There are concrete reasons for – and advantages to — selling your home during the holidays.
As a realtor, I get this question a lot this time of year: Is it better to list my home for sale now, or to wait until after the holidays? Similarly, should sellers who currently have their homes on the market temporarily withdraw them from the MLS and wait for the holidays to pass?
There are six good reasons for listing your home for sale now or leaving it on the market if you already have it for sale. Just think like that buyer you’re hoping to court.
1. People who look for homes during the holidays are more serious buyers. Think about it – with all the things you need to do during the holiday season, would you be out there looking through other peoples’ houses if you didn’t really need to? While it’s true there are fewer buyers as the year ends and winter sets in, the fewer buyers who are out there are out there for a reason. Most have to find a new place to live – and soon.
2. As a seller, you’ll have less competition. Fewer homes are on the market during the holiday season, and buyers have fewer houses to choose from. This helps you capture motivated buyers more easily, and less competition may very well help you garner you a higher price.
3. Buyers have more time to look for new homes. Yes, the holiday season is busy for everyone, with all the travelling, shopping, wrapping presents and sending greeting cards. But remember, more homebuyers are off work during the holidays, and buyers have more time to search for homes online and see homes between trips to the mall. Don’t be surprised if showing activity at your home spikes a bit during the holidays – if your home is in good condition and it’s competitively priced.
4. Some people want to buy a home before the end of the year for tax reasons. Every buyer’s financial situation is different. But there are tremendous tax advantages to buying a home, and these savings help offset taxable income earned in a particular year. These tax savings often give buyers extra motivation to get a deal done by Dec. 31.
5. January is traditionally a month for employees to start new jobs. Employees who are relocating this time of year to accommodate new jobs need a new place to live, and they usually cannot delay such moves. Sellers who keep their homes on the market through the holiday season are in prime position to appeal to these buyers.
6. Homes generally look more appealing during the holidays. The festive nature of the season helps homes show better, particularly on the inside. With all the decorating, entertaining and pleasing aromas, your home may never be more attractive to buyers. Take advantage of it.
It’s natural for sellers to have reservations about putting or keeping their home on the market through the holidays. Maintaining your home in showing condition and allowing buyers to walk through your home during this more private, family period is a bit off-putting.
But there are concrete reasons – and advantages – to selling your home during the holidays. Motivated buyers need houses to buy. Those buyers can’t choose your home if they don’t know it’s for sale.
Jerry Kline is a Realtor with the Odenton, Md., office of Keller Williams Flagship Realty (1216 Annapolis Rd., Odenton.) For more information on the local real estate market, contact him at (443) 924-7418, or visit his blog (www.JerryKlineRealtor.wordpress.com) or website (www.JerryKline.kwrealty.com).