Why List Your Home for Sale During the Holidays?

how to sell a home during the holidays

Why list your home for sale during the holidays?

Conventional wisdom was that you shouldn’t try to sell your home during the busy holiday season. Potential home buyers were attending parties, cooking holiday meals, buying presents, or vacationing this time of year. With all that going on, there just wasn’t time to ride around with a real estate agent to look at properties. But with the Internet, smartphones, tablets and our always-on lifestyle, that conventional wisdom isn’t relevant anymore. The reality is, the home-buying season is now year-round. Here’s why you should try to sell your home during the holidays, or even in January.

1. Today’s buyers check listings constantly

These days, serious buyers are always real estate aware, and the holidays are no exception. They may check out the latest listings in a mobile real estate app before bed or while waiting for the bus. Our hectic lifestyles also play a role. Many serious buyers today work hard. They don’t shift into holiday mode until the last minute. Even during the holiday break, they’re still squeezing in work. There’s no such thing for them as “going off the grid.” So why not continue to monitor real estate listings, too?

2. Your competition is lighter

Despite our always-on lifestyles, many sellers still believe buyers stop looking come mid-November. At the same time, sellers who’ve had their homes on the market for months often take them off now to give the listing “a rest.”

The upshot: The inventory for good homes often tightens this time of year. That means less competition for sellers, at a time when motivated buyers are out looking — and no doubt wishing there were more properties to see.

If you’ve been considering selling, are motivated, are flexible on timing, and have a salable home, consider listing right after Thanksgiving. There’s still a window of several weeks to get buyers into your home before the end of the year. And those buyers swiping right will be excited to see something new and awesome hit the market. They’ll likely be motivated to see your home, regardless of what the calendar says.

3. It’s a good time to shift course

If your property has been on the market for months, most buyers and their agents will assume it’s stale, overpriced, or that something is “wrong” with it, no matter how light the competition is.

In that case, the end of the year holidays are a good time to shift course. Dramatically reducing the price or overcoming some major obstacle that’s been preventing the sale might be what’s needed to sell your home. If you received lower offers early on but weren’t ready to accept them, or you keep hearing there are issues with how your property shows, this is a good time to show the market you’re listening and are serious about selling. The motivated buyers, desperate for good inventory, will notice you and take a look. Strike while the iron is hot.

4. Consider your plan B: List in January

Admittedly, the thought of keeping the house clean, holding open houses and vacating to accommodate last-minute showings during the holidays is a deal breaker for some. If so, consider listing your property after New Year’s Day. Traditionally, not much inventory comes onto the market in early January. But while January inventory is typically still tight, the number of buyers may be growing. Often, new buyers — with their fresh New Year’s resolutions to stop wasting money on rent and buy a home — are ready to jump into the market as soon as possible. Some buyers are motivated to search for a home in January because of year-end tax planning.

Whatever the buyers’ motivation, for sellers it means one thing: Demand for homes can increase at a time when inventory is traditionally low. And that means if you’re ready to sell, you’ll have an even more “captive” audience during the holidays, all the way through January.

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