It’s the most beautiful time of the year. For the next 3 months we are going to enjoy the holiday season. The time of the year I like to call the “eating season.” I literally go from eating Halloween candy to pumpkin pie to potato pancakes (Latkes for Hanukkah) to peppermint candy canes.
It is also in my opinion a wonderful time of year to buy and/or sell a home. I can share with you, without running a statistic’s report, that over the past 20 years February has been one of my most financially productive months. Why am I income producing positive in February you ask? It is because my clients, whether buyers or sellers, are engaging in real estate transactions during the holiday season.
As it relates to sellers, during the holidays indicatively our inventory will decrease whereby there is less competition. Buyers will endure the elements of weather sometimes previewing a property in the rain. The buyers that are out looking at homes are profoundly serious and determined to purchase a home. During this time of the year, homes that are decorated for the holidays bring a uniqueness and warmth that can be felt and observed by a potential buyer. The buyer and/or seller will also “tap into” the possible emotional element that the holiday season can bring up. For sellers it is important that the home not be too over-decorated where the space has been infringed upon and can make the home look smaller, less welcoming.
To briefly review the advantages and disadvantages as stated in the newsletter, The Balance, of selling during the holiday season are as followed starting with the advantages. As shared prior, there will be less competition and eager buyers, however you will also have buyers that may have time off from work and have more time to preview homes.
Potential disadvantages of selling during this magical time of year is low or under-asking offers, it may be harder to keep the home tidy for showings and lenders who take vacation time can possibly delay the closing process. Realtors that take an extended time away for the holidays can make it challenging to show a home and/or get an offer negotiated.
For buyers, an asset would be to take advantage of a tax break prior to the end of the year and an opportunity to negotiate terms with a very eager seller. A potential disadvantage is that with holiday decorations and furnishings, it can make the home look smaller and less desirable.
After reviewing the good, the bad and the ugly of buying and/or selling during the holiday season, I do know one important thing: Buyers and sellers are generally in a holly jolly mood and definitely “go more with the flow.” However if my clients get a bit anxious about the process I always have holiday specific goodies to share and help them get in the holiday spirit. Good health to you always and Happy Eating Season.
• Donna A. Baker is the Broker-Owner of At Home Real Estate Group in Tracy, selling real estate for 21 years. Her memberships include National Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, Certified Residential Specialists, Central Valley Association of Realtors, Accredited Buyer’s Representative, Certified Distressed Property Expert®, and Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource.