“It’s December, time to sell the house!” Says no one ever. But, they are wrong.
The month of December might be the busiest month of the year. With things like gift buying, decorating the house, parties with friends or coworkers, and visiting relatives taking up a lot of time. Who would want to sell their house during all of this? The answer is, anyone who wants to get top dollar, sell when buyers are the most serious, and when your house never looks better to name a few. December is a great time to list your house. And here is more on why.
- Supply vs. Demand
As with real estate year round, supply vs. demand is the biggest factor in how fast and how much a house will sell for. As stated before, most people do not think this is a good time to have their house on the market. What does that mean? Yep, less COMPETITION in the marketplace. The houses that are on the market tend to sell faster and for more money. Because buyers are still buying!
- Serious Buyers
Speaking of buyers…
The fact of the matter is; warmer weather brings more window shoppers. Between the Parade of Homes and numerous open house opportunities, this is a time when soon to be buyers get curious and start looking around to see what is out there. Note the word curious. Most of these buyers have no immediate plans to buy anything within the next several months. Is that the type of person you want touring your home? On the flip side, the buyers who are out looking in December, are serious. They are people who are planning to buy, quickly, because they are likely not just out looking around for the fun of it when it is freezing outside.
- Not all buyers are bound by the school schedule
This one goes along with number three, but I separate it because it is worth noting. There are plenty of buyers out there who have to, or want to move now. Between buyers with work relocations, an addition to the family, or downsizing due to age. Not to mention those who simply do not have school age children. The number of prospective buyers who are not at all influenced by the school schedule is much greater than those who do. Missing out on these buyers could be the difference in a quick sale for more money, or your house languishing on the market.
*As an add-on to numbers 2 and 3: the internet has taken much of the seasonality out of the market. With more and more information at their fingertips, buyers know far more about the house they are going to view than in years past. Therefore, buyers narrow their options very early in the process and statistically look at fewer houses in person than before. So the days of needing good weather to go see numerous houses are over.
- Your house will never be more staged than it is right now
Remember back at the beginning of this I mentioned you were taking time to decorate your house? All that time spent hanging the stockings over the fireplace, wreaths on the door, garland on the banister, and tree with presents in the corner, and so on. I ask you, when does your house ever look, feel or smell better? There is just something about it, right? Your house always looks great this time of year. Well, don’t you think that buyers would see and feel that too if they were looking at your house and it was all decorated? You are already going to do the work, make it pay off.
- More personal attention from your Realtor (and lender, title worker, mover…)
Not that you would ever slip through the cracks and be accidentally ignored by your agent. But…
Chances are, with less houses on the market your agent will have less on their plate as well. Meaning your house is more the center of attention than it would be in busier times. Think of it like going to a restaurant when it is really busy. Your server doesn’t want you to have to wait for that refill, but they have many other tables to attend to as well. And you might just have to wait. However, if you are in before or after the crowd, I bet that refill comes before your current glass is even empty.
There are many examples of how your experience is greatly enhanced when you are the center of attention. And listing your house during the less peak times such as winter, you are all but guaranteeing to get that extra touch every agent wishes they could give to every client, but realistically cannot. Like being able to do more marketing and getting your house in front of more people. In ways such as hold more open houses, put together more advertising touches for their center of influence, invite other agents to the house to view it and give feedback. The list goes on and on. Keep in mind that this applies to your lender, title worker, mover and all others associated with this process. Less busy equals more attention on you!
December may not ever become the “hot” time to buy and sell in real estate, as old habits die hard. But as you can see there are many advantages to listing your house now while all of the other potential sellers wait for the spring. And there are likely more advantages I haven’t even thought of. So if you have one, just add it to the list for me.
So the next time you hear someone say, “We are thinking about selling our house, but will wait until the spring.” You can point out these reasons not to wait and perhaps help your friend sell their house faster and for more money and they will thank you for that.