Why it Makes Sense to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

By SARAH KNAUER | Special to the Palisadian-Post

With the holidays quickly approaching, many homeowners thinking of selling debate whether to list right away or wait until the spring.

Of course, the holidays are a busy time for everyone, with extra cooking and company. Is it worth adding on the stress of showings, open houses and moving? Plus, there is also the misconception that the holidays are a bad time to sell because buyers are experiencing the same obligations as the sellers.

Well, in fact, listing your home during the holidays may be the better way to go.

While conventional wisdom says that spring or summer is a better time to sell because there are more buyers, the reality is that there are more listings on the market, which means more homes competing with yours.

In addition, only the most serious buyers will continue to look over the holidays, which can save you time showing your home to buyers who may not be ready to purchase right away.

During the holidays, there are fewer homes on the market, which leads to less competition and higher demand for your home. For instance, in December 2018, there were only 92 homes on the market in the Palisades, compared to 124 homes in June 2019.

Last year, from November 1, 2018, to January 31, 2019, there were 49 home sales in the Palisades compared with just 39 home sales from February 1, 2019, to April 30, 2019. Ten more homes sold over the holidays than in the following three-month period.

As you can see, the holidays actually had a positive effect on the number of homes sold during that time period. Compared to 2018, there has been a depreciation in home values in the Palisades this year.

As of December 1, 2019, the median sale price for single-family homes in the Palisades dropped 7% from $3.35 million to $3.1 million, and the average sales price dropped 8% from $4,259,338 to $3,923,124. If this depreciation continues, homes may sell for a higher price now than they will in spring.

Furthermore, interest rates are continuing to be low, which is a huge incentive for buyers to purchase now rather than risk a higher rate next year. As of November 3, 2019, jumbo loan rates can range from as low as 2.75% to just under 4%.

There are some easy ways to alleviate the stress of listing and showing your home during the holidays.

First, you can ask for a seller leaseback, which allows you to continue living in your home after escrow closes, enjoy the holidays and then focus on moving when you are ready. Sellers who leaseback may pay a lower than market rent, or even negotiate to pay nothing at all.

Restricting showings and limiting open houses to comfortable times are also perfectly acceptable. For example, if weekdays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. work best because the kids are at school or you have family in for the holidays, your agent can make a note of that on the MLS so agents and buyers are aware of the restriction ahead of time.

Buyers that are serious about a home will rearrange their schedules for a showing if needed in order to accommodate a seller.

Homes also can also feel warm and inviting when tastefully decorated for the holidays, so you can still feel free to hang lights and ornaments where you usually would. Buyers will be able to imagine their own family spending the holidays in that environment and may just fall in love!

Sarah Knauer is a sales partner with Amalfi Estates. To contact Knauer, call 310-663-4606 or email sarah@amalfiestates.com. Visit amalfiestates.com for more information.