The end of the year is already considered to be a busy time, but for many who also take part in holiday festivities, the thought of buying or selling a house during this time is absolutely ludicrous.
Case in point, the week of Thanksgiving saw mortgage applications decrease by nearly 12 percent compared to just one week earlier.
Rather than putting buying or selling a home on the back burner though, the holidays can actually be an ideal time to take the plunge into the housing market:
Getting in the Holiday Spirit
Realtors ask that houses take on a traditional, neutral appearance during much of the year in order to gain the greatest buying interest. This leads many sellers feeling wary about unpacking holiday decorations come December, but Realtors have actually found that during the holidays, homes that are decorated with Christmas trees, colorful lights, or holiday garlands actually tend to sell at a faster rate than ever. Realtor.com elaborates on this, explaining that the inviting Christmas decorations give off a warm ambiance and put home buyers’ senses in overdrive.
Because many individuals tend to be more emotional than usual and are filled with the holiday spirit in December, Realtors also state that buyers are more willing to pay sellers at the asking price and sellers are more lenient about adjusting prices to suit buyers’ needs.
Holidays in the 21st Century
Even if the holidays leave many feeling busier than ever, easy access to laptops, tablets, and smartphones now make it a breeze for buyers and sellers to navigate the housing market regardless of where holiday ventures may take them or however hectic their schedule may seem.
Further, a growing number of individuals are now working from home, leaving more time allotted for buying or selling a home — busy holiday season included. Even for those who do have a standard work schedule in an office environment, the holidays allow for more days off than other months and can result in more time to take an active part in the housing market than during a traditional work week.
New Year, New Home
If the prospect of perusing the housing market just seems too overwhelming during times like Christmas or Hanukkah, the first couple weeks following New Year’s Day can make for a prime alternative. Zillow contributor Brendon DeSimone asserts that January is traditionally known for its low housing inventory, but due to job transfers, year-end tax planning, and even New Year’s resolutions, it never fails that January is a time for spiked interest in home buying and selling.
Ali Linthorst, Communications & Marketing Coordinator at the nationwide loan provider IDS agrees with this notion saying, “The idea of putting your house on the market right on January 2nd makes sense. Everyone is slowing down from the holidays and is figuring out their budget and future plans for the next year.”
The significant decrease in inventory during this time leads to diminished competition and subsequently higher profits for sellers. Most importantly though, buyers and sellers around the holidays tend to be truly serious about their decisions and are less likely to idle around or run into problems at closing.