Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner. Some people find themselves changing addresses around the holidays, adding to the stress of the move. We asked agents across Long Island to offer up the advice they give their clients who find themselves moving in and out of homes around the holidays, or even the recent high holy days. How can you — and your agent — make it a less stressful time when there are boxes, logistical concerns and more with which to contend?
Sheri Winter Parker
THE CORCORAN GROUP
“I find one of the most important things to keep in mind when dealing with a move-in or move-out during the holidays is to make sure the food aspect of the season is taken care of. So go ahead and book that holiday meal out, have a catering service deliver, or leverage healthy take-out options. This can be a hectic time under the best of circumstances, so if at all possible, take the packing (or unpacking) process slow. Prioritize the items that are most important and attempt to achieve a small daily goal. Breaking up large jobs into a series of smaller, more manageable tasks makes the process much less daunting. It’s essential to work with an agent who has the connections for you to help make this transition period seamless. Remember, you don’t have to do it all alone. A great housekeeper, a skilled handyman, and even a professional organizer can be valuable resources to help tick things off your to-do list. And if you are in the market to purchase a second home, consider furnished properties, so you can start living in it right away — minus much of the stress!”
DANIEL GALE SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY
“The holidays can already be stressful and selling your home takes some work, but with a great plan and an experienced real estate advisor, you can have it taken care of by the New Year. Despite what is believed, the holidays are a great time to list. Most tend to wait until after. This means there is less competition, and your home will be prime real estate for serious buyers. It’s smart to price aggressively this time of year and be upfront with buyers when you are realistically able to close. In addition, a Christmas list shouldn’t be the only list you make! A seasoned advisor should be able to provide you with a ‘Post Moving Must Do List’ and a ‘Moving Checklist,’ so nothing gets overlooked. Lastly, start packing well in advance. Before you list you will need to declutter for photography and showings anyway. Begin putting everything in boxes in storage so they are ready for movers when the time comes. And what about the holiday décor, you ask? Yes, decorate the house! Just keep it simple and minimal. Think holiday décor that will increase the cozy, feel-good effect for showings — white twinkle lights, candles, cozy blankets, etc.”
Cee Scott Brown
“The CeeJackTeam offers a full range of services to our sellers and our buyers. We provide contact information for a wide range of service providers, including movers, art handlers, house managers, contractors, sub-contractors and cleaning services, to name a few. This information can relieve a lot of stress on buyers and sellers and make their transitions more manageable and easier on the psyche. And we, as brokers, are always available as sounding boards. In the Hamptons over the past 20- plus years we have found that most sellers request closings after major holidays so they can spend their last Thanksgiving or Hanukkah, etc. in their home before moving on. There is the occasional buyer who wants to be in their new home for a particular holiday, but by and large the sellers make the call.”
“Moving can be stressful any time of year, moving during the holidays adds extra challenges. First, I would advise that clients discuss their ideal timeline with their agent; we’ll adjust as needed. Listing around the holidays? Be sure to capture interior photos of the home before decorations go up and exterior shots while the weather’s good. If possible, invest in hiring an organizer. They will help you keep essential items handy and pack others away. They will also help you donate or throw out the items you don’t want/need to move to your new home. Finally, minimize additional stress by possibly asking others to host or reducing decorations. Your home will still look festive with one snowman, instead of the four you have in the attic!”
“When I have clients who will be moving during the holiday season, I always recommend starting decluttering immediately. We have connections like ‘Living Neat,’ which is a home organization company that specializes in packing services, moving coordination and organization, and coordinating the sale or donation of unwanted items. Moving companies that pack for you are helpful because they will label all boxes accordingly and take care of the nitty-gritty parts of moving – like wrapping dishes. I would also recommend keeping your box of holiday decorations handy, so you can immediately start decorating in your new home and be able to enjoy the holidays!”
BRANCH REAL ESTATE GROUP
“Moving during the holidays can be a daunting task and rob us of the joy the season can bring, but with proper planning, your holiday wishes will come true! For starters, I often recommend to my clients that when packing, be sure to leave those precious mementos like holiday ornaments, family photographs and other décor in easily identifiable boxes. In this way, you will feel right at home at your new address without having to unbox everything all at once. Branch Real Estate Group offers a suite of services to assist in these matters and lessen the burden of your transition. Our team of collaborators includes designers, contractors and movers (who can pack and unpack!) and will work with you to lessen the stress of your move. When I moved from New York City back to my roots on Long Island, having an organized approach allowed me to enjoy more time with family and friends. Surrounding yourself with a team that is mindful of your priorities will give you peace of mind and allow you to enjoy what matters most this holiday season.”
This article appeared in the November 2023 issue of Behind The Hedges Powered By the Long Island Press. Read the full digital edition. For more on Long Island real estate on Behind The Hedges, click here.