Wow–Halloween’s been over less than 48 hours and while out doing errands on this beautiful Saturday morning, I already saw Christmas trees up in shopping centers, found Christmas paper goods, cards, food, candy at the grocery store, and I’m seeing Christmas ads on TV! Bring on the holidays!
Are you thinking of buying or selling a house? Are you already in the market? Wondering what effect, if any, the holidays have on home sales?
The short answer is that yes, the holidays definitely affect home sales. Activity traditionally slows down toward the end of the year as everyone’s thoughts and efforts focus on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s–the gifts, the parties, the football, the family! Lots to do! And if buying or selling a home isn’t a top priority, most people will put it on the back burner for a couple of months and get through the season.
But, some folks don’t have that luxury. Some people have to move and the fact that it’s November or December isn’t relevant! So, there are definitely still people looking to buy a home and sell a home! The best news is that buyers who are out looking this time of year are serious! They’re looking because they need to find a home! So, Sellers, don’t think there’s no chance you’ll sell your home during the holidays! That just might be the best gift of all!
What can you do to keep your home attractive to buyers if your home is for sale? Don’t go overboard with holiday decorations! Put up a tree, have some holiday things out if you like, but don’t do the whole house thing this year. And if you put up lights outside, be sure that cords are out of the way so no one can trip on them. And safety first! Be sure your lights are approved for use outside as well as your extension cords.
If you have gifts out, keep them under control. Remember, some buyers may have children with them when they’re looking–sometimes it’s hard for little ones to understand that what they see belongs to someone else! If you have family heirloom ornaments or decorations, keep them out of reach or just leave them packed up this year while people are going through your home.
Buyers, be flexible with your showing appointments. Everyone has extra activities going on with holiday guests, parties, etc. Try to understand if the time you want to come through is not a good time for the sellers. But, Sellers, this goes both ways! You need to be flexible too–buyers may be in from out of town and not have the luxury of coming back tomorrow–if you want to sell your home, try to accommodate them as best you can–you never know if this is the buyer who’s going to fall in love with your home. Do you want to risk losing them because you won’t let them in?
I have moved right before and right after Christmas in past years, with small children and school-age kids as well. I have never been more organized before or since for the holidays! One year, we moved across town on Dec. 22. By the end of the day on Dec. 23, the tree was up, stockings were hung, presents were under the tree, and Santa showed up at the new address right on schedule! We had a great Christmas that year and I’ve tried to get my act together like I did then ever since–still trying, but this is going to be the year! Right!!! (probably NOT!)