There are always buyers who need to buy homes, regardless of the time of year or the weather. What varies is the number of buyers in the market at any given time.
There may be fewer buyers looking for homes during the holidays, but sellers are rarely bothered by those who are “just looking.” These would-be buyers often have an urgent need to move, tend to be more motivated and may have more time to look for a home during the holidays than during the regular work week. During the last three months of the year is typically when some people assess their financial situation and determine that purchasing a home would be a suitable remedy for alleviating their tax burden when April 15th rolls around. That purchase needs to be complete by December 31st.
January is the biggest transfer month.
- More corporate moves happen during January than at any other time of the year. These transferees want to be in their new home by December or January; they typically can’t or don’t want to wait until spring to buy—you need to be on the market during the holidays to capture that market.
- There’s usually less new inventory coming on the market, compounded by the number of sellers who take their homes off the market. This causes a natural decline in inventory, at least temporarily. With such a decline, serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from.
- Less competition means greater opportunity to get your property sold and for more money.
- Sellers quite often sell for more during this time due to the sellers’ market that has been temporarily created.
- Sellers that sell high now may be able to buy low (and non-contingent) in the spring when historically more houses are on the market—higher inventory beginning in January and February means less demand for your particular home which translates into a lower price for you.
Homes show better during the holidays.
- Tasteful holiday decorations can move buyers to overlook a home’s flaws and imagine living in a house. Most homes look particularly inviting when they’re all dressed up. (But, don’t over-do it—the goal is always “less clutter.”)
- Buyers are more emotional during the holidays. Various studies reveal that most buyers decide which home to purchase based on how they feel when they first drive up and/or step inside.
- It’s easier to restrict the hours of showing during the holidays than at other times of the year. Most buyers understand the sellers’ needs for privacy with their families.