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Forget what you think you know about holiday listings


To achieve extraordinary results, The Agency’s Deedee Howard writes, sometimes it pays to ignore conventional wisdom and pursue a more strategic marketing plan.

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In the world of luxury real estate, conventional wisdom has suggested agents avoid putting properties on the market during holidays. Recently, after decades in the business and having closed hundreds of escrows in my career, I defied the professional advice given by many seasoned professionals and challenged the norm.

For background, at the end of last year, my clients and I were preparing to list their home in Upper Bel Air a few weeks before Thanksgiving, to get ahead of any winter market slowdown. Unfortunately, the project encountered a few delays, forcing us to make a critical decision — to list during the Thanksgiving holiday or postpone until the new year. 

Buyers and their agents are on a constant lookout, 24/7, regardless of holidays, and inventory is incredibly low in many markets nationwide. Our thought process was with demand being so high, when the perfect property emerges, prospective buyers pounce irrespective of the festivities.

With this insight, we strategically placed the property on the market on Thanksgiving Eve, holding off showings until the weekend. The anticipation was palpable, and we orchestrated both a public open house on that Sunday and a broker’s open on Tuesday with private showings between those two dates. Offers were invited to be submitted by Wednesday, setting the stage for a unique and high-stakes scenario.

The response was nothing short of extraordinary. Nine robust offers flooded in, three meeting the list price expectation and five starting significantly above it. The culmination? A closing surpassed our initial expectations, with the final selling price soaring $205,000 over the list price. It was a win-win scenario, leaving all parties involved content and satisfied.

What did I learn from this unconventional holiday listing triumph? Here are a few key takeaways.

Timing is everything, even on holidays 

Contrary to popular advice, timing during holidays can work in your favor. Buyers are constantly in the market, and the scarcity of holiday listings can make your property stand out.

Consider this strategy as you prepare for the year ahead. Be intentional and strategic for every single property you are representing.

Most real estate professionals unanimously advised we hold the launch of the above-mentioned listing, suggesting a wait until the start of 2024. Although this strategy is typical in the industry, through my team’s analysis, we recognized the ever-present nature of today’s real estate market.

Strategic planning is paramount 

Careful planning ensured that this property hit the market at the right time. Allowing a buffer before showings and a well-orchestrated schedule of open houses and private showings created an environment conducive to competitive offers and showcased this excellent offering in a market starved for inventory. 

Adaptation is key

The real estate landscape is dynamic, and strategies must evolve accordingly. In a market characterized by immediacy and demand, being adaptable to unconventional approaches can lead to unexpected successes.

Leverage your network

A crucial element in this success story was the referral from Kathy Cohn, an agent at The Agency, Hall & Hunter office in Birmingham, Michigan. Collaborating with professionals in your network provides valuable insights and opens doors to opportunities that might have otherwise been overlooked.

As a founding agent of The Agency,  collaboration is the definition of how we do business. Be sure to tap your network, both near and far to achieve success.

This holiday listing success is a testament to the power of strategic thinking, adaptation and collaborative strength within a global network. It reinforces the notion that, in real estate, venturing beyond the conventional can yield remarkable results.

As we navigate the challenges and opportunities of this year, let this be a reminder that sometimes, breaking from tradition is the key to unlocking unprecedented success in the dynamic world of real estate.

A highly awarded, top-producing Estates Director of The Agency Beverly Hills, Deedee Howard has spent over twenty-five years perfecting her craft of helping clients strategically buy and sell homes. Connect with Deedee on Instagram and Linkedin. 





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