Should I sell my home during the holidays? This is a question on the minds of many home owners. There is no clear cut and dry answer as everyone’s personal circumstances are different. Selling a home during the holidays however, was once something that very few people did. The argument was that there were less buyers during the busy holiday season, so sellers might as well wait until there were more people available to look at the house. But times have changed, and in many cases it can be just as effective, to list your home during the holiday season. Although there can be some drawbacks, you may be facing less competition and have an easier time making a sale.
If you decide to make the leap, understanding these winter home selling tips will become important.
- There is no denying that the holiday season can be a busy one in our personal lives. The increased social demands, the dinners and the parties, not to mention the gift giving and traveling – all of these can make the holiday season hectic for many households. The busiest time of year does not really seem at first glance to be a great time of year to sell a home. Who will have time to look at houses and go through the mortgage lending process during the holidays? A lot of potential buyers are primed to buy a home during the holidays. They do a large portion of their house hunting online anyway, so they are able to locate potential properties more quickly. The fact that they are still looking in spite of the increased demands of the season also indicates that they are probably more motivated to buy.
- If you are willing to go through the extra work to put your house up during the holidays, you may be rewarded with the kind of buyers every seller wants to attract. The old way of doing things, of waiting to list a home until January, is quite prevalent still. A large portion of sellers will even wait until Spring to list their home for sale. The thinking being this is the absolute best time. Holiday buyers are going to be caught up in the season, where emotions are running high and where they are thinking of the past, and more importantly, the future. Buyers can often be more enthusiastic about purchasing things when they are emotional, as the retail sales records around during the holidays demonstrates. Where they may have been a little more hesitant to make a purchase before, during the holidays they may be the opposite – more likely to make a purchase, just because it makes them feel good.
- One additional benefit of selling during the holidays is that buyers can usually get their loans approved much more quickly than they would during the Spring or Summer markets, when everyone starts selling again. Lenders underwriting times are less busy during the holiday season because, again, there are just not as many home sales happening. Doug Haldeman with Cornerstone Mortgage would love to put a loan together to get you in your home for the upcoming year!
- Tax Benefits: Smart home buyers are looking for any break they can get, which can make buying at the end of the year particularly beneficial. The buyers that are looking during the holidays are probably aware that they can write off some of the expenses of the home purchase on their taxes. There are usually a number of tax benefits of owning a home they can take advantage of, including deductions for mortgage interest, private mortgage insurance premiums (PMI) and tax credits for real estate taxes. The possible tax benefits may also increase the buyer’s motivation to get a house bought before the New Year.
- Homes look their best during the holidays! There is nothing more inviting than fire in the fireplace, cookies baking, holiday decorations – all of these can be played up to appeal to the buyer’s senses. As long as your Realtor or the home stager does not overdo it, these trappings from the holidays can draw in buyers and make them feel like they could live in your home, that they could have their own warm and cozy holiday season. Remember to be sure your home has a comfortable atmosphere including turning up the thermostats a bit before the showing. While it is always good to follow sound energy savings tips for your home, keeping the thermostat down could lead to a less than stellar showing environment.