A common misconception is that buying or selling a home during the holidays isn’t something people do. In reality, it can be a perfect time for both activities. If you’re wondering why you should buy or sell a house this holiday season, here’s what you need to know.
Buying a House During the Holidays
Buying a home during the holidays can be an excellent move. While it does mean navigating winter weather, home-buying during the holidays comes with some advantages, too. If you want to make the most of the season, here’s what you need to know about buying a house during the holidays.
The Benefits of Buying a Home During the Holidays
Moving forward with a home purchase during the winter can come with its fair share of benefits. Here’s just a few of them you may discover.
In some cases, homeowners that list their house during the holidays are particularly motivated. There could be a pressing job relocation or a similar event that makes selling a must. As a result, you may find lower prices. Additionally, the seller might be more willing to negotiate.
In some cases, buying before the end of the year could reduce your tax liability when you file your next return. You might have points, property taxes, a bit of mortgage interest, and other costs you can deduct essentially right away, ensuring you don’t have to wait until the following tax year.
During the winter, plants and trees tend to be a bit bare. As a result, portions of the property that might not be easily visible when the plants are flourishing might be easier to see.
Plants can incidentally cover up all kinds of damage or disrepair during the spring, summer, and fall. But during the winter, those issues might be exposed, allowing you to understand the home’s condition fully.
Typically, there aren’t as many prospective buyers during the winter. That means less competition for buyers. It may not only be easier to secure your dream home, but you may be able to secure a lower price, too.
Tips for Buying Your Home During the Holidays
Don’t Let the Weather Hold You Back
While navigating winter weather can be tricky, don’t let it alter your approach to assessing a house. Make sure to spend some time exploring the home’s exterior and outdoor features. While it may be a little uncomfortable, that’s better than overlooking an issue.
Make Use of the Internet
If the weather is genuinely frightful, make use of the internet. Review photos and video tours online to narrow down your options from the comfort of home. That way, you’ll have a targeted shortlist of properties to go and see.
The holiday season is typically hectic. That means that both buyers and sellers might have tight schedules, making it harder to coordinate mutually acceptable times for viewings.
Whenever possible, be considerate when you request a viewing. Avoid times and days traditionally associated with holiday activities of various faiths. That way, you aren’t asking the seller to disrupt their holiday for a showing.
Selling a Home During the Holidays
Selling your house during the holidays might seem daunting. However, it can be an incredibly intelligent move. If you’re trying to decide whether you want to list, here is a look at the benefits of selling your home during the holidays and a few winter home selling tips.
The Benefits of Selling Your Home During the Holidays
While selling a house during the holidays can be a little tricky, the benefits you get for selling a house in winter could offset them. Here’s a look at some of the reasons to sell your home during the holidays.
Selling a house during the holidays could work to your advantage. Many homeowners choose to wait until spring. As a result, local inventory tends to be lower. You’ll have an easier time attracting buyer attention since there aren’t as many options. That could mean you’ll get offers faster by listing your home during the holidays.
If you’re wondering, “Do houses sell in December or during the holiday season?” the answer is a resounding “yes.” Plus, while it’s true that there are usually more prospective buyers during the spring and summer, those who are willing to head out into winter weather are usually incredibly motivated.
When a buyer is house hunting during the winter, it might be out of necessity. For example, if they accepted a new job or were transferred and need to be in a new city by the start of the year, buying fast is a must. Others might be near the end of a rental lease and need a new place quickly.
However, even if there isn’t a cause-related sense of urgency, buyers can be motivated by other reasons. Some simply want to tie a fresh start to the New Year, and finding a new home might be part of that equation.
Motivated buyers are a boon for sellers. Usually, they a pre-approved for a mortgage and make serious offers promptly. Plus, they might be more likely to offer list price or more.
Faster Loan Processing
With fewer people looking for new homes, lenders aren’t usually as busy. That means they might be able to process loans faster, leading to quicker closings.
Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays
Making Holiday Décor Decisions
If you’re wondering, “Should you decorate for Christmas when selling your home (or any other winter holiday)?” the answer can be “yes.” A few nice holiday décor pieces can make your house feel warm and welcoming.
Just make sure you don’t go overboard. A lot of extra décor items, flashing lights, or flickering flameless candles can feel cluttered or distracting. Additionally, you should avoid overly religious items. Buyers may have beliefs that differ from your own, so it’s best to remain as non-secular as possible.
Finally, while some light holiday décor is fine, leaving gifts out isn’t a great idea. While most buyers are honest, some aren’t. Plus, there’s always a chance they’ll accidentally get damaged, especially if they are sitting on the ground.
Focus on Curb Appeal
One of the biggest winter real estate tips is to focus on curb appeal. During the winter, yards can look a little sparse since trees lose leaves and plants are dormant. While you can’t make leaves magically reappear, do take the time to spruce up your home exterior. Touch up the paint, clean the gutters, and rake fallen leaves away.
You may also want to add some potted evergreen plants close to your entryway. Some poinsettias are a nice seasonal touch that lets you add some color quickly. You could also try some potted blue spruces for greenery or winter-blooming camellias or cyclamen for colorful flowers.
Additionally, make sure snow and ice aren’t coating walkways. That way, buyers aren’t likely to slip on their way toward the door.
Have High-Quality Photos
In most cases, a buyer’s first impression of your home happens when they view listing photos. As a result, you want to make sure the ones you include are as enticing as possible.
If you have some that show your house during a nice spring or summer day, you may want to start there. Lush lawns and bright skies make your home more enticing, so don’t shy away from using those pictures for winter listings.
If you don’t have any photos, carefully time when you take new ones. Try to find a sunny, blue-skied day. You could also take advantage of any snowfall. A pristine layer of snow can look quite lovely. If you go this route, make sure you don’t walk through the front yard to get the images. Instead, use a side or backdoor and walk around. That way, your front yard is untouched.
Keep Your House Cozy
Another one of the big tips for selling your home during the holidays is keeping your house warm and cozy. That way, the home feels like a haven from winter weather to buyers, which can work in your favor.
Offer Video Tours
When it comes to winter real estate tips, offering video tours is another excellent idea. It allows prospective buyers to get a feel for the property without venturing out into winter weather. Plus, if a buyer checks out the video and then schedules a viewing, the odds that they’re very interested are much higher.