Home Sales
December, 2008 - Issue #50
The holiday season is approaching and many homeowners are under the impression that it's one of the worst times to sell - but in fact it's the exact opposite!

While it may be true that there will be fewer buyers looking for homes, the reality is that the quality of those buyers will be far superior. Motivated home buyers are what you will typically find during the holidays - and there is much less competition among home sellers, as most either remove their homes from the market or wait until after the holiday season.

So how do you balance trying to sell your home with all of the holiday festivities? The most challenging aspect will be learning that the way you live and the way you sell are two completely different worlds.

Most holiday decor will detract from the size and selling features of your home, which could potentially cost you time and money.

You want to showcase your home and accentuate the selling points for the buyer. Buyers want a turn-key home and sometimes can't see through visual obstacles. The majority of home sellers don't follow these tips when selling during the holidays. Use this to your advantage in order to become the number-one best positioned home in terms of condition and you will surely sell your home quickly and for top dollar!

Keep it simple and clean this year so that during the next holiday season, you can decorate your new home however you'd like.

SCV Real Estate Update
Average price, this time, 2007: $561,041
Current average sale price: $444,079
Bottom line: The average sales price is down approximately 21 percent from last year.

Average days on market of sold homes, this time, 2007: 70
Current average days on market: 74
Bottom line: Homes that have sold this year have been on the market 4 days longer, or are selling 6 percent slower this year.

Total closed sales, this time, 2007: 2,477
Year to date, 2008: 2,291
Bottom line: There have been 186 fewer sales this year, or 8 percent fewer sales.

Important note: Since last month's sales stats, The average sale price in the SCV has gone up by $37,581 - a 9 percent increase!
Joshua "Dr." Suess is owner of The Focused On Your Family Team with Re/Max of Valencia 702-4640

Tips for Holiday Home Sellers and Good News for Buyers
When selling your home during the holiday season, keep the following in mind.

Stick to the basics of decor. Keep it simple, anonymous and appropriate.

Avoid decorations that diminish the key selling points of your home. The visualization of decorations, when done tastefully, helps buyers see the potential in your home.

Avoid a cultural bias. Decor should appeal to a broad audience of buyers.

Don't forget to focus on curb appeal. A simple door wreath or garland can make a festive statement and leave a lasting first impression.

Home sales typically slow during this time of the year, but according to the National Association of Realtors, "It's relative - there is a slowdown -but not as much as you might think."

The festivities can bring fewer buyers out to shop for homes, giving those who are looking for a home an opportunity to get the home of their dreams!
Jennifer Thompson is a Santa-Clarita-based agent with Regal Realty of California, 295-8715;
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