They say there’s no place like home for the holidays, and for many potential Utah homebuyers, that means your home. The holiday season isn’t usually considered the optimal time to buy and sell residential real estate, but with Utah’s market still on fire – even when (baby) it’s cold outside – there’s no reason Santa can’t bring you the perfect buyer this winter.
In fact, there are many reasons to consider selling during the holidays. Here are a few.
There’s less competition
November and December are certainly known for gatherings, but generally speaking, those gatherings aren’t open houses. According to Bankrate, the months of May, June, July and August make up 40% of the year’s home sales. But don’t write off November and December just yet; according to a Deseret News article, median home prices in Utah climbed to record highs during the third quarter of 2021, with no end in sight to the state’s housing shortage.
In what was already a seller’s market, that means you could face even less competition during these historically slower months of the year as well as getting top dollar for your property.
Your home is homier than ever
From garland-clad banisters to the smell of sugar cookies and cider wafting from the kitchen, the holiday season makes your home the stuff of a listing agent’s dreams. Homebuying is already an emotion-driven experience, so a home that’s warm, cozy and festive can really make an impression on buyers.
That said, HGTV recommends staging your home prior to decorating to eliminate clutter, and keep the seasonal décor simple and sophisticated (read: keep those inflatables in the garage).
Buyers are serious
The holidays might be the most wonderful time of the year, but they’re arguably the craziest time of the year too. From shopping to parties to family gatherings and other festive events, it can be difficult to take a breath this time of year. With that in mind, homebuyers out and about in November and December are more likely to be serious about making an offer on a property.
During December in particular, you’ll find buyers who need to relocate by January or buyers looking for a tax incentive prior to the beginning of a new year, according to The Mortgage Reports.
You can sell for more
While it may seem counterintuitive to anticipate selling your home for more money during the holiday season, if it’s going to happen any year, it’s likely to be 2021. That’s because home prices have skyrocketed in Utah over the last several years, and those numbers continue to rise, especially with mortgage interest rates still near historic lows.
That said, interest rates may be rising soon – possibly before the end of the year, according to The Mortgage Reports – making buyers more serious about getting in while rates are low, even if prices remain high.
It doesn’t have to be inconvenient
Before you write off a holiday home sale because your calendar is already as full as your belly after Thanksgiving dinner, consider this: many of today’s best listing agents leverage sophisticated technology to keep the selling process simple and convenient for their clients.
For example, The Stern Team makes it easy for sellers and their realtors to coordinate showing times with buyers’ agents, so you won’t be stressed with coordinating a showing the same night as your ugly sweater party.
Buyers have more time
While the holidays are always busy, they also tend to be more flexible, since school and other rigidly scheduled activities are on hiatus until the new year. That means buyers have a bit more time to explore their options, while you might be able to facilitate showings at times that would be more difficult the rest of the year.
In fact, even buyers who won’t need a home until springtime might take advantage of time off during the holidays to make a decision, giving you some time and flexibility to find a new home yourself – and negotiate without a contingency on the sale of your home.
Relocating buyers are motivated
Not all buyers have the flexibility to wait until spring buying season to purchase a new home. For example, corporate transferees often need to move prior to the first of the year, and many buyers will be making decisions quickly during the holidays before returning to their current city to arrange their move. While this sounds like a stressful situation, as a seller, it just means you may be able to show your home less and still get quality offers from highly motivated buyers.
If you’re ready to sell your home this holiday season, The Stern Team can help. Visit The Stern Team or call 801-609-3298.