Real Estate Information


Is It Wise to Take My Home Off the Market for the Holidays?


Let's say you've had your home on the market for many months without a sale. The holidays are drawing near. Should you call it quits and take your home off the market until next year? Or is it better to continue marketing your home through the holiday season?

Generally the home sale market is most active during the spring and fall. The summer months are usually slow because buyers turn their attention from home buying to vacationing. Home sales also tend to drop off from Thanksgiving through the winter months.

Precisely when the spring selling season begins depends in part on where you live. In locales with temperate climates, like California, the spring market can get rolling as early as the end of January or the beginning of February. But, in areas with severe weather, the spring market may start much later.

Even though the home sale business tends to be seasonal, each real estate year is somewhat unique. An unanticipated event, like a change in the tax laws or a shift in interest rates, can trigger a pick-up in the real estate market at a time you wouldn't expect it. The local economic picture also has a direct impact on home sales. In an area that's booming, home sales may be strong all year long.

First-Time Tip: Make your decision about whether to take your home off the market based on what's happening in your local real estate market and on your personal situation.

Ask your agent for an update on home sale activity in your neighborhood. Are buyers still out in force, or are they more interested in preparing for the holidays? If the market is active and you must sell, stay on the market.

If the market is dead and your need to move is not urgent, consider taking your home off the market until the market activity improves. At that time, you should reconsider your list price. Most homes that have been marketed for months unsuccessfully are priced too high for the market. A few months time is long enough for market conditions to change, so definitely update the pricing information on your home before you offer it for sale again.

You can be at an advantage selling during the winter months. This is a time when many sellers pull their homes off the market. Also there's usually less new inventory coming on the market because most people perceive that this is not the best time to sell. This can create a low inventory market, at least temporarily, which benefits sellers who keep their homes for sale.

There are always buyers who need to buy homes, regardless of the time of year or the weather. What varies is the number of buyers in the market at any given time. There may be fewer serious buyers looking for homes in December, but those who are often have an urgent need to move.

It can be inconvenient to market your home over the holidays. Interruptions for showings, particularly on short notice, may interfere with your holiday plans. On the other hand, most homes look particularly inviting when they're all dressed up.

Sellers can help keep their sanity during the holidays by modifying their showing procedure for a few weeks. One option is requesting that agents make appointments with you a day or two in advance during this period.

The Closing: There may be times when your home won't be available for showings at all. Most buyers will understand your need for privacy during the holidays.

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