Well, it certainly looks like the holidays are in full swing. With Thanksgiving just days away, I thought I’d write a quick blog post about listing your house during the holidays. There seems to be some convoluted information out there about selling real estate during the winter, specifically during Christmas time. There is a widely held belief that people are too busy or that they are spending their money on Christmas presents not houses. But, what if I told you that there is data which suggests the opposite?
To Fish Or Not To Fish
Here is today’s example. In this example, you are the seller. As such, you have two choices.
Choice A – I try to sell my house during the winter months October, November, December and January
Choice B – I try to sell my house during March, April, May and June
Ice Fishing…(play along with me on this)…Selling In December
I’m told that real estate starts heating up in the spring. Judging by MLS data alone, one could certainly make a case for selling in the springtime but, I have a different theory. Think about this for a moment. In most sets of circumstances, for example, if you were fishing, you’d want to throw your hook in the water where you’d find the most fish to increase your chances of reeling one in. But, there is another way to fish. Using this method, you will likely catch a fish even though it may take a little bit longer but, the benefit is that you will catch a goliath grouper. If any of you are fishermen or women, you know that this is one of the largest fish in the ocean. This is what could happen if you list your house during the winter months.
The Benefits of Ice Fishing
You see, listing your house at a time when there are fewer properties to choose from is beneficial to the seller in two ways. First, it allows you to set your price at the top of the range because you know that there are fewer homes on the market. This drives up the demand and typically the price. Now, don’t take this out of context. There are too many factors to consider when pricing a home which I’m not going to discuss in this blog post but, for example, if your home is worth between $325K and $340K you could certainly start the listing on the higher end when there is less inventory available for buyers to choose from right? Fewer homes equal higher prices and more homes equal lower prices generally speaking. When the competition is greater, you want to attract buyers with a better price than your competitors but, when the competition is slim, you have the potential to hold out a bit.
The second reason I think selling your home during the holidays can be beneficial is that the “tire kickers” are not typically running amock this time of year. As real estate agents, we find that only the most serious buyers are still shopping for houses in October, November and December. It’s common to find that those shopping in the winter months are doing so because of a job transfer or because they are looking for a great place to retire. These buyers are on a mission and nine times out of ten are well-qualified to make a purchase.
Jingle All The Way To The Bank
There is one more thing that you should consider as a seller. Interest rates are on the rise and buyers who may be able to afford your property now may not be qualified in the spring of next year. We cannot see the future but, we know the economy is good now and rate hikes are a serious threat to the real estate market in general. So, if I were you and I had the choice between selling now or selling in the springtime, I’d absolutely have to say that the cards are stacked in your favor to do so right now.
Christmas In The South
There is a little thing called Southern Hospitality around here so let me give you one last word of advice. Should you decide to list your house during the holidays, make sure you are positively the best-dressed house in the neighborhood. I’m not talking quantity but, quality is encouraged. Tasteful Christmas decorations with white lights are always inviting when your house is being shown. As well, make sure it smells like Christmas. Cinnamon or vanilla are nice fragrances during the holidays. I always love Spruce or Pine scents but, the choice is yours.
I hope you’ll consider this perspective and if I can help you sell your home no matter what month it is, I’d love to do that. Feel free to call, text or email me with any questions you may have. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to each of you.