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In a way, I almost feel bad for our real estate school students who get their real estate licenses during the holidays. Becoming a Realtor in December can be a tough thing. A common objection that real estate agents get around this time of year is that sellers and buyers say they want to “wait until after the 1st”. While potential clients are waiting you aren’t earning.
I wanted to write an article to answer the question of “Is selling your home during the holidays, a good idea?”
Traditionally, home selling during November and December can be a bit slower depending on your market. People often put it off until the New Year for no real reason other than the perception might be that the first quarter of the next year is better than the fourth quarter of the prior one.
It’s important to recognize that there is no “best time” to sell a property - the best time is when your client is ready to move. There are a few key reasons why selling during the holidays could be the ideal choice. If you have clients that are on the fence about moving now, communicate the following as to why this could be the perfect time to list.
There Are Far Fewer Homes on the Market
Perhaps the most compelling reason to list during the holidays is that there tends to be less competition. Depending on where you live, inventory can be a concern. People are buying homes throughout the year – including the final quarter. At the same time, fewer sellers list at this time, creating more opportunities for your listing to sell faster and for more money.
Compare this to the spring and early summer when there are more listings that tend to hit the market. This increase in supply can contribute to more of a buyer’s market as supply increases which can drive marketing times up and prices to soften. When your home hits the market during the holidays and it fits a buyer’s needs, and it’s the only one that does, buyer don’t have that luxury of tire-kicking. This can work in your favor as a seller every time.
You Might Sell Faster, Too
Along with that increased demand for your property is the likelihood that your home will sell faster. Redfin did a study back in 2013 that found homes listed during the fall and winter months sold 65 percent of the time – which is more than any other time of the year. They also found that homes that sold between December 21st through March 21st sold closest to their listing price.
For sellers, this means a sale more likely closer to list price.
Holidays Buyers Are More Committed
When selling a home during the spring and summer months, you’ll find that many of the showings rarely write offers. While that may be for many reasons, one key fact is that many people looking at homes during summer might not be ready to buy. They are browsing or window shopping during the summer. The weather is nicer and open houses can be a “thing to do” on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
However, buyers looking for a home during the winter months are likely to be far more serious. They are ready and tend to be qualified buyers, too. Consider why this may be. A person buying a home in December probably does not want to spend all of their extra time going from home to home – there’s much more to do. Family might be in town during the holiday season, the kids may be off of school - personal time is at a premium this time of yet. Net-net wintertime buyers are often serious buyers and ready to go.
You Can Create Some Holiday Magic to Show Off Your Home
Though you shouldn’t overdo it, adding a bit of holiday magic to your listing can be an excellent way to move buyers into action. For example, if you live in an area where people routinely decorate for the season, adding a few holiday decorations and creating a formal, but elegant display can help people see themselves in that home next year, doing the same. In other words, the holidays can work for you here.
As a real estate agent, the holidays present an opportunity to light up the fireplace and to bake some cookies, too. Why go to this trouble? You’re setting the stage and creating an opportunity for the potential buyers looking at your listing to see what life could be like if they buy from you. What other time of the year is your home as inviting? The holidays can be magical.
People Moving for Jobs Need Homes Before January
Many people switch positions and relocate around the beginning of the year meaning they might be forced or at least incentivized into buying a home in December. You may find that this creates an influx of buyers for you in the last few weeks of the year. If you live in an area where job growth is plentiful and high-paying positions are common, this is a key reason to take listings now rather than wait until the New Year.
When Is The Best Time To List A Home for Sale?
There’s no right answer to this question. We should be ready to help our clients whenever they need it and do what’s in their best interest. The perceived benefit of waiting until the spring months to list might not be real. Remember that the spring and summer periods are when sellers may have increased competition to sell.
We are always happy to help! Just like selling a home, starting real estate school to get your real estate license doesn’t have a “best time”. The best time is when you are ready. There’s no time like the present!
I'm looking forward to having you as our newest student!