1. Less competition. Sure, I’ve already mentioned that there are typically less home closings in January and February than all other months of the year. Well, there are also less homes on the market during the holidays, so of course there are less closings! This lack of competition can cause buyers to have no choice but to pay what you’re asking (or more)!
2. Buyers mean business. Have you ever wandered into an open house and spotted the “tire kickers”? We certainly have. These are the people who wander in off the street (usually driving around aimlessly looking for open house signs). They have no intention of buying the home, or any home for that matter. Well, these people aren’t out during the holidays. The buyers who want to see your home intend on buying a home. Otherwise, why would they take time away from family this time of year? Bonus: they also have time off work, so they don’t always need to view your home at inconvenient times. Walk in. Walk out. Submit offer.
3. Your home (and the neighborhood) looks its best. What other time of year does your home feel more home-y? When else does the street look this good? That’s right! Buyers will experience such an emotional high when everything looks (and smells) this good. Emotional offers on your home are far more lucrative to you!
4. Transfer season. This is the time of year that corporate and military transfers reach a peak. These are real home buyers who can’t sit and wait for spring inventory to break. They need a home NOW, and are willing to pay for it (oftentimes at their company’s expense).
5. Beat the spring rush. See point #1. There’s a reason the inventory is low, because most assume the same thing that you probably did before considering these points…..don’t sell now, wait until after the holidays. Well what happens when the natural flow of home sellers stops for months and busts open after the first of the year? Inventory spikes! Waiting until January, February, or March to sell a home puts the simple law of supply vs. demand against you. As waves of homes hit the market, and potential buyers are dealing with holiday debt, homes tend to sit 2-4 times longer after the first of the year. As a byproduct, offers come in lower too. Don’t do that. List your home in November and December!
6. Homestead deadline. To qualify for the homestead exemption (property tax break), one would need to close on their home by 12/31 of the previous year. Savvy buyers know this, and look to capitalize by spending a little more to be in their home by end of year.
For the last fifteen years, I’ve seen hundreds of sellers make the same mistake. They make the assumption that waiting until after the holidays will net them more money, and every year I can show statistical evidence that this isn’t true. While there are fewer home closings in January and February, those closings are always for more money.
Oh and one more thing….if you are considering being a savvy holiday seller, yet are concerned with buyer interruptions during precious family gatherings, don't! We’ve been wildly successful with navigating exactly when to bring these high paying buyers through your door when it’s convenient for YOU!