The holiday season is quickly approaching and one of the most common questions homeowners ask is whether or not they should list their home during the holidays. The answer is yes. If you’ve been waiting for the market to “cool off”, don’t hold your breath. Inventory in the Phoenix area remains low while the demand for real estate is still high, so why not position yourself to sell when you can have even more eyes on your property? It may not seem like the most ideal time, but selling your home during the holiday season has many benefits including:
1. Inventory is even lower in the winter than it is in the spring: While inventory is already low in Phoenix, it’s traditionally lower during the holiday season with 24% fewer homes hitting the market in November than in January and 40% fewer homes coming online in December than January. If sellers play their cards right, they may actually be able to sell quicker than in the spring. Serious buyers won’t have an endless list of homes from which to choose and the limited range of options available to buyers means sellers may be able to command a higher asking price for their property.
2. Winter buyers are more serious: Most open houses take place during the spring and early summer. People often check out homes just for the sake of looking or because of want instead of need. However, if your house is up for sale in the winter and someone is looking at it, chances are that person is serious and ready to buy out of need rather than want. Anyone shopping for a new home between Thanksgiving and the New Year is likely going to be a serious buyer and isn’t wasting their precious time touring homes for fun.
3. Snowbirds come flocking: If you’re from Arizona, you know key months for snowbirds to flock to the area are October and November. If they haven’t purchased their own home, they’re getting pressure from family and friends to pull the trigger.
4. Festive neighbors are inviting: One of the staples of holiday months is that many people adorn their homes with festive lights and decorations. People purchasing a home during that time may see the neighborhood in a different light – more festive and cheerful – and may be more willing to consider an area that they may have been on the fence about.
5. Year-end job transfers: Another good reason is timing. The end of the year is typically the time when people get notified they will be moving because of a job transfer or perhaps an offer comes through from another company that’s just too good to pass up. Those people are going to need a home sooner rather than later and as a result, will be hunting for a new home during the holidays because they simply can’t wait for spring.
6. End-of-year tax breaks: Reducing the property tax bill may not be the main reason buyers purchase a new home, but it could be why serious buyers make a move during the holidays. That’s because buyers can deduct the mortgage interest, property taxes and interest costs of the loan if a sale closes on or before December 31.
Remember, as the seller, you decide if and when people can tour your home, so if you instruct your agent to not allow for showings from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after, you are absolutely within your rights to do so. There are many pitfalls and “landmines” to avoid any time you list your home for sale, and those can increase with bank holidays, obligations and general hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Therefore, if listing during the holidays, it is more important than ever to hire a full time, professional agent to help ensure as clean and seamless a process as possible.
Author: Trevor H. Halpern, J.D. is the No. 1 independent agent at Phoenix-based North&Co. and the founder of the Halpern Residential real estate group. As a Phoenix native, Halpern’s deep knowledge of both people and property has allowed him to create client success in all areas of town. As a graduate of ASU’s College of Law, Halpern prides himself on delivering high-level strategy, efficient negotiations and precise tactical execution. Since 2011, Halpern has sold over $100 million in real estate and has been in the top 1% of real estate agents in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area since 2016.