Q: Marsha, my wife and I are ready to sell our home. She wants to wait until after the first of the year, and I want to sell right now. Do people buy and sell during the holidays?
A: Yes! It may surprise you to learn that homes sell all year long and the holidays are a wonderful time to put your home on the market. It is true that today’s market is on fire, and it seems as if anything with four walls, a roof, a kitchen, and a bath will fly off the shelf. However, the reality is many sellers are still reluctant to sell during the holidays and many buyers stop searching in December.
The old thinking that spring and summer are the “buying seasons” is becoming passé. The growth of international buyers, a more mobile society, and the internet have drastically changed the way people purchase homes. Here are some great reasons to put your home on the market between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
First, people who are looking to purchase during the holidays are motivated buyers. There is a saying that if you ask a busy person to do something, it will get done. That’s especially true with buyers during the holidays. They have their reasons for making the effort to search during the holidays. They want a home and are willing to go for it during a busy time. They are the home sellers’ dream buyers.
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Second, many sellers and buyers haven’t gotten the memo that in today’s market, homes sell all year long. Even in our overly heated market, both the holiday home seller and the buyer have less competition. Fewer homes on the market means even more money for you, the seller. There are fewer buyers also, but they are serious buyers, and they’re more likely to get the home they want. It’s a win-win.
As far as inconvenience, you as the seller set the viewing schedule. While it is better for your home to be readily available, it’s perfectly all right to have viewing hours during the holidays. You set the ground rules and boundaries. The serious buyers will follow your timeframe. Don’t be afraid to ask for a longer escrow time. Instead of a 30-45-day contract time, ask for 60 days. The buyer will be thrilled they locked in their home purchase and can get on with their holidays. Sell this year and close the deal in the next.
Finally, your home will look and smell delicious during the holidays. Don’t be afraid to decorate and truly show off your home. Christmas and the holidays are a nostalgic and emotional time for many of us. Purchasing a home is an emotional experience. Buyers will be more likely to make an offer when they are feeling warm and happy. Put your home on the market now and enjoy the New Year!
To all my clients, friends, family and community, have a merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a great New Year’s! Looking forward to seeing everyone in 2022!
Marsha Gray, DRE #012102130, NMLS#1982164, has been a real estate broker in Santa Barbara for more than 20 years. She works at Allyn & Associates, real estate services and lending. To read more Q&A articles, visit MarshaGraySBhomes.com. She will research and answer all questions submitted. Contact Marsha at (805) 252-7093 or MarshaGraySB@gmail.com.