to the apprehension people associate with the traditional selling experience.

But here’s the thing: while selling a home may not be on everyone’s wish lists this year, people still need to move to unlock life milestones like new jobs, growing families, or retirement. Across the country, thousands of real estate transactions will still take place through the end of the year. We see people moving year-round — some sellers even go under contract on Christmas Day!

Check your list(ing) twice

‘Tis the season of listing — naughty and nice contenders, gift requests, and, yes, even homes. As people prepare to list their homes this season, there are a few simple steps they can take to streamline the process. 

The most important is getting the list price right. Price is already top of mind during the holiday season — from shopping Black Friday sales to finding deals on family-favorite treats at the grocery store — and that includes understanding the value of your home. In the winter holiday season, demand tends to slow down, making it even more important for sellers to price their home strategically. Opendoor’s data shows that mispricing a home increases the likelihood it’s delisted by more than 70%, so getting it right the first time is the best way to save some heartache this holiday season. 

That said, pricing a home is tricky. Sellers may have a sense of how much their home is worth based on homes that have recently sold in their neighborhood — but no two comps are the same, and it’s challenging to manually (or accurately) account for differences in home features, or market fluctuations. At Opendoor, we created a proprietary algorithm that can do these calculations instantaneously — comparing individual features for hundreds of comparable homes so sellers don’t have to. In less time than it takes to fry the perfect latke, and with zero commitment, sellers can get an all-cash offer from Opendoor: whether or not they choose to accept the offer, it’s a no-brainer for sellers to collect that input as they calibrate their price expectations.

Photos are another major component of listing readiness. If the house is ready for hosting and looking better (and cleaner!) than ever, the holidays could be a great opportunity to take professional photos. Just make sure to do the photoshoot before decorating so the photos still look current in the new year.

Pro tip: Getting a recommended list price (or an offer) from Opendoor helps people understand the value of their homes immediately. With this insight, people are empowered to make moving decisions that are best for them and their needs. We recently launched an SMS-based AI tool that pairs AI with our human expertise to provide buyers and sellers with fast, accessible and unbiased information to help them through their home selling journey. 

Remember, cash is always the best gift

Selling the traditional way is often full of unknowns, and no one wants to live in uncertainty during the holiday season. Imagine stringing lights outside your home or sitting down to light a menorah, not knowing when your home will sell or if an offer will fall through — which ~20% of home sales do. That’s why a good first step for sellers is to get a cash offer. 

A cash offer provides price transparency and the certainty of an offer in your back pocket while homeowners explore all options to sell their home, no strings attached. In the traditional selling process, homeowners have to go through the hassle of cleaning and then staging their house, and accommodating potential buyers by leaving it for many hours at a time. Selling directly to Opendoor for a cash offer allows you to skip all of that. Having certainty during a time of year with busy schedules, many moving parts and stretched budgets gives sellers the peace of mind they deserve as the year winds down. 

Pro tip: Sellers can text short code (67367) and receive a preliminary cash offer from Opendoor in seconds. With an offer in hand, they can just as easily self-tour an Opendoor home on their schedule, 24/7. No need to plan ahead — just sneak in home tours on the way to visit family and friends, or even while the pie is in the oven.

Time your move to perfection

Every home holds memories, whether good or not-so-good. If you decide to move over the holidays, throw a send-off party for your house that doubles as a New Year’s celebration. New year, new home … new you.

If you’re thinking about selling your home, we’re here to help this holiday season — and any season. Visit Opendoor.com to request a free, no-obligation cash offer on your home and learn how we can make your selling experience easier, smoother, and stress-free. 

Merav Bloch is the VP and GM of Opendoor Exclusives.

*Methodology: The data mentioned above was found via a survey conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Opendoor from October 24-26, 2023 among 2,075 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 2.7 percentage points using a 95% confidence level.