Monday, November 22, 2021 / by Karri Bedor
Are the Holidays a Good Time to Buy and Sell?
These past two years have been crazy in real estate. Low inventory created a need for some pretty creative offers. Escalation Clauses, waiving inspections, negotiating appraisal gaps, and competing with multiple offers drove many buyers to put the search for their next home on hold.
The holiday season in real estate is generally a slower market. People are getting ready for the holidays and some travel while others are too busy with the typical holiday hustle. Due to the fact that there are fewer homes on the market, if you can believe that is even possible in this market, sellers have even less competition. The pool of buyers during the holiday season tends to be more serious in finding a home. In addition, many buyers have more time off during the holiday season allowing for more flexibility to see homes on a moment’s notice. This means sellers need to keep their homes ready to be seen at any time.
A festive home is certainly inviting, but sellers need to be careful not to overdo the decorating and hide some possible selling features of the home. Focus on things like outdoor lighting and curb appeal. As the days get shorter, many buyers will be viewing your home in the dark or driving by when it is not easy to see the home. Update the outdoor lighting and make sure the sidewalks and porch are clear of snow.
On the flip side, buyers also have some advantages of buying during the holiday season. Due to less competition, buyers are more likely to be able to ask for an inspection and perhaps even go in at the asking price. During this time of year in Wisconsin, buyers also have the opportunity to see firsthand how the furnace is operating as well as the quality of the windows in keeping out the cold. In addition, historically interest rates - although hard to predict - tend to be lower during the holidays because of less demand. Due to fewer transactions, financing tends to also be in the buyer’s favor. Buying a home on or before December 31 allows buyers to take advantage of tax deductions on the mortgage and property taxes as well as the interest costs of a loan.
Agents tend to have more time to spend with clients during the holiday season due to the slower market. As always, everyone’s situation is unique to them, and it is always wise to talk to a lender and reach out to an agent to help better understand what is involved in the process so the best decision is made for each individual situation.
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