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Advantages of Buying or Selling a Home During the Holiday Season

December 6, 2013

Tis the season for buying gifts, planning festivities, visiting with family, decorating homes, and cooking food!  However, as the holidays grow near, it is imperative that buyers and sellers don’t overlook the opportunities that the season presents to optimize their goals of buying or selling their home.

The hustle and bustle of the holidays distracts buyers and sellers who are more focused on their holiday preparations than their real estate needs.  After all, buyers are aware that the inventory of homes available depletes in November and December, as sellers opt to take their house off the market during this time, or postpone listing their home until the busy spring season.  However, both buyers and sellers can capitalize on a number of advantages and receive immeasurable benefits from the unique real estate climate that characterizes this time of year.


Sellers, before taking your house off the market or waiting for the New Year to list your home, consider some of the perks that the holidays entail:

  1. Buyers who continue their home search during the holidays are motivated and are not just wasting time.  While showings and traffic to your home will undoubtedly decline, those coming to view the property are serious about purchasing.  Thus, the holidays weed out the influx of curious people who are not necessarily in the market to buy, but just wasting your time, a common occurrence in the spring season.
  2. Low housing inventory during the holidays eliminates the competition for sellers, as many homeowners choose to take their home off the market during the season, and others are convinced it’s best to list their home in the spring.  For sellers, this means your home will likely sell quickly and at the best possible price.
  3. In January, the supply of homes on the market will drastically increase, resulting in less demand, less money, and more time that your home will sit on the market.
  4. Houses show better during the holiday months with decorations, enhanced curb appeal, warm fires, welcoming scents, and more that instill a warm and cozy feeling for potential homebuyers.  However, stick to tasteful and simple décor to avoid cluttering your home and distracting potential buyers.
  5. Most companies give their employees extended time off throughout the holiday season.  Therefore, buyers who are off from work can tour the home or schedule a showing throughout the week.
  6. Tax advantages leave some buyers urgent to purchase their home before the end of the year.  As a result, if the home is priced fairly, buyers will snatch it up quickly for the listed price.
  7. Many homeowners are under the impression that they will be inconvenienced with showings or dealing with the closing process, and simply want to enjoy the holidays.  However, sellers have the option to restrict showings, delay the close, etc. so that they can celebrate the holidays and still keep their home on the market.
  8. Statistically, interest rates tend to drop most at the end of the year, a further encouragement to serious homebuyers.
  9. Large companies typically transfer employees in January.  Those relocating to your area will likely need to buy a house right away.
  10.  The season slows down business for REALTORS, lenders, and title companies.  Therefore, real estate agents are more available to manage showings and provide the highest level of service and care to clients.  In addition, lenders and title companies can process loans faster.


For buyers who are on the prowl and eager to settle into their new home, don’t let the frantic holiday preparations deter you from your home search.  Buyers benefit from similar characteristics of the season that sellers do, which should not be overlooked.

  1. With fewer buyers searching for homes during the winter months, sellers can experience a lack of interest and fewer competing bids.  Thus, desperate sellers are forced to reduce their price to lure in buyers who are looking for a deal.  Buyers who purchase during the holidays will undoubtedly secure the lowest possible price from urgent sellers.
  2. Fewer buyers actively searching for homes during the season also results with more negotiation power when dealing with urgent sellers.  Only 8% of home sales occur in December, so buyers have more leverage when countering and negotiating the price.
  3. A drop in demand throughout the real estate industry results with fewer requests for mortgage money at this time.  This creates better interest rates on mortgages and translates to more favorable mortgage terms for buyers.
  4. Buyers who close before the end of the year benefit from a tax deduction.  They have a high probability of being allowed to subtract the interest component of the initial mortgage payment from their taxable income.
  5. With fewer overall transactions in the industry during the holiday season, buyers also benefit from faster closings.  Plus, lenders want to close their books at the end of the year, so they are more inclined to close the transaction more quickly and efficiently.
  6. Homebuyers who move in the winter don’t have to waste their summer months searching for homes in the summer.  Plus, with more buyers to compete against during the summer, the length of time it takes to secure your home and close will increase substantially.
  7. Similar to sellers, buyers receive more services and attention from their REALTOR during the holidays.  As business slows down, they have plenty of time to show you homes without having to juggle other clients; thus, enabling them to provide a more personalized service.


While many buyers and sellers around the country are shifting their focus from real estate needs to holiday plans and preparations, it is crucial to note the advantages that accompany this time of year for both parties.  Purchasing or listing your home during the holidays doesn’t have to become a daunting task that adds stress to the overwhelming, busy, chaotic season.  After all, the holidays present such an ideal real estate climate for buyers and sellers, equipped with benefits that are sure to result in a quick, smooth, profitable, and efficient transaction!



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