You don’t hear about many people making the big transition to buying or selling a home during the holidays. For this reason, most potential buyers and sellers will hold out until the spring. There is typically a huge boom of new listings and excited buyers once the holiday buzz has died down. You’re not wrong to wait for the real estate season to ramp up after the snow melts, but you might be missing out on some serious advantages to buying or selling during the holidays.
Buying During the Holidays
The benefits of buying a home during the holidays initially sound like negatives: There are less houses for sale, and less people out looking for homes.
Lower inventory definitely seems like a negative. Here’s the positive thing about low inventory: the people who are looking to sell are highly motivated. The people who choose to sell during the holidays do so for good reason. There are typically less homes for sale, so there is less neighborhood competition. Maybe they want to move before the new year, or be in a new home by Christmas. If you have the ability to offer a quick closing in these cases it can be a huge advantage. Highly motivated sellers might be more willing to negotiate on price or terms, giving you the biggest win! Plus, it’s the holidays, so people tend to be a little more agreeable.
The holidays are also a great time to take a look at listings that have been active for a while, but haven’t sold. Buyers might overlook these listings in favor of newer ones.
Holidays typically mean fewer people out looking at new homes as well. Many people travel or have back-to-back plans, and don’t have time to attend open houses or spend hours at home showings. Since there are less people looking to buy, there is less competition. Buying during the holidays might mean that you’re not up against 5 other people who all want the same home. Less competition leaves you more room to negotiate, and a better chance of getting the house at a price you are more comfortable with.
Another potential plus: historically, interest rates are a little lower during the holidays. This is not guaranteed because interest rates fluctuate frequently. Make sure to talk with your trusted lender about your options!
Selling During the Holidays
If you’re considering selling your home, there are many good reasons to start the process as the colder months roll in. As mentioned previously, there are typically less homes for sale during the holidays. This means less neighborhood competition. If your home is older, unique, or you don’t want to compete with other listings in your neighborhood, this is a great time to sell.
Just like those who choose to sell during the holidays, those who are looking to buy are highly motivated. Buyers looking during the holidays are likely on a timeline. They want a new house by the start of the new year, or they could be transferring job locations around that time and need a place to live. They are also taking time away from their plans with family or friends to look for a new home. That takes some motivation. To top it all off – the holidays make people more likely to make emotional purchases. If you cater to potential buyers’ sentimental side, they might be more likely to buy.
Showing off your home and neighborhood is a great way to tap into your buyers’ emotions. What better time to do that than the holidays? The neighbors’ houses are festive and filled with lights, which can make the neighborhood look more welcoming and desirable. While you shouldn’t go overboard with the holiday decorations, you can lean into that same “warm and fuzzy” feeling with the way you stage your home. Break out all the extra blankets, candles, opt for soft lighting and turn up the heat a little. Homes that feel comfortable attract more buyers. Make them feel warm and welcome – it could help them decide to make your listing their new home!
While there might be less local buyers out looking for homes during the holidays, you could get more foot traffic elsewhere. Many people travel to visit family or friends. If potential buyers are looking to move closer to their loved ones, it’s a great opportunity to cater to their needs. Local and out-of-town buyers also might have a few days off of work, giving them more time to shop around.
Thinking of Buying or Selling?
Anyone looking to buy or sell during the holidays is a little extra motivated, and we are no different. The number of transactions we deal with in the winter months usually takes a dip due to lack of inventory. That means we are more than ready and willing to start you on your home search or begin the listing process with you. ‘Tis the season – let’s make the most of it. Let us know how we can help!