The holiday season is in full swing and you may be wondering, “should I list my home in the holidays, or wait?”. We’ll look at the top pros and cons of late-year sales for sellers.
Holiday lights are everywhere, and even though we’re barely a week into December, many town Christmas parades are history. But life doesn’t stop for the holidays, and if you need to sell your home, you may be wondering if it’s better to list now, or just write off the next 4 weeks and start in January.
After all, who will buy it? With seemingly everyone focused on family and fun—aren’t house sales too serious?
You may be pleasantly surprised to know that, while real estate activity has slowed, some people are still looking for the right home to buy—motivated people! Of course, as with most things, there are a few downsides to consider. Here are the main pros and cons to weigh…
PROS TO LISTING A HOME IN THE HOLIDAYS
The beauty of selling your home during the holidays is that inventory tends to be lower. And because serious buyers have fewer homes to choose from, yours is more likely to get the attention you hope for. While you still have to get it showing-ready, there may be somewhat less required to make your home attractive than during peak seasons.
Traditionally, the busiest time for home sales falls is spring. Call it spring fever if you like, but so many people take advantage of warmer weather to start shopping for homes. That timing gives them ample time to settle in before a new school year starts, or to use summer vacations to make moving easier. But those who want to avoid the competition and, potentially, price wars in the most sought-after neighborhoods, will be browsing.
Which leads to PRO number two: buyers who are taking time out to find a home now are typically more motivated. Certainly 2021’s buyers continue to be out in force right now!
Whether they’re needing or wanting to get settled because of life circumstances, or they’re hoping to reduce their property tax bill by closing before year end, buyers are eager to secure a home—fast. Sales booked by Dec 31 typically mean being able to deduct the property taxes, mortgage interest, and loan interest in the current year. Whatever their reasoning, if buyers are actively hunting now, they’re more likely to work with you on the price and/or any repairs.
Potential for Faster Closing
While the days remaining in the year are counting down fast, the fall-off in activity can work to your benefit to accelerate the speed of closing. When you have the right people on your team, all equally eager to help, everyone in the process from buyers to loan agents has an incentive to work with you to get your sale wrapped up by Dec 31.
Easier Showing Process (Potentially)
While not everyone can take advantage of this “pro,” it’s a biggie: you could head to your relatives for the holidays (or schedule an extended vacation)! Keeping your home pristine, and having to leave at short notice for a showing, can be a little tough in any season. But if you’re able to head away for some R&R, leaving your home ready to show at any time, the process will be a breeze!
CONS TO HOLIDAY HOME LISTING
Fewer Buyers Overall
Less-motivated buyers will wait for there to be more inventory of homes to consider. That means it may be harder to find the perfect match to buy your property… and it’s less likely that the buyers who find you will get into a bidding war.
More Distractions & Decorations
Distractions for you and potential buyers. It might be very challenging to keep your home show-ready during the holidays. Imagine being in the middle of a baking session with flour all over the place; it’s harder to drop everything for a showing. You’ll also have to keep decorations to a bare minimum, which may not feel like the holidays at all!
Slower Closing Times
During the holidays, most people are off work, including appraisers and lenders. It might be difficult to find who you need, or get the same turnaround times, especially after mid-December. Due to bank holidays and vacation schedules, it might even be tougher for your buyer to secure financing. These issues may get in the way of a fast closing.
There’s not a one-size-fits all answer to the question “should I list my home in the holidays,” but if the pros outweigh the cons for you, we’d love to help make selling seamless. Just give us a shout, and we’ll work with you every step of the way!