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Posted in: Selling a home

What you should know about selling right before the holidays

selling a home before the holidays

Key insights

  • Low inventory will tighten even more over the holidays, meaning that sellers at lower price points hold a keen advantage over a small, competitive buyer pool
  • Sellers who are wary of being displaced during the holidays can add contingencies to ensure their home closes at the most convenient time for them
  • While fewer buyers are out searching in cold or snowy weather, in-market buyers are highly motivated and qualified

The holiday rush is approaching and many would-be home sellers are wondering if they’ve waited too long to put their house on the market. If you hope to list your home before the holidays, but aren’t sure what to expect this time of year, read these insights to determine if it’s the right time to sell.

Buyers are motivated

Keep in mind that the buyers who come for a showing are highly motivated and ready to move. How do we know? Well typically, people aren’t out searching for homes during this busy season unless they truly need to be.

Whether pre-holiday buyers are moving into town for a new job, hoping to avoid another long winter commute or trying to switch school districts before the spring semester begins, they are shopping now for a reason. It's safe to assume that you have some leverage as you price your home or determine any closing contingencies.

You're in control of the timing

Recognize that as the seller in a sellers’ market, you have control over the date of your sale. Whether you want a fresh start in a new house or to enjoy one last holiday season in your current home, you can work with your REALTOR® to ensure you get the memories that you are hoping for.

Together, you and your agent can add contingencies to your final contract and request a delayed (or sped up) closing so that you and your family aren’t put out by selling during such a busy time of year. Just keep in mind that your buyer may have a deadline, too.

Quality is better than quantity

Because holiday buyers are highly motivated and ready to move, there aren’t as many of them. That means you may have fewer showings — but the buyers who do swing through will be a thoughtful bunch.

Don't be wary of getting a lower offer just because you aren't seeing multiple showing requests in one day or because you haven't received an offer within the first few days. Remember that spring and summer sellers are often frustrated by the number of “looky-loos” who come through their open houses without any intention of purchasing. By listing this time of year, you’re likely avoiding the go-nowhere buyers that frustrate both sellers and their agents — and doubling down on quality buyers who are ready to close.

You'll stand out

If you listed your home but it didn’t sell this fall, you may feel that it’s best to wait until spring to try again. That mentality is exactly why some homeowners prefer to sell now. Because there’s less competition among sellers, homes listed now will stand out. 

Low inventory forces buyers to compete and pay more for a home and you won’t find lower inventory than right before the holidays. Check out your local market to see if your home will be one of only a few “for sale” listings in the area. If so, keep in mind that you can price it accordingly and avoid the increased activity of spring selling season altogether.

Hoping to sell before the holidays hit?

Don’t delay! Reach out to our customer care team to be matched with a home expert in your area.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings