Selling Your Home During the Holidays
I often have sellers requesting that we take their home off of the market during the holidays or others who want to wait until January 1st to list their home. I even overhear real estate agents suggesting that the holidays are a slow period to sell a home. I disagree and believe that the holiday season is the best time to sell a property.
Taking a home off the market during the holidays or waiting until the first of the year to sell your home is a mistake.
I agree that it can be a bit inconvenient to have your home in top condition for showings when you are busy decorating, baking, shopping, gift wrapping, sending gifts and cards and busy with church and volunteer work.
But, consider the many benefits.
Buying a home is an emotional decision. Granted, the decision must also make sense logically–in other words it must be priced right, in top condition and in a good economic market. When these factors are in place, the emotion factor takes over. The holiday season is the perfect time to show your home with the added emotional touches that only this time of year can provide. The smell of the Christmas tree decorated and sparkling, a cozy fire in the fireplace, poinsettias, decorations and the smell of holiday baking or hot chocolate evoke strong emotional feelings to families when showing them a home. Throughout the year I hear families discussing where in a home they would envision placing their Christmas tree and other decorations if they were to buy the home. When selling a home, we want the buyers to feel a strong desire in the pit of their stomach when touring a home. If the price, condition, and market are right, the emotions will help them to make a decision to buy. The holiday season provides a special opportunity for buyers to picture themselves celebrating the season in your home.
In addition to the emotional factor there are many logical reasons to sell at this time of the year, as well. Many people take time off from work during this time and have the opportunity to look at homes and research properties. Both spouses are often available to look at houses and will not have to rush back to work. There are a lot of holiday parties and out-of-town visitors that may be introduced to a new desirable neighborhood or a new town or city. Relocation contracts are often signed with January start dates so that children can begin school at the start of the new semester. Families needing to relocate are often looking during the holidays.
There are also tax strategies that often motivate buyers to purchase before the end of the year. Many buyers have a new year’s goal of buying a home and begin their search in December with a close of escrow date in January. Some buyers expecting income tax refunds file their taxes in January and ear mark those refunds for a down payment on a home. Many buyers receive bonuses during the holidays that could be used for down payments.
The buyers that are searching during this busy season are generally serious buyers with the tire kickers not as likely to waste your time by simply looking at your home. Therefore, there may be less buyers looking at your home, but the ones who do are serious and they are the ones we want to work with. Because many sellers have the misconception that the holiday season is a bad time to sell, many wait to list their home until January 1st and there is less inventory which means less competition during the months leading up to January. The inventory of homes listed in January is at a high, which mean more homes available for the buyers to choose from.
My experience has proved that the market is very busy at the end of the year. No need to worry about getting an offer during this season, chances are the buyers will not want to move in until after the holidays and your real estate agent can negotiate a day that is suitable for you. Take advantage of the great opportunity to market your home during the holiday season. Why not sell when the inventory of homes on the market is low, the competition with other homes on the market is low, and the buyers that are looking are serious?
The high emotional appeal of showing your home during the holidays makes it great time to sell. Have a safe and happy holiday season.