By Brendon DeSimone
As the holidays approach, I’m always asked the same questions:
-Should we keep our property on the real estate market or take it off?
-Do we list now, wait until after the first of the year, or hold off until spring?
In the past, conventional wisdom said you shouldn’t try to sell a home during the holidays. However, the old thinking doesn’t really apply any longer — thanks to the Internet and hectic lifestyles as well as traditional rules of supply and demand.
Whether to sell or not at the end of the year has to do with your particular situation and market. But in general, here’s some real estate advice about why you should consider listing your home during the holidays, or even in January.
Buyers are always looking for properties online
Historically, potential home buyers felt that the holidays were too hectic for home shopping. They were preoccupied with planning parties, cooking meals, buying presents or planning vacations. Going out with a real estate agent to look at properties conflicted with a busy holiday schedule. This made perfect sense — before the Internet, smart phones, and tablets came along.
In my opinion, traditional buying and selling seasons have evolved as a result of instant, ubiquitous access to property listings. Someone who is serious today about buying real estate is always looking. They may check out the latest listings on their Zillow iPad app before bed or while waiting for their kid’s soccer game to end.
Our hectic lifestyles also play a role. Often, serious buyers are working hard and not shifting into holiday mode until the last minute. Even during the holiday break, they’re squeezing in work. They’re already staying “on the grid,” so why not continue monitoring the real estate listings in their area too?
The inventory — and the competition — is usually lighter during the holidays
Despite our always-on access to property listings today, there’s still a lingering perception that the year-end holidays aren’t a good time to list a home. Similarly, if your property has been sitting on the market for months, conventional wisdom says to give it a rest during the holidays. Given these factors, we end up seeing the inventory for good homes tighten up this time of year. But buyers are still out there looking at real estate and no doubt wishing there were more properties available.
In fact, if I have a seller who has been talking about selling, is truly motivated, is flexible on timing, and has a home that truly sparkles, I often suggest they list 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 flipping through listings at their kid’s soccer game will be so excited to see something new and awesome hitting the market — especially if there’s a lack of good inventory in their area. Those motivated soccer moms and dads are the ones who’ll take the time to see your home, regardless of what the calendar says.