Conventional wisdom says that the real estate selling season ends just before Thanksgiving, and doesn't pick up again until spring. We know that at least some of that isn't true, because web searching actually increases during the holidays. If you want to buy then, there isn't much to see. If you want to sell at the end of the year, what factors should you consider?
It does take more work to sell during a season with bad weather. Owners must be sure to keep their property entrances clean of snow and ice, and they need to find a way to contain all the winter weather clothing and equipment that can clutter the inside of the home. The first impression should be open and clean. There is also just a lot less daylight, and many properties look best with more light. Interior and exterior lighting can be used to fix that issue, although sellers must be sure that fixtures and lamps are available and flattering. Holiday decorations, done well, can help with this, as well as making the home look inviting and warm. It certainly helps if you live in a neighborhood that is well plowed, should that be necessary. You may need to make a few calls to your town or city to make sure that this happens.
What types of houses do well at the holidays? The seasonal point should be made again. If holiday decorations are your vibe, and you have good taste, your home will show well. It is also true that flaws may be less visible with fewer daylight hours, or that temporary greenery or displays can cover them. Even snow can cover landscaping that does not boost curbside appeal. Competition is much less intense, with very few listings coming on in November and December. If you have a house that might be difficult to sell, it may be better to list it when there aren't a lot of choices with which to compare it.
People who need to move during the winter are often the most motivated. They are often anxious to move, and don't have a lot of time to browse. Your home should be in move-in condition, without much that needs to be done immediately. You should have a plan of where you can go, so that you can be flexible, if someone comes along who needs a quick closing. And you should line up needed professionals, including a closing attorney who plans to work through the holiday season, so that you don't get unexpectedly delayed by vacations.
If you play your cards right, you can succeed by doing what most people do not--listing during the holidays. You can always list again in the spring, so you don't have much to lose by trying. Think positively, do your homework, and keep your fingers crossed!