Do People Buy Homes During the Holidays?

Although many homeowners would rather wait to sell their homes until after the New Year, sellers who have already listed their homes may be asking this question: Should I leave my home on the market or take it off during the holiday season?

Conventional Wisdom on Selling During the Holidays

The general consensus has always been that sellers shouldn’t even try to sell their home during the busy holiday season since potential homebuyers are too busy planning vacations, attending parties, and cooking meals. With the hustle and bustle of the holiday right around the corner, people often don’t have a lot of time to look at properties.

On the other hand, the Internet and new technology have given rise to a new generation of buyers with smartphones, tablets, and laptops. As a result, people have instant access to information, and the buying season has become a year-round event. The Internet also cuts down on the amount of time that it takes to buy a home because many buyers do their shopping online. In reality, people are always looking for homes – before, during and after the holidays.

As sellers put their homes back on the market in January, the supply of homes goes up dramatically, which translates to less demand for your particular home and less money as well.

Are Homebuyers Even Motivated During the Holidays?

During the holidays, the people who look at your home are typically motivated buyers. Since many sellers tend to take their homes off the market during the holidays, buyers have fewer choices. This means less competition, and a much better chance of selling your home. In some cases, you can even get more money for your home.

Homebuyers are also emotional during the holidays, and for some reason, they tend to buy more when their emotions run high. Whether it’s a car, home, motor home, or major purchase, people often buy these things based on their emotions rather than practical reasoning. Obviously, people buy homes for different reasons, but during the holidays, emotions are much nearer the top of the list.

People looking for a home during the holidays are serious. Some of them have an immediate need to buy a home. Many of them have to relocate due to job opportunities, while others are experiencing life changes such as divorce, family loss or retirement. A lot of people also try to buy homes at the end of the year in order to save money on taxes.

Why Homebuyers Want to Buy During the Holidays

Faster Approval From Lenders

The fact that lenders aren’t very busy during the holidays means that you can probably push the paperwork through in a timely fashion and get your loan approved quicker.

In hopes of winning some business during the slow season, some lenders may even be willing to lower their fees, which means more savings to the buyer. But keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to shop around.

Lack of Competition Can Lead to Low Prices

Home prices are dictated by the economy and the supply of and demand for housing; there is no correlation between seasons and home prices. But there’s no denying that the holiday season is a slow time for the U.S. real estate market. If a buyer is lucky enough to find a home they love during the holiday season that is sold by a motivated seller, the lack of competition from other homebuyers may help them get a great price!

Although home prices are on the rise across the country, they’re typically lower in December, compared to the rest of the season. With the combination of lower interest rates and lower prices, the time to buy a home may be now.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home during the holidays, it always pays to do some research beforehand. It also pays to be aware of market trends in the real estate world. Since the market is slow in December, the chances for multiple offers on the same home are slim, which may translate to a bigger discount for the buyer.

This guest post was written by Karin Gage, a real estate agent that works with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty in Park City, Utah. Karin has been helping homebuyers and sellers for over 20 years.

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