Pros and Cons of Selling during the Holidays

By Keith Loria

The holiday season is right around the corner, and with it comes the age-old debate about whether or not it’s a good idea to try and sell your home between now and the end of the year. While some real estate professionals believe the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is too busy for people to concentrate on house hunting, others are adamant that those looking to buy during the holiday season tend to be more serious and more likely to make a decision quickly. 

If your house is priced right and fits what a buyer is looking for, there will be a market for it no matter what time of year it is, holidays included. Plus, thanks to the Internet, buyers can still look at properties while holiday shopping or attending parties, so the time element isn’t as much in play as in the past.

One plus of keeping a home on the market throughout the holidays is that people who relocate for jobs often do so in January, so November and December become important house hunting months for them, especially since they may have more time off to look at homes in person.

People may also want to take advantage of the tax benefits that come from buying a home, and purchasing in December is a great way to do so. 

Holiday decorations also go a long way toward creating a festive elegance that will work in your favor when it comes to attracting buyers, invoking the holiday spirit that may compel someone to buy. 

On the other hand, one downside for sellers is that with parties, decorating, cooking and buying presents, the last thing you want to worry about is getting your house ready if you need to make it available for a showing.

Another reason to consider taking your house off the market during the holidays is that if your home doesn’t sell, the all important days on market number will continue to tick away while your home loses the luster of being a new listing. However, it can come back on the market in January as a new listing, making it more attractive to house hunters. Of course, you’ll also be competing against a slew of other homes that waited until the holidays were over to hit the market.

In the end, it’s important to remember that there’s no right or wrong answer, but you should discuss both scenarios with your agent and choose the option that makes the most sense for you. 

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.