Conventional wisdom may tell us that the holidays are not the best time to try to sell your home. After all, many buyers are busy with family activities and holiday gatherings, so they put off shopping for a home until after New Year’s, right? That may be true, but the fact is that there are still lots of potential buyers out there looking at this time of year and now may be a surprisingly good time to list your home for several reasons.
1. Strong Sellers’ Market
Many of our local communities have experienced a robust sellers’ market this year with prices often rising and, in some cases, homes are selling with multiple offers. Not all buyers magically disappear when the weather starts to cool down. There continues to be a shortage of good properties this time of year to satisfy the existing demand from well-qualified buyers.
2. Less Competition
It’s true that many sellers decide to wait until after the first of the year – or even until springtime – to list their home. For some it is difficult to deal with selling during the holidays given all the various time constraints and pressures that can develop. However, the reluctance of some to sell during the holiday season could also be advantageous for sellers who can remain more flexible. With even fewer homes on the market, there is less competition for buyers’ attention so your home may have an even better opportunity to stand out.
3. Motivated Buyers
The buyers who are looking for a property over the holidays tend to be more serious about finding a home. They may be trying to close before the end of this year for tax purposes or they may be relocating to a new job that starts in early 2016. Whatever their personal reason, it is possible that the buyers who are looking at this time of year may be more motivated to find their new home as soon as possible.
4. Homes Look Better
Homes naturally look warm and cozy during the holidays with colorful decorations inside and out. The positive psychological effect that this festive image may have on potential buyers may help them in picturing their own holiday gatherings in your home. Just make sure not to go overboard on the decorations, which might hide the beauty and space of your home. Tasteful decorations and a minimum of clutter are always keys to enhancing a home’s appearance.
5. Buyers are Always Looking
In the past, home buying meant getting into a car and driving to each home for several hours, usually during the daylight hours – which is not an activity that most people want to do over the busy holiday season. Thanks to the Internet, mobile devices and smart phones, that time consuming process has changed. Most buyers now start their search online, a process that can occur at any time during the day or night. Technology has made the home search process less time-intensive, and as a result has helped lengthen the traditional buying and selling seasons from spring and summer to year-round.
6. Holidays Give Hectic Buyers Time to Shop
Our hectic lifestyles may also play a role in the changing dynamics of house hunting. In many cases, buyers are too busy with daily responsibilities to really focus on home shopping during much of the year. For some, it may not be until the holiday season that they can finally find some “down time” to focus on new listings, start visiting properties and put the home-buying process into overdrive.
The holidays can be a time of excitement and good cheer. What better time to show off your warm, cozy and festive home to potential buyers? By listing your home at this time of year you may receive the best present this holiday season – a sold sign on the front lawn!