The Holiday Season is the Best Time to Sell!
Some owners hesitate to market their homes between Halloween and New Year’s Day, believing the holiday season to be an off-peak time to sell. After all, aren’t potential buyers sidetracked with the holidays and likelier to postpone a house hunt due to bad weather and shorter days? Maybe not. The idea that houses don’t sell in November and December comes from outdated historical trends.
In fact, the holiday season is the best time to sell! Several studies show that, on average, homes listed in November and December are more likely to sell, and they’ll do so quicker and closer to the asking price, according to Forbes.com. A 2011 study conducted by realtor.com found that 60 percent of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because they believe it’s an opportune time to sell. Nearly 80 percent of real estate professionals say that more serious buyers emerge during the holidays, and 61 percent say less competition from other properties makes it an ideal time.
Thanksgiving is particularly good, the article notes. The idea that homes sell best in spring and summer stems from the fact that parents want to wait until summer to move school-aged children. But today, more than half of buyers aren’t married, so their decisions aren’t necessarily based on kids’ schedules. Buyers may have held out during the busy summer months thinking they’ll find a better deal over the holidays, but now they have an increased urgency. If your house is available for these highly motivated buyers to view in November, they are more likely to make an offer close to the listing price.
Because many sellers don’t realize that the holiday season is the best time to sell, and therefore they don’t think it’s worth their time to try and sell their homes toward the end of the year, they take their homes off the market. Their loss of a potential buyer is your gain! Serious buyers have fewer homes to choose from over the holidays. That means less competition for you — and more buyers checking out your even more desirable home, either online or in person.
Other buyers may hope to close on a home before the end of the year for tax purposes, since they can deduct purchase costs, such as points, interest and property taxes. Also, certain sellers who sold homes during the summer season may be facing a capital gains tax. To avoid paying capital gains, these buyers may be highly motivated to buy in November since they must close on the purchase of another house within 180 days.
Sources: “Holiday home sales slowdown? Maybe. Maybe not.,” Florida Realtors; “Why November Is The Best Month To Sell Your Home,” Forbes