Halloween isn’t just an opportunity to gorge on all things frightful or filled with sugar. It’s also a chance for home sellers to scare up a buyer!
Because these days, home sellers need as much marketing creativity as they can muster up. Now that the summer home-selling fever has died down, people are beginning to hunker down for the holidays. In fact, statistics show that home sales don’t pick back up again until spring. But if you have a home on the market, you don’t want to wait months and months to make the sale, right?
That’s where Halloween comes in: Every year, more than 41 million kids in the U.S. head out trick-or-treating on this holiday, trekking from door to door—many with parents in tow. In other words, Halloween is the one day of the year when you could have dozens of people visiting your house, no effort required!
So if you’re eager to use this opportunity to spread the word that your home’s for sale, check out these tactics to make that happen.
1. Turn your treats into marketing materials
It goes without saying that kids will happily take any treats you hand out at your door, and that parents will likely survey their haul (because, let’s be frank, parents like candy too and are not above pilfering). So this scenario creates prime opportunities for some stealth marketing: Use these candies to carry the message that your home’s up for grabs.
You can do this by attaching a small card or flier to your candy saying that your home is for sale, along with your address and contact info for your agent.
“The parents will see the item in the bag, see the name, and it’s an item that will be lying around the house,” notes Cliff Fraser, an associate broker with the Century 21 Bill Forman Team in Indianapolis.
If you’re afraid this card will get chucked in the trash and you want your marketing material to stick around for longer, you can even print the deets on small toys like fidget spinners.
Or do you want something bigger, where you can post some nice real estate pics? Fraser suggests investing in quality fliers to post near the front door, so parents can grab them on their way off the porch.
2. Throw a Halloween-themed open house
Rather than just getting trick-or-treaters on your porch, why not lure them into your house? The way to do that is to host a Halloween-themed open house, where you invite home buyers to check out your place with the bonus of giving them an excuse to celebrate all things scary.
You’ll want to ideally host your open house on the weekend of or before Halloween, and set up some kid-friendly activities to keep the tykes busy. Think apple bobbing, pumpkin painting, or even turning your place into a haunted house! What better way is there to get people poking through every closet and corner of your home?
A Halloween-themed open house is also a great way to lure in home buyers who might not normally trick-or-treat in your neighborhood—so be sure to get the word out far and wide.
“Promote it on Facebook and the MLS,” says Seattle Realtor® Aaron Hendon. “You can also have your agent send emails to all the local agents and have a broker’s open house.” That’s an open house specifically for real estate agents, who can then chat up your home to their buyers.
3. Don’t go overboard with your Halloween decor
First impressions of a home matter—by some estimates, you can increase a selling price by as much as 20% with some curb appeal improvements. You don’t want to undo all of that with over-the-top Halloween decorating. Remember, you want to draw attention to your gorgeous house, not to the scary ghouls hanging from your trees.
With that in mind, stick to inoffensive (read, appealing) mums or other fall-themed plants on the porch, and maybe a pumpkin or two—provided it’s not carved to look like Freddie Kreuger.
“Avoid the cobwebs, skulls, and witch stuff,” Hendon says.
If you have your heart set on something spooky, Fraser says, you might want to move the decor away from the home and into the yard, turning it into an attraction that will draw more families your way. His suggestions?
“Set up an area where trick-or-treaters can get their picture taken,” Fraser says. If your home’s “For Sale” sign happens to be in the background, all the better.
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