The holiday season is here, and buyers and sellers often think that this is not the time to buy or sell real estate.
It’s actually the most wonderful time of the year. Literally.
For years, selling homes during the holidays have received an undeserved bad rap. We’re all certainly busy with a wealth of festive activities. But between dashing through the snow and fa-la-la-la-laing, serious sellers may discover that the holiday season is not just a good time for marketing real estate, but a fantastic one.
The holidays bring out the serious home buyers. Everyone who was just looking “for fun,” or toying with the idea of a move, tables the activity until after the New Year in order to focus on their holiday to-do lists. The serious buyers, those who are truly ready and able to buy, don’t back-burner their search. In fact, they may even ramp up their efforts in order to complete a purchase before the holidays and New Year.
Don’t forget that a move during the holidays often works well, since many people have more time off this time of year, making for a smoother transition. For those buyers with children, the holiday break can be a great time to make a school change.
If you’re concerned about the impact showings may have on your own holiday preparations, discuss those concerns with your realtor. You may be able to set blackout dates or steer showings to days and times that are more convenient. But remember, the more flexible you are, the easier you make it for a serious buyer to check out your home.
And remember, it only takes one!
I recommend sellers not pull off their listings and take their homes off the market during the holidays. Homes look so beautiful when they are tastefully decorated for the season. Brokers can arrange showings that won’t interfere with family gatherings while still taking advantage of this often overlooked opportunity.
According to a recent survey conducted by Realtor.com, 60 percent of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because it’s a good time to sell.
79 percent of the agents surveyed said that more serious buyers come out during the holidays, and 61 percent say less competition from other properties make it a great time to sell. Plus, 17 percent of agents say the cold weather is actually a benefit, making homes feel more cozy.
But online listing photos become even more crucial during the holiday season, according to the survey. Slightly more than half of agents say that the photos are more important because sellers tend to offer less open houses around the holidays, and so the online photos help buyers decide the properties to see and which ones to possibly bypass.
The biggest hurdles sellers face during the holidays, however, are keeping a home ready to show (clean and staged) as well as winter weather conditions, the Realtor.com survey found.
Selling during the holidays has both advantages and disadvantages, but if sellers can make the effort, it might just prove to have been worth it.