The holidays are quickly approaching. Pumpkin Spice Lattes fill our cups, gingerbread cookies fill our ovens, and the thought of spending a week visiting our families fills our nightmares. Just kidding. Kind of. Anyways, in regards to real estate you might read about how there are less buyers during the holidays and therefore you should wait to list your home until after the holidays. Keep in mind that sometimes those articles are talking about real estate on a national level. In Southern California we operate on a local level, much different then most other areas in the United States. In response to those articles stating you should wait to list your home until after the holidays, here are 6 reasons why if you live in Southern California you should list your home during the holidays rather then wait until the beginning of the year.
- No Shortage of Buyers: While it is true that there are less homebuyers during the holiday season Southern California is one of the most desirable places to live meaning there are thousands of people looking to buy homes at all times of the year across the area, including the holidays. Therefore, your home will still get exposed to many homebuyers looking to make a move. In our market there will always be many more potential homebuyers then there are homes for sale.
- There Is Less Competition: During the holidays there are less homes for sale then other times of the year meaning that your home will get more exposure as opposed to waiting until the beginning of the year when everybody else puts their homes on the market. Due to less homes for sale, potential homebuyers will have less options to choose from so you will have more potential homebuyers bidding on your property, which could lead to quicker offers, more offers, and a bidding war on your property driving up the price. In what world is that not a great scenario for sellers. For the analytical people in the room here is a numbers example; Let's say in normal months there are 200 potential buyers and 100 homes for sale in your city. That is 2 buyers per home. During the holidays it could be 150 potential buyers and 50 homes for sale in your city. That is 3 buyers per home. That is what you want as a seller.
- Relocation Buyers: Every year thousands of people move to Southern California for a variety of reasons; work, school, entertainment, family, etc. During the holidays is when we see a large number of relocation buyers because they will be starting their new job or new school at the beginning of the year. These buyers need to buy NOW! It's really tough to start your new job as a surgeon at Cedars Sinai if you still live in Michigan. Many times these potential homebuyers are willing to make quick offers and are easy to negotiate with due to the small window they have to buy a home and relocate. Also, sometimes these potential homebuyers get financial assistance from their companies to relocate which means they may be willing to make offers above asking price just to get into a home.
- No Weather Restrictions: One of the biggest reasons it is so expensive to live in Southern California is the magnificent weather we have. Well the weather can work to your advantage is this circumstance. Since non-mountain cities don't get snow, consistent heavy rain, consistent winds, or daytime temperatures below 60 degrees potential homebuyers are willing and able to be out and about looking at homes. In other parts of the country where it is snowing or 20 degrees outside being out and about looking at homes is far less appealing.
- People Take Time Off: One of the many reasons summer months have the most activity in the real estate industry is because more people take time off work, be it for vacation or because the kids are out of school. The same thing happens during the holiday season; people take time off for vacation, or because kids are out of school, or because they have family coming over, etc. This means more people are able to view your home during the week as opposed to other times of the year when they are only able to view your home on the weekend when they are off work. In February your home may only get exposure to potential homebuyers on Saturday and Sunday, in December your home may get exposure to potential homebuyers every day of the week. Combine that with less homes on the market and no weather restrictions and now your home is getting tons of exposure.
- Interest Rates Expected To Rise: According to a poll done by Reuters 70% of economists surveyed believe interest rates will rise in December. That means that homebuyers will qualify for less then they do now. When that happens you will have less buyers eligible to purchase your home which reduces the number of offers you will get, which will then reduce the chances of a bidding war on your home. By listing your home before that happens you will get exposure to more homebuyers eligible to purchase your home.
Now you might be thinking "I don't want to list my home because I don't want potential homebuyers walking through my home when I have people over for the holidays." Ask yourself this question; what days specifically do you have people coming over? Here is what I am guessing; you're having people over on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and News Years Day. Your realtor just won't show your home on those 5 days, which I am sure he/she will be fine with since they will probably like to be with friends and family on those days as well. The point is that most of us only have people at our homes 3-10 days during the holidays. Don't let that be the reason you wait to list your home. Just let your realtor know when people are coming over and they won't schedule showings on those days. However, your home will still be exposed online and your realtor will still be able to take offers on your home during those days.
As you can see, if you live in Southern California there are many benefits to listing your home during the holiday season. Take advantage of those benefits to get the best deal possible for your home.