Published by Kartik Subramaniam
The holiday season might not seem ideal for your client to sell a home (or for you to take a listing, for that matter), but there are numerous advantages to listing a property during this festive time of year. While this isn't a specific topic in real estate school nor discussed on the California real estate exam, I'd like to give you several convincing reasons why doing business during the holiday season is a wise decision. For some real estate agents, December can be a “slower month,” but it doesn’t have to be. Plenty of listings and sales can be had if you don’t “check out” of the business mentally.
One other thing to keep in mind, as a real estate professional, there is a 30-60 day lag on income compared to activity. This means that if you don’t sell anything in December, it will reflect poorly on your income from January through March. Similarly, if you struggle financially in December, this is a consequence of your activities in September and October.
Serious Buyers and Higher-Quality Showings Happen Over the Holidays
To start, people searching for homes during the holiday season are typically serious buyers with a specific need to purchase a property and likely quickly. You should have higher-quality showings and more motivated buyers interested in your listing. Logically, a buyer not genuinely interested in buying a property is unlikely to spend time touring various homes during the holidays with a buyer's agent. Therefore, when you put a house on the market during the holiday season, you can have a higher degree of confidence that potential buyers viewing your property are genuinely serious about making a purchase.
Less Competition and Higher Sale Prices
Less competition from other sellers typically means a higher sale price for your listing. Because inventory levels tend to be slightly lower during the holiday season, serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from, which means less competition for your listing. This can translate into a higher sale price, as your home will stand out among the limited options available.
Homes Show Better with Holiday Decorations
Houses also show better when decorated for the holidays. By working with your seller to tastefully adorn your listing, you can create an emotional connection with potential buyers, who will more easily envision themselves celebrating future holidays in your space. This might also mean you’ll have some passionate buyers willing to pay your price. Don’t be afraid to tug on the heartstrings of buyers walking through your open house around the holiday time - bake aromatic cookies in the oven or light that special holiday candle. Love does enter through the nose, after all!
Buyers Have More Time to House Hunt
Remember that there are other reasons why selling real estate during the holidays is better than any other time of the year. During the holiday season, many buyers have additional time off work, allowing them more opportunities to search for their perfect home, which could increase the number of showings your listing gets.
It's often easier for a buyer to sneak out of work during the holidays to go see your listing than at other busier times of the year.
Tax Advantages for Buyers
Also, some buyers need to purchase before the end of the year for tax reasons, making them more motivated to close on a property quickly. The reason is that buying a property before the end of the year can allow buyers to claim certain tax deductions in the current tax year. For example, mortgage interest, property taxes, and points paid on a mortgage may all be deductible expenses. Buyers can maximize these deductions and reduce their overall tax liability by closing on a property before the year-end.
Of course - tell your buyers to consult with their tax advisors to be sure.
Possible Tax Credits for First-Time Homebuyers
Tax Credits: Some jurisdictions offer tax credits to first-time homebuyers or buyers who purchase energy-efficient properties. Closing on a property before the end of the year may allow buyers to claim these credits in their current tax return, which may result in a lower tax bill or a larger refund.
Capture the Relocating Employee Market
January is a popular month for employees starting new jobs. Transferees often can't wait until spring to buy, so listing during the holiday season ensures your home is available to this motivated market segment.
Still Maintain Control Over Showings
While your home is on the market during the holiday season, you can still restrict showings during specific days to maintain your family's privacy and enjoy the festivities. Communicate with your real estate agent about your preferred showing schedule, and they can work with potential buyers to accommodate your needs while ensuring maximum exposure for your property.
Maximize Buying Power in Spring
Selling your home during the holiday season can position you as a non-contingent buyer in the spring when more houses are available at potentially lower prices. This strategy may allow your client to sell high and buy low, maximizing their buying power.
Faster Closing Process
Since the holiday season is typically a slower period for real estate transactions, lenders and other professionals involved in the closing process may have more availability. This can lead to a smoother and faster closing process, allowing your client to move into their new home sooner.
Enhanced Online Visibility
With the growing importance of online listings and virtual tours, especially during the holiday season, homes listed during this period can benefit from enhanced online visibility. Buyers are more likely to search for properties online during the holidays. A well-presented listing with professional photos and virtual tours can make a strong impression on potential buyers.
Taking a listing during the holiday season may seem unconventional, but the numerous benefits – including serious buyers, less competition, tax advantages, and more – make it an attractive option. You may have already completed our real estate school and passed the California real estate exam, now you need to be well-equipped to navigate the holiday market and achieve the best possible outcome for your seller.
So, instead of waiting for the spring season, consider taking advantage of these compelling reasons to list your client's home during the holiday season and make it a win-win situation for everyone involved.
PS - Keep working through the holidays! Your February self will thank you for it!
As always, if you are interested in taking real estate classes, visit www.adhischools.com
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