Pumpkin pie, sweet potato casserole, and all kinds of savory snacks are calling your name. So is hosting or attending another open house worth passing up a slice of apple pie?
Obviously, no one is going to leave the Thanksgiving dinner table to run out and look at for-sale homes. Nor is anyone going persuade their real estate agent to hold an open house for showings on a holiday. Nevertheless, there are some pros and cons to selling your home or looking for your next one over the turkey-day holidays.
Thursday is Thanksgiving and no one can compete with turkey — and no one in their right mind wants to go head-to-head with Black Friday madness — but the weekend might be another story. If your house is currently on the market, then you certainly want to get it sold before the December holidays arrive and the first big arctic blasts of snow hit.
Thanksgiving weekend may be a smart time to hold an open house. Your home is already for sale, so stash the leftovers, keep the holiday decorations to a minimum, and take advantage of everyone’s downtime to try to get some of those home shoppers through your front doors.
Less traffic, but serious buyers
The bad news is that during the holidays, most prospective homebuyers are focusing their attention elsewhere. They may be postponing their home shopping till January, making it their New Year’s resolution to find the perfect place. However, the good news is that the buyers who are looking around the holidays are serious buyers. They may have deadlines by which they need move or are simply determined to buy.
Fewer choices, but motivated sellers
If you are seriously shopping for a home and have decided to forgo the lines at big box stores, then looking for a home over the holidays can be rewarding. Most home sellers are acutely aware that the December holidays are fast approaching and the bad weather is lurking behind the next cloud bank. The clock is ticking to get their house sold, and the number of buyers on their doorstep is only going to keep dwindling until buyer interest picks up again in late winter and early spring. All that makes for a lot of very motivated sellers and some great home deal possibilities.
Not the best time to list your home … or is it?
Historically, the majority of home sellers will wait to list their homes in January after all the holiday season and New Year’s madness. However, I’ve had several real estate agents tell me they always do very well placing houses on the market between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The theory is that there is far less competition and inventory. Sellers get all of the foot traffic to themselves, as there are fewer homes on the market to preview.
It’s quiet, even where the sun does shine
Obviously, warm-weather states have an advantage over the colder ones when it comes to wintertime home sales. In fact, for many in Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, and even parts of California like Palm Springs, they are enjoying “high season.” Towns are buzzing with crowds of vacationers, but a lot of the same holiday trends apply.
Folks are still more interested in the holidays, vacationing, and slapping on the sunscreen than in home shopping. So while home sellers are not racing oncoming bad weather to close a sale, they know they won’t get as many lookers until January rolls around.
The bottom line
No matter where you live, Thanksgiving is the day to enjoy family and friends — not to go poking around strangers’ closets and attics looking for your next dream home! Think about the weekend after and the festive, yet quieter period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s as the perfect time to consider your next move.