By Peter Ricci
The holiday season is often a strange one for real estate agents, many of whom are winding down their business for the year, closing up any loose ends from the summer homebuying season, or, for the more prescient among them, planning for the next year’s spring.
But if there really is no time like the holidays, is there any merit to listing properties during the last few weeks of the year? To answer that question, we took a look at the pros and cons of such an approach.
Holiday Season Real Estate – Pros
More Motivated Buyers – Everyone knows that homebuyers are a more active bunch in June and July, and that there will be fewer interested buyers during the wintry months; however, on the flip side, you could argue that the few potential homebuyers who are looking for homes in December will be a more motivated bunch, and more interested in what you’re offering.
A Nice, Cozy Atmosphere – One benefit to listing a home in December, rather than January or February, could be your client’s Christmas decorations. Though we did already highlight some of the drawbacks to decorating client homes, the lights and tree could provide an advantage over the mere ordinary months that follow.
Less Competition – There may be fewer prospective buyers, but there will be fewer sellers as well; according to Movoto, there are 5 percent less homes in Houston from a month ago.
Holiday Season Real Estate – Cons
The Perils of Decorating – Though decorations can lend a warm and fuzzy atmosphere to your property, they can also work against you, particularly if you show the property to clients who do not observe the holiday in question.
Grand Theft – Another thing to consider is how easily those cute decorations could be stolen during showings and open houses!
Scheduling Gridlock – As June Fletcher of the Wall Street Journal wrote, perhaps the biggest problem with listing during the holidays will be the jam-packed schedules of the mortgage underwriters, inspectors, appraisers and closing companies, all who will be either swamped with earlier closed transactions or their own family obligations, and will make any agreements reached difficult to conclude before the end of the year.
What are your thoughts? Is it worth listing during the holidays, despite the drawbacks, or is it better to simply wait and list in the new year, all fresh and eager?