At this time of year, everyone else is going over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house, but a brave few are headed into the real estate market. Is that a smart move?
Depends on how you look at it. There is no doubt that the real estate market slows down at the end of October. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes drop about 30 percent between December and January. Home sales traditionally do not pick up until the end of January.
For sellers, the holidays still can be profitable. Holiday home buyers are usually serious about buying quickly. The buyers are hitting open houses while the browsers are off at the mall. Plus, for sellers, there is no better time to show a house than the holidays, when a tasteful Christmas tree, wreath and sparkling lights can make a house feel like your future home.
For buyers, it’s a great time too, because with less competition from others, buyers have a good negotiating position with sellers who want to move quickly. If a buyer finds a house during the holidays, it is possible that he or she will be able to come to an agreement with the seller to accommodate holiday plans.
If you are selling your home during the holidays, take this advice from home staging experts:
- Stick with simplicity. Take down your personal pictures and collections. Put up simple Christmas decorations, including a tree, wreath and a few strands of lights outside. Put a few nicely wrapped presents under your tree.
- Build a fire in the fireplace. Play holiday music softly. Put potted evergreens in place of potted flowers.