Why the Holidays are the BEST Days for Buying or Selling a Home

Most people shy away from the holiday season housing market—folks are busy spending money on gifts and time with family, and they figure others who might otherwise buy from/sell to them are busy doing the same. While this is largely true (only 8.1% of home sales occur in December), the shortage of holiday season home buyers and sellers creates a real estate phenomenon almost as magical as the holiday season itself: Only those who are serious about buying or selling continue their efforts into the winter months, which is good for ALL involved.

Why the holidays are the perfect days to BUY a home

  • You will be one of FEW holiday house shoppers. This means little competition and big chances at getting a good deal. The scarcity of others like you who are willing to brave the cold to look at homes turns you into a serious buyer with serious negotiating power.
  • You’re more likely to get favorable mortgage terms in the holiday months than at any other time of the year. The low demand for buying homes during the holiday season means fewer mortgage money requests for lenders, allowing them to offer you better deals.
  • Buying and closing on a house before the year’s end may qualify you for a generous tax break.
  • As a serious buyer in the holiday season, you’re likely to find seriously motivated sellers. It’s a match made in real estate heaven.

Why the holidays are the perfect days to SELL a home

  • As aforementioned, those who are shopping for homes during the holidays tend to be serious and ready to buy, which is exactly the type of buyer you want to attract.
  • People are typically more generous and willing to spend money during the holidays. Take advantage of it while you can.
  • Homes look their best during the holidays. When it’s cold outside, your festively decorated home will look warm, inviting, and enticing to potential buyers, and will feel even more homey than usual.

A few tips to holiday home SELLERS

  • Make your home cozy and inviting for the holidays, but don’t overdo it. Stick to fall and winter decorations rather than overtly religious ones—aim to please a broad audience. Play instrumental, festive music and have freshly baked goodies ready for people coming to see the house. Make them want to stay. The more time a potential buyer spends touring your home, the more time they have to picture themselves in it.
  • Since your yard will be more subdued in the winter months, the winter months are your house’s time to SHINE. Make sure your home is looking its best, inside and out. Get a pre-sale home inspection to catch any imperfections before the buyers do.
  • Find a reliable realtor, one who won’t disappear during the holidays and is as committed as you are to selling your home before year’s end.
  • Online presence is everything these days, especially in the winter. Having high quality, appealing photos of your home available to potential buyers online is MUST. When it’s cold and sometimes treacherous traveling from house to house, many potential buyers will rely heavily on the Internet to decide which houses are worth the trip. You want YOUR house to be on their shortlist.

The holidays are busy and sometimes stressful, but—if you’re up for it—the holidays could be the BEST days for finding or selling your home and finding one more thing to celebrate.