You’ve probably heard the old home buying and selling advice, the best time to do it is in the Spring and Summer. However, that’s not the only option. People buy and sell year-round for all sorts of reasons, from relocation needs for a new job to family size changes.
What you might not realize is there are plenty of potential advantages to discover when buying and selling homes during the holiday season. The key to successfully navigating the market, whether you’re a buyer or seller, depends on the right preparation and following a few best practices.
Here’s what you need to consider as you start your home buying or selling journey.
Buying during the holiday season
Buying a home is a year-round prospect, and there are some special advantages you can find during the holiday season.
The perks of buying during the holiday season
A 2019 study by ATTOM Data Solutions found that December is actually the best time to buy a home. The study found that the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the best of the entire year to close. Those who buy in December tend to see a much smaller premium on home prices than the traditionally ‘hot’ times in the market, such as May or June.
So that’s one benefit. Another is you might find a group of motivated sellers. Many people start new jobs around the New Year, so they have an incentive to sell and have a quick closing before heading off to their new location. Another group of motivated sellers can include builders completing new construction homes or those facing foreclosure.
Keep an eye out for these options can offer more flexibility in your negotiations than you might see in the Spring. That flexibility might save you a few thousands of dollars in concessions and allowances during the closing process.
A few tips for holiday home buyers
Are you thinking of buying during the winter holiday season? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start looking for your new home:
- Prepare to move quickly
In the winter, sellers are often motivated, speeding the process up by a few weeks. If you see something you like, the buying and closing process can be much quicker than normal.
- Consider the tax benefits
If you’re on the fence, completing the purchase before the end of the year has potential tax benefits too. Depending on where you live, you can claim your mortgage interest, property taxes, and closing fees (if itemized) on your taxes.
Selling during the holiday season
Buyers aren’t the only people who can benefit from the holiday season. If you’re selling your home, there are some advantages for you too.
The perks of selling during the holiday season
Fewer people sell during the holiday season. However, having a smaller inventory available can work to your advantage. During the holiday season, there are plenty of motivated buyers who tend to be more serious. With fewer homes to choose from, you might be able to benefit from a quick closing if you price your home competitively.
Another factor to consider around selling during the holidays is the potential tax-advantages. For some homeowners, selling before the end of the year could help you avoid carrying over additional capital gains taxes from the sale into the new year.
Finally, there’s also an aesthetic benefit to selling your home during the holidays. Who doesn’t love the curb appeal of a beautiful home under a fresh dusting of snow? Use the warm and cozy holiday mood to your advantage and ensure your home lets buyers imagine their next holiday season there.
A few tips for holiday home sellers
Many of the standard home selling tips still apply for selling during the holidays, but here are a few additional suggestions to keep in mind:
- Depersonalize your home
While the holiday spirit might be flowing through your home, you don’t want to have too much clutter, especially during open houses. So as you set up your decorations, keep that in mind.
- Work with a knowledgeable real estate agent
Selling your home in the winter can present different challenges and opportunities than other times of the year. Work with an agent who has experience selling in your area during the holiday season.
The bottom line
There are many advantages to buying and selling homes during the holidays. Once you take these into account, your journey to buying and selling this time of year can become much easier.
As always, we’re here to answer any questions you have and help guide you through the mortgage loan process, no matter what time of year it is. Give us a call or start your application today.