Nothing says ‘home’ like a holiday family gathering, and the festive season is a perfect time to go house hunting. This marks the perfect time to find a new place to create year-round special memories with loved ones. You may be looking for a bigger kitchen to cook feasts, or tall ceilings for that extra large Christmas tree. Whatever your fancy, there are many advantages to exploring what’s on the market at this time of year. For buyers and sellers, here are some benefits and tips for buying and selling a home:
Buying A Home For The Holidays
- During the holidays, home sellers may be urgently looking to relocate and settle into their own new place, so they may be more flexible on pricing and keen on closing quickly. Both buyer and seller needing to relocate could create the conditions for a match made in heaven.
- Since families with children prefer to house-hunt earlier in the year and close in the late summer before school begins, there are usually fewer buyers in the market toward the end of the year. This smaller pool of buyers will tend to have more negotiating power with sellers keen to close before year’s end for tax purposes.
- Buyers could benefit from bargains on new construction as builders try to move inventory with attractive enhancements and incentives. Sellers in the investment market, particularly those who have spent money on refurbishing and upgrades, will also want to sell by December 31 to get the most tax benefits and recoup their capital outlays.
- Professionals in the real estate field like realtors, mortgage brokers, and title closers are usually less busy and are able to give buyers the time and attention they need to quickly find the right property. Movers are also less busy, so buyers can shop around for the best rates and services.
Selling A Home For The Holidays
- While the pool of buyers at this time of year may be smaller, you can always make a great first impression with your online photos. If your house ticks the boxes on the three P’s of real estate—pricing, presentation, and pictures—you will likely have an excellent, speedy sales experience. When preparing your house for viewings, online or in person, go easy on the decorations. A house full of decorative turkeys, menorahs or elves can be off-putting to buyers, detracting from your home’s finer features.
- The busiest months for corporate relocations are January and February. This means you can benefit from that segment of the market by listing your home in the previous three months. This group of buyers also tends to be better prepared financially, with down-payments readily available through corporate relocation funds.
- The biggest benefits to selling your home before December 31 are the various tax breaks you can qualify for. If closing takes place after January 3, tax benefits may be delayed for a year.
Buying or selling real estate during the holiday months, from November to December, does not have to cause anxiety! The secret is to choose a realtor with knowledge and experience in the local market, and who is familiar with handling the relocation needs of both buyers and sellers.