Examining the Correlation Between the Holiday Season and the Real Estate Market
When it comes to selling a home, timing can often be a significant factor. Prospective buyers typically operate on a shorter time frame than sellers, and so homeowners ask themselves: when is the right time of year to sell my home? As the holiday season can be an especially stressful time of year, it's easy to imagine that the market may be unkind to the real estate market. You might be surprised to find that the question is not whether the holidays impact the real estate market, but how.
Holidays do impact American real estate not only in that demand for open houses slows during the holidays themselves but that immediately following them shows a much higher demand. According to Realtor.com, the Sunday right after Christmas has been historically one of the busiest days for real estate agents, despite the fact that Christmas Eve has been one of the slowest. Another hot holiday weekend is Labor Day weekend. If you're looking to take advantage of your clients' days off, these are the two weekends to focus on most.
This information may not be as extreme in all places across the country. Realtor.com showed Hawaii as being relatively normative when it came to statistics in open house volume while the New Hampshire housing market experienced more fluctuations during the holiday season. Investopedia reported higher overall home shopping volume during the summer, with late July being the busiest time to look, likely due to families on the move during their school break. Because of the market trends in favor of home purchases during summer break, the lower demand results in greater options for buyers during the holiday season. However, as the demographics of homebuyers shift, so does the hot market trends. Forbes indicates that over half of the homebuyers today aren’t married and are therefore not likely making decisions based on the school year. This is a huge factor in making the holiday season not only viable for home selling but potentially even more advantageous than the summer. Another selling point of purchasing in the fourth quarter of the year is the ability to avoid paying the capital gains tax, which can save new homebuyers a lot of money during the month of November.
A Change in Demographics
The nature of homebuyers during the holiday season may be different than your typical clientele as they’ll focus more on researching houses on the internet (as cold weather might keep them inside) and be more keen on avoiding other real estate competition that they might’ve seen in the warmer months. Understanding the unique motivations of these buyers will help you better cater to their needs. You can also confidently tell your sellers that they will be more likely to sell their homes at a higher-than-average market price during the holiday season since buyers will likely be more eager to settle the deal more quickly.
Timing is Key
According to The Balance, the time of day can affect a real estate listing just as much as the season since buyers are attracted to homes only recently added to the market. If you're hoping to hit that sweet spot for your listing, try posting the listing early in the morning or around midnight on the Friday before a holiday weekend. Market trends show that this is the most advantageous time of day and indicate that your listing will be more effective with potential buyers. As far as dates go, the span of time from the weekend before Thanksgiving to the weekend after Christmas is potentially a high-volume period for open houses so you’ll want to plan your showings in that timeframe.
No matter what time of year it is, you can always make the real estate market work in your favor. Luckily, working during the holiday season already comes with a lot of perks. Make sure that you’re following the trends closely and not assuming that the market takes a break for the holidays.