I have had many clients say… “I’ll wait until spring time to list my house.” Many sellers often wonder if they should keep their properties on the market or take them off? Or if they haven’t listed their homes yet, should they wait until after the first of the year? In a recent article by Brendon DeSimone on AOL Real Estate he confirms the same logic I tell my sellers and buyers.
Typically, people think you shouldn’t try to sell your home during the holiday season with all of the shopping, vacations and parties or events going on. However, with all that is going on, buyers never stop looking online. My buyers get a daily stream of listings sent directly to their email so they are consistently able to shop around the housing market.
Today’s buyers never stop looking online: Serious buyers are always looking — and the holidays are no exception. For many, including myself, there’s no such thing as “going off the grid.” With smartphones and tablets the inventory is always a touch away.
The inventory — and the competition — is usually lighter: Many sellers still believe that buyers won’t be looking between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. At the same time, sellers who’ve had their homes on the market often take them off during the holidays. The net effect is that the inventory for good homes often tightens this time of year. So there’s less competition for sellers, at a time when motivated buyers are out there looking — and no doubt wishing there were more properties to see.
If you’ve been considering selling, are motivated, are flexible on timing and have a home that truly sparkles, 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 kids’ basketball game will be excited to see something new and awesome hit the market — especially if there’s a lack of good inventory in their area. These buyers will be motivated to see your home, regardless of what the calendar says.
Home not selling? Now’s the time to lower the price or change your strategy: If your property has been on the market for months, most buyers and their agents will see it as stale or overpriced and disregard it no matter how great it is or how light the competition is. In that case, it’s time to take action, and the year-end holidays can be a great opportunity to shift course. Reducing the price or fixing a major obstacle that’s been preventing the sale might be what’s needed to sell your home.
If you received lower offers early on but weren’t ready to accept them, or you keep hearing there are issues with how your property shows, this is a good time to show the market you’re listening and are serious about selling. The motivated buyers, desperate for good inventory, will notice you and take a look. You might even get a sale closed before the end of the year.
Don’t want to be bothered during the holidays? List in January: Admittedly, the thought of keeping the house clean, holding open houses and vacating to accommodate last-minute showings during the holidays is a deal killer for some would-be sellers. If so, consider listing your property after New Year’s Day.
Traditionally, not much inventory comes onto the market in January. It’s cold in most places, the leaves are off the trees and landscaping is dead. Many sellers wait until the spring instead, a more conventional time to sell.
January inventory is still very tight. And yet, each January, buyers call up agents, wanting to get into the market. Often, new buyers — with their fresh New Year’s resolutions to stop wasting money on rent and buy a home — are ready to jump into the market as soon as possible. Some buyers are motivated to search for a home in January because of year-end tax planning.
Whatever the buyers’ motivation, for sellers it means one thing: Demand for homes can increase at a time when inventory is traditionally low. And that means if you’re ready to sell, you’ll have an even more “captive” audience during the holidays, all the way through January.