lower house prices | holiday real estate

Holiday Real Estate: What’s Happening In The Industry During Christmas?

Ah, the holidays — a time when people feel the most cheerful and joyful. With so many activities occupying your time, real estate is probably the last thing on your mind. But, the thing about holiday real estate is that it is actually very lucrative.


Holiday Real Estate: Breaking Down the Myth

The holiday season is known as the busiest time of the year. During this time, schedules are usually filled with holiday parties, Christmas shopping, and just a general sense of merriment. Businesses also benefit from the holiday rush, typically in the form of a spike in sales. One thing that seems to slow down during the holidays, though, is the real estate market.

The holidays have a reputation as a bad time to sell homes. In fact, along with October, December is popularly known as the worst month to sell a house. Many attribute this to the cold weather, as buyers would rather spend their time feeling warm indoors than hopping from one open house to another.

People also usually want to rest during the holidays and spend their time off from work with friends or family. That means buyers do not really want to go through the trouble of moving right in the middle of the holiday season. On the other hand, sellers would rather not welcome strangers trekking through every room in their house.

As for buyers with kids, they would rather wait until the end of the school year (around May) before moving to a new home.


Why the Holidays Is Actually a Good Time to Sell

real estate during holidays | is it a good time to buy a home

Is now a good time to sell a house? Despite everything discussed above, though, the holidays can also prove to be a great time to sell your home.

In fact, Realtor.com found that, in 2014, one of the busiest days for real estate was just a few days after Christmas. The holidays also act as a filter of sorts, and the buyers who carry on with their hunt during this time are usually the ones serious about moving. That means they already have the intention to buy and are not just “shopping around.”

For example, if a buyer absolutely needs to move because of a new job, they are not going to wait until the new year to buy one. Anyone who makes time for house-hunting in the middle of the busiest season is committed to purchasing a home. Therefore, you have a better chance of closing the deal with buyers during the holidays.

Technology has also made it easier for buyers to search for houses even during the busiest time of the year. With mobile apps and data, buyers can look through listings in between (or even while running) holiday errands. Instead of taking your property listing down for the holidays, leave it up and let it attract potential buyers.


Why the Holidays Is a Good Time to Buy

It is clear that the holidays present a good opportunity for sellers. But, what about buyers? Is it a good time to buy a home? In a word, yes. Buyers can also benefit from the holiday real estate market in a few ways.


1. Little to No Competition

During the holiday months, the real estate market experiences a drop in activity. That means there is less of everything — from available homes to interested buyers. This decrease in traffic is advantageous for serious buyers who persist even during the cold season. Because there are fewer buyers to contend with, there is less competition overall. This gives buyers the rare opportunity of winning the bid on their dream home.

But, buyer competition is not the only thing that declines come the cold months. There are also fewer realtors and mortgage lenders. Although some might see this as a problem, it can actually work out great for buyers because less competition on this front means buyers can get a better deal.

The same goes for sellers, too. Because other sellers take their houses off the market during the holidays, those who leave them on enjoy most of the buyer traffic.


2. Close Quickly

Sellers who list their homes for sale even during the holiday season are most likely deadset on closing the deal before the new year rolls around. This works out great for both parties, as dragging out the process eats both time and money. Mortgage lenders, realtors, and brokers also want to quickly get the deal done so they can close their books and receive their commission.


3. Lower Prices

Because most sellers take a break from real estate come the holidays, those who keep at it probably have good cause to do so. This is beneficial for buyers. Driven sellers who want to get rid of their homes fast will likely do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal, especially if they have had their listing up for a long time. That includes dropping their asking price. Buyers can even save as much as $3,000 to $12,000 during this time.


4. Lower Interest Rates

low interest rates | holiday real estateAlthough interest rates fluctuate all the time, historical data indicates that they do tend to be lower around the holidays due to less demand. Therefore, buyers who purchase homes this time of the year might enjoy a more favorable rate than any other time.

Keep in mind, though, that there is no assurance that interest rates will drop during the holiday season. It is just one of the possibilities.


5. Possible Tax Benefits

If lower prices and interest rates are not enough, buyers who purchase homes during the holidays might also experience tax benefits. Buyers might be able to subtract points paid upon closing, mortgage interest rates, and property taxes. There are also added benefits if buyers purchase the home as an investment asset. As with interest rates, though, tax breaks are not guaranteed.


Tips for Selling During the Holidays

Putting your home up for sale during the holiday season might prove advantageous, but it does take work. Here are a few tips to help you sell your house this time of the year:

  • Slash Prices. Instead of lowering the price bit by bit, start with the best price you can offer.
  • Decorate. The added charm of holiday decorations can make your home more appealing to potential buyers. When decorating your home, though, keep it simple. Stay away from over-the-top adornments and religious-themed decorations.
  • Improve Curb Appeal. If you are selling your home, you naturally want to put your best foot forward. That means doing what you can to improve how it looks. You can do this with landscaping, by cleaning the gutters, or even with just a fresh coat of paint.
  • Take Excellent Photos. Buyers will visit your home during the cold months, but they probably want to know what the house looks like during other seasons, too. Accompanying your listing with high-quality photos of your house throughout the year will help buyers make a decision.
  • Up the Cozy Factor. Turning up the heat and playing soothing music can make your home feel inviting and warm.


Talk to a Professional

A real estate agent will always have more experience and knowledge than you when it comes to buying and selling houses. To better understand holiday real estate trends in your specific location, seek help from a professional.

Find the best real estate company in your area through Florida Property Management’s online directory. Simplify the house-hunting process with our help!