The traditional holiday season that now extends from Thanksgiving through the New Year may be festive, but it also can be stressful and chaotic – with or without buying or selling your home. Yet, homebuyers and sellers may find unexpected advantages in the real estate market during this time. Here are some tips for making the most of the "quieter" months in real estate.
Tips for Buyers:
- Some sellers are more motivated to sell their homes before year-end for tax reasons, but also to avoid having to keep their house on the market during the holiday season when family and friends may visit.
- Buyers can often negotiate a lower purchasing price during quiet times, especially if a seller’s house has been on the market for several months.
- Sellers know that there are fewer buyers out looking during the holiday season, so are more likely to make a deal than wait until the spring.
- Because inspectors, appraisers, attorneys, contractors, painters, and handymen – professionals that buyers depend on – are often more readily available during the slower winter months, it can be easier to hasten a deal.
- Both buyer and seller will enjoy their realtor's undivided attention, as she is less likely to be overwhelmed with clients. If she is a savvy full-time professional Realtor, she will ensure any holiday absences are covered by a colleague so her clients are always well represented.
Tips for Sellers:
- The holidays can be a fabulous opportunity to showcase your home with festive, warm holiday decor. What could be more inviting? This will set your house apart from the competition and leave the buyer with a memorable impression.
- A Holiday Open House provides a unique opportunity for sellers to welcome potential buyers with cheerful music, freshly baked holiday goods, and seasonal punch or cider. This appeals to the emotions, perhaps more than any other time of year. Ambience counts.
- Holiday lighting, wreaths, and trees help improve the curb appeal of your home, and will serve to attract a buyer.
- Even though the pool of buyers may be smaller over the holidays, those who do make appointments will likely spend longer viewing your home due to vacations and slower work schedules.
- Sellers can take heart that buyers out looking at homes in the winter months are generally "the real deal" – folks who are motivated to make an offer and negotiate a sale. January is a strong month for corporate transfers and those executives often use the holidays to hunt for a home. They are often under pressure to make a decision and buy a home quickly.
Fiona Dogan is a Licensed Realtor® in the Rye office of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. She is a Westchester Five Star Real Estate Agent, Platinum Award winner, and an Accredited Buyer Representative. For more information, please contact Fiona Dogan at email@example.com or visit her website at www.fionadogan.com .