It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to sell a house? There’s always that question whether or not you should keep your house on the market for the holidays. You figure that potential home buyers will be preoccupied with buying gifts, planning parties, cooking meals, and visiting relatives; the last thing on their mind is searching for and purchasing a new home, right? For this reason, many home sellers choose to temporarily remove their home from listing, then wait until the new year to relist.

Before you hold off on listing your home until the new year, consider the benefits of listing your home for sale during the holidays, such as:

  • Many home sellers either hold off from selling or take a break from selling during the holidays. Inevitably, the amount of listings on the market drop down, which means less competition for your home. With less competition, you could potentially sell your home faster, for more money. Once the market comes back up in the spring time, a lot of sellers will list their homes all at once for lower prices, which may drive the whole market down.
     
  • Home buyers are generally the most motivated during the holiday season, greatly aiding sellers. Although there will be less buyers looking at homes this time of year, the buyers who do look are more serious about closing. “While the traffic is down, the buyers who are out there — when it’s soggy and dark at 4:45 p.m. — they’re not just poking around for the fun of it,” said Billy Grippo, a broker for Windermere Cronin and Caplan Realty Group. “They’re wanting to buy a house.”
     
  • Looking back on statistics, interest rates tend to drop the most at the end of the year. “If we look historically at interest rates, cyclically we’ve seen drops every December through January,” says Rich Hayden, senior loan officer for Home First Mortgage Corp. “While rates are now at all-time lows, we could dip even lower,” he says. Tyler agrees, “Interest rates have to come up sometime but it won’t be during the holidays.”
     
  • Many people purposely choose to purchase a home before the new year to receive a tax write off. Home buyers who close before the end of the year could be eligible for tax credits, such as deductions for home mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and PMI premiums.
     
  • Large companies normally transfer employees in January. Those relocating usually need to buy a house right away and simply cannot wait.
     
  • In the winter months, homes typically show better. The decorations, smell of cookies baking, and a roaring fireplace all give your home a “warm and cozy” feeling. Just make sure you don’t cover up your homes best features with too much holiday decor. Stick to tasteful and simple decorations and learn proper staging techniques for the holidays.
     
  • A lot of companies give their employees time off work for the holiday season, which means potential buyers have more time for showings.
     
  • While all the malls and retail stores may be packed, Lenders and title companies aren’t as busy and can process loans faster. “November and December are historically slower months in the mortgage business, so things get done faster,” says Brad Walbrun, a mortgage consultant for A and N Mortgage Services.
     
  • Most become so consumed in buying gifts for their friends and family, that they completely overlook all the holiday sales and specials on home appliances and hardware. Remodeling, decorating, appliance installation and other home services become more available and at less of a premium.
     
  • Late spring and summer are usually thought of as the best times to put a home on the market because buyer demand builds steadily through spring. If you sell your home in the winter,  you’ll have your pick of tons of houses for sale in the spring time.
     

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean the whole housing market comes to a freeze during the holidays! Buyers.. start a new year in a new home!