Now that we can almost smell those relentless reindeer about to land on the roof thanks to ambitious retailers, the question of "Should I try to sell my house during the holidays?" comes up.
You may have heard all the pat answers:
1. Houses look so pretty during the holidays, why not?
2. You won't see as many buyers, but the ones who are out there looking are really serious.
3. Some buyers have to close escrow by the end of the year for tax reasons.
4. Many buyers are on vacation during the holidays and have more time to look at homes.
5. Buyers are more emotional during the holidays, so they are more likely to pay more for a home.
6. There are fewer homes on the market, so less competition for your home.
7. You can close escrow on your home before the spring buying season, and so be in a better position to make a non-contingent offer on your next home.
All pretty good reasons, but the real question that sellers ask today is not really about "should I sell during the holidays" but "Do you think my home might be worth more in the spring?"
That is the 64-dollar question, my friends. I was just asked it today. And prospective sellers don't want to take "I don't know" for an answer! "Come on, someone who has all the experience you do must have at least a feeling for what the market will do next!"
Yes I do. My feeling is that the market is volatile and will continue to be volatile and it could go up or it could go down based on many economic indicators that we don't have information on yet. Like, will the unemployment rate be down in the spring? Or, will the economy be better? Or will interest rates go up? Spring is several months away. Who do you know who is confident that they know what will happen then?
What if I said to you, "Wait until Spring, your house will be worth more," and then come next April the bottom has fallen out of the economy and your best chance of selling at a profit was lost? How would you feel? Do you really trust my expertise that much? If I told you that the best price you are going to get for your house for the next 5 years is right now, would you believe me? Let's all put it out for a vote: who thinks prices are going to go up in the Spring? Down? Oh, it's a 50-50 split. Now what? you really have to make your own decision about when to sell. It's kind of like deciding when to have a baby. What might be great timing for you is wrong for someone else, so how do you decide?
One of the hardest things about putting your home on the market is getting it ready for everyone to see. You have to pack up all your stuff, you have to clean, fix, paint, freshen, landscape...lots of stuff. The best time to put it on the market is when you have that stuff done. So when will that be? Does it help you to have a deadline? Good. Then get it ready now and go on the market when you are done. I don't care whether that is next week or next year. I will be here, ready to do my part when the time comes. My team is here to provide all the support possible to help you through this process.