The holiday season is upon us and every year during this time we see a shift. Sellers, especially those who have had difficulty selling, decide to pull their home off the market. They reason that fewer people are searching during the holidays and that they would be better off putting their home back up for sale at the beginning of the new year or in spring. Additionally, the holidays are a busy time. With travel, visiting friends and family, and kids home from school, this may seem like the perfect time to press pause. But, are sellers making a mistake taking their home off the market during the holiday season? The answer, it depends. How good is your agent?
Yes, there are fewer buyers in the market during the holidays, and yes, the number of homes sold is lower relative to the rest of the year. But what those metrics fail to take into account is the decreased number of homes on the market during the holidays. A better metric to look at is months of inventory, which is the relationship between the number of homes on the market during a given month and the number of sales. A lower number corresponds to a greater proportion of homes selling during a given month, and what the historic data for San Luis Obispo County tells us is that inventory levels are lowest in the months of November and December. This is because fewer folks list their homes and many sellers pull their homes off the market. What great news for a seller! There is less competition and a greater proportion of homes on the market are selling, which means that the proportion of qualified buyers to available homes is greater than other months. Also, the buyers that are in the market during the holidays tend to be more serious. So, the answer seems obvious right, stay on the market? Again, it depends.
If your agent tells you it’s a good idea to take your home off the market you probably should. Why? Because there’s a good you’re with the wrong agent. One of the reasons sellers want to pull their home from the market during the holidays is because they are too busy. They don’t want to be bothered with showings, lookie-loo buyers, questions about square footage, etc. They want to enjoy the festivities of the season. If your agent thinks it’s a good idea to pull your home off the market and to wait to put it back on when everyone else does, they probably aren’t qualifying potential buyers, scheduling showings around your schedule, or doing any of the other activities that save their clients headaches.
If your agent is good, they will explain that listing during the holiday season means your competing against fewer homes in a market with more serious buyers. That a greater proportion of homes sell during the holidays and that homes show better when they are decorated. They are also likely to have given you good advice on pricing, are actively screening potential buyers, are effectively marketing the home, and are scheduling showings at times that fit in with your busy schedule instead of interrupting it.
So, when it comes to selling during the holidays, find an agent who knows the market. An agent who prices your home to sell. An agent who listens to your goals and develops a strategy that conforms to your life, rather than interferes with it. If you or anyone you know is interested in buying or selling, give me a call. I’d love to give you the gift of a smooth transaction.