Autumn is definitely in the air. Mornings are crisp, and the evening comes very early now that daylight saving time is over. Before long it will be dark before 5 p.m. Christmas decorations and sales are already filling the stores. There is just so much going on in the community that many people think it is a lousy time to try and sell their home.
Nothing could be further than the truth.
Sure, there may not have as many sales in November and December as there are in June and July, but then again, there isn’t as much competition either. Not only is the competition better in the fall, but buyers who are looking to buy a home during the fall season are some pretty serious buyers.
Here are 10 reasons to consider selling a home over the holidays.
Realtors don’t work over the holidays. That myth may be true with a majority or real estate agents since they have the same mindset as a lot of sellers. They roll up their business for the winter and plan on emerging for the spring buying season. However, professional full-time realtors work throughout the year. They may take a day or two off now and then, but generally, they are focused on providing professional guidance and service every day of the year.
The seller must move. Many times a seller can’t imagine going through the ordeal of moving right in the middle of their Christmas vacation, but think about it. The seller still controls the process and can determine what date is acceptable to close escrow and surrender the keys to their home. Besides, if the seller could get a full price-plus offer meeting any desired terms, wouldn’t it be nice to get out of the home before the end of the year and start the New Year off right?
The seller becomes a non-contingent buyer. Once the seller’s home is sold, they’ll be able to write offers on a replacement home as a non-contingent buyer. Being a contingent buyer is one of the weakest possible buying positions and leaves very little room to negotiate any terms. As a non-contingent buyer, it is easier to negotiate with confidence on any terms of importance, including price. One end is taken care of already, and there’s money in the bank ready to close escrow on that move-up home.
Buyers have more time to shop. Time off from work and school are not uncommon with many buyers during the holiday season. More time off means more time to shop and getting to know the neighborhood.
Look into and consider any potential tax benefits. Check with a professional tax adviser, but there just may be some substantial benefit for selling a home now. In the same spirit, there are many buyers in the market for a new home who feel as if they have to close escrow before the end of the year for their own tax planning reasons.
The holiday season showcases the neighborhood. One of the great advantages for selling real estate during the holiday season is many homes are now decorated and look their absolute best this time of year. Literally, prospective buyers will be able to see your home and neighborhood in a ‘new light.’
The holidays also provide the most nostalgic showcase for a home. It’s very possible that the seller’s home has its most nostalgic appeal during this time period. Are there leaves turning color? Are there pumpkins on the porch and a wreath on the door? So, there may be Christmas lights adoring the exterior of the home and other decorations inside. What will buyers feel like when they see the pine swags on the fireplace mantle and the garland adorned with big red bows cascading down the staircase handrail? If it doesn’t remind them of their own childhood, they’ll be thinking how great it will be for their own children to have a memory of a home like this one. Nostalgia is big business in America, cash in on it and let the home shine.
There was never a more serious buyer than a holiday buyer. Being a military community, there is a constant turnover of personnel coming and going from the nearby bases. The first of the year is always a busy time for new jobs to start, and those new hires or transfers need to get set up before they start the new job in January. Other buyers are anticipating a large end-of-year bonus that will help with the down payment and moving expenses. Whatever the reason, a holiday buyer is a serious buyer, not a lookey-lou, looking for the fun of it.
The holidays offer sellers less competition for their home. So many sellers pull their home off the market by early November and don’t even want to consider selling again until after Easter when the spring buying season starts. Most home sellers want to wait until the market is hot again. That’s when there is the most competition for a good home. By listing and selling a home now, buyers have much less inventory to choose from, which means there is much less competition for the home. It’s not uncommon for a fairly priced home in good condition to receive multiple offers this time of the year.
The No. 1 reason to sell a home during the holidays is that people are happy. As a very general observation, most people are at their happiest during the holiday season. Happy people are typically much easier to work with and are more likely to be less competitive when it comes to negotiating a contract. Happy buyers are more prone to feel more at home in a well-appointed home, decorated for the season. Just be careful and don’t over-do the decor. A nice home evokes a sense of family and holiday spirit.
There are many reasons to consider selling a home during the fall and Christmas holiday season. Just remember that ultimately the seller is in control as to when the home is shown and when they’ll vacate the premises. If the seller gets what they’re asking for, is it really an inconvenience to move during holidays?
Call (951) 296-8887 and get the information needed to make an educated decision.
Questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters please contact, [email protected] Mike Mason, Broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate Cal. BRE: 01483044, Temecula Valley resident for 30-plus years, Board of Director (since 2011) Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors (SRCAR).