The holiday season triggers so many mental and emotional associations for me. I think of cookies, and snowmen, and football games with my family. It’s a time for cutting down Christmas trees, taking family portraits and also buying a home during the holidays. Wait, what?! House hunting isn’t on your list? If you’re looking to relocate or move into a home that better suits your needs, house hunting during the holiday season should be on your list!
I recently had the chance to chat with Stephanie Wardwell, of Keller Williams Fairfax Gateway in Fairfax, VA, about home buying and selling during the holiday season. She had so many great insights on what can make the holiday season the perfect time to buy or sell your home.
Most home buyers think of the spring and summer as the prime times to explore the market and find a home, which actually makes holiday house hunting ideal. Like everything else in 2020, the competition for homes in many areas of the country is unprecedented. Homes are spending less days on the market than seen in recent history. So, shopping during the “off” season can be hugely beneficial. If you’re dreading a competing offer, buying in winter may lessen the chances of encountering that situation. When there’s less shoppers out there, there’s less competition for your perfect home in the area of your dreams.
You’re helping them as much as you’re helping yourself. Only serious motivated sellers sell during the holidays. It’s not all about the money, but about the deal that can help both parties. The buyer could get some of the best terms of the deal. Sellers who choose to list their home during the winter months tend to do so because they have to. Meaning they are typically highly motivated. Motivation equals flexibility in the real estate world. If you’re looking at homes which may need repairs or you have a very specific timeline that you need to close within, a holiday seller just may be more likely to work with you. Negotiations and concessions can be more easily maneuvered because the seller wants to move as badly as you do. Win-Win!
Just like with buyers, since many homeowners don’t want to sell during the holiday season, there is less listing competition. The selling process can often be much shorter than during the traditional selling season, due to less homes being sold. My favorite part about listing homes during the holidays is the pictures! Home pictures look so nice when decorated for the holidays. They give a cozy feeling that leads to buyers being able to see themselves making memories in your home.
Truly, there isn’t one. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. With the holidays comes vacations and closed businesses. The home buying process includes title companies, real estate agencies, and mortgage companies. It can take longer to get through the under contract process as these companies work more limited hours and are closed for one or more days at a time. It can also be more difficult to schedule inspections and appraisals as these are performed by both big businesses and independent contractors alike. As much as you love sitting by the fire enjoying your family, so do these hard working professionals assisting you with your home purchase.
Making sure that you are in the right position to buy is crucial no matter when you’re looking to house hunt. But if you’ve run the numbers, checked the market reports, and found a great school district, don’t wait. Warmer weather or the “traditional” selling season shouldn’t be what is keeping you from buying. It’s always a great time to invest in yourself and your family’s future.
We hope you found this blog post about buying a home during the holidays helpful. Read more of our blogs here: MilHousing Network Blog