Why You Shouldn't Take Your Home Off the Market During the Holidays
"All I want for Christmas is you," said the potential buyer to your house.
In November and December, it's no surprise that people are in the mood to shop—but are they in the mood to shop for a new house? Conventional wisdom says that the holidays are not a good time to sell a house, so you might as well take your home's listing down and relist it in the new year. However, there are several reasons that that isn't the best course of action.
People may fear their listing will sit on the market for 2 months without getting any traction with buyers, or they might dread the idea of having to keep their house clean for showings throughout the holidays. Each family and each real estate market is different, but at the end of the day, a house that's not on the market isn't going to sell. Keep reading for 5 other reasons the pros say you should leave your house on the market through the holidays.
Data may tell us that late spring is the best time to list your home, but not everyone has the benefit of waiting half or three-quarters of the year for spring to roll around to list their homes. The same is true for buyers. Without a doubt there will be less inventory during the winter, which means less competition—both from a selling and buying perspective. The folks who like to tour homes "just to look" probably aren't doing that when it's 30 degrees outside. You'll have fewer potential buyers, but they'll be serious buyers.
Just as summer is a prime time for families to move while school is out, it's also more convenient for families to both look at homes and move while kids are on break for the holidays. November and December are a prime selling time for any buyers in a time crunch to buy something before the new year. They also may be incentivized by year-end bonuses. And any sellers who decide to take their house off the market will be missing out on those motivated buyers.
While it might be a little more stressful than usual to keep your home open-house ready during the holidays—what with the packages and present wrapping, party hosting, and cookie baking—the holidays innately give your home some special ambiance that will draw buyers in. Winter is already darker and colder than the rest of the year, which doesn't help stage your home, but thankfully the holidays give you an excuse to bring in some warmth and light.
Crank up the thermostat or get a fire roaring before folks come for a showing to immediately add a level of coziness to your space. Plus, the smell of baking cookies (or brewing cider) will make people feel at home (as they do the rest of the year, too). Any holiday decorations should be minimal and classic so as to not clutter your space or distract from the room itself—and definitely don't hide any selling features like an original mantel or large windows. But some fresh garland, a simple tree, and a few red bows could tap into a buyer's emotions and help them begin to see this as their own home—and nothing drives a sale like a gut feeling.