The weather has finally turned colder, Thanksgiving is days away, and the holidays are approaching. At this time of year, we often get the question, “I want to sell my home, but should I wait to go on the market until after the holidays?” or “My home is on the market now, should I take it off during the holidays?”
Well, the answer is “It depends“!
Here are some things you might want to consider if you are thinking about selling your home during the holidays:
- If your home is already on the market, it may be a good idea to stay on the market. Buyers who are looking at homes during the holidays are usually “Real Buyers” and not just “lookie-loos”. Candice Fathi, Buyer Agent for The Belt Team, says “I have buyers who are still looking during this timeframe, especially since interest rates are still competitive.” And Gail Belt, Founding Partner of The Belt Team says, “My experience is that Buyers who are out looking at property during the holidays tend to be serious buyers. They are few and far between, but there are a number of people (like Relo Buyers) that NEED to buy or they wouldn’t be out looking at this time of year. In my time I have written many a contract on a holiday weekend.”
- During the holidays, many Sellers take their homes off the market. This means we often see inventory drop and that means if you are on the market, you may have less competition. Kevin Kleifges, Belt Team Real Estate Consultant, says: “It depends on your situation. Are you relocating out of state for a job opportunity or are you looking to upsize or downsize locally? If it is the latter, then you have the option to wait until after the holidays to alleviate the inconvenience of preparing and showing your home during the holidays. But if you need to sell immediately, it’s a good time because of less competition among other homes and extremely favorable interest rates for buyers.”
- What is your true motivation? Do you truly want/need to sell? If you’re just “testing the market” (IE – if you are not realistically pricing your home to what TODAY’S Buyers are willing to pay), then now is NOT the time to go on the market. Your home will likely not sell, and then when Spring arrives – your home will be “stale on the market”. Prospective Buyers will wonder what is wrong with your home and why it has been on the market so long. (This is true at any time of year. Overpricing stigmatizes your home and hurts your eventual bottom line significantly.)
- “Set your expectations according to the market you are in.” says Terry Belt, CEO of The Belt Team. “If you decide to sell now, price your home for the Winter market – not what you think the Spring market will be. Plan accordingly and prepare yourself & your family to be ready to juggle preparation & showings with other seasonal activities. And if you have little ones, maybe Santa’s upcoming visit will encourage them to keep their rooms clean!)
- If you do go on the market, don’t forget that Buyers looking at your home are trying to picture themselves & their families in your home. This is hard to do if your home is over-decorated with holiday knick knacks. So you may want to be a little more restrained than you normally would when putting up your decorations. Too many decorations can also make your rooms look smaller than they really are. In addition, Winter is a dark time of year, so make sure you keep your home as light-filled as possible. Open the drapes, raise the blinds and turn on all your lights. The few extra pennies will be worth it!
If you need help working through what is the best time to put your home on the market, give The Belt Team a call at (703) 242-3975 or email us at Sales@TheBeltTeam.com . Every situation is different and we would be happy to help you figure out what is best for YOU!