Why it’s a Very Bad Idea to Withdraw Your Home from the Market for the Holidays

How amazing is it that we're almost at the end of October!

With Halloween next Tuesday, we're almost at the point when the biggest holidays of the year are in sight (have you realized that Thanksgiving is just 27 days away!).

It's very common to start seeing a number of local homes temporarily being taken off the market as we move through November.

The reasoning is almost always that no one is going to want to buy a home this side of the New Year.

I really cannot express how profoundly wrong this total myth is! It truly is the biggest misconception in all of real estate.

While it's admittedly getting tight now for buyers to be in their new homes for Thanksgiving, Christmas is still very achievable with the usual 30 day closing, and that also tends to be a big incentive in late October/November.

You should also consider that buyers at this time of year aren't casually considering a move. Almost invariably there is a very specific reason for wanting to move and, even better for sellers, there are usually strict timetables in operation.

Especially in our area of massive tech industry employment, January is a traditional time for job changes and we are thus now approaching high season for relocations during the year.

There are also a range of tax-related reasons why closing a property deal by year end is important.

But this year we are seeing a couple of additional motivations for buying as we will gradually transition from fall to winter.

Mortgage rates may be at the highest levels we've seen since mid-summer, but they are still incredibly low by any historic standard and, as we saw earlier this year when rates also rose, buyers remain incredibly anxious to find the right home in most market sectors, due to the continuance of low inventory of available properties for sale.

But the strong arguments for staying on the market don't end there...

It won't be long now until you'll be decorating your home with all the colors and light of the holiday season. Your surroundings will therefore most likely look more attractive than at any other time of the year. Better yet, buyers are in a more emotional state as the two big breaks approach and are therefore that much more likely to be in a positive frame of mind in terms of making offers etc.

Another key factor that I think is often overlooked if one makes the decision to stay off the market for a while is the loss of momentum. If, for whatever reason, you've struggled to find the right buyer, it's surely not sensible at all to limit your options even further by not keeping your home on the market so that it can be viewed!

And have you also considered that many buyers have more time during the holidays to not only view homes, but to also have the mind space to make informed long term life decisions. It's a more relaxed environment and that is to be welcomed in the often stressful house purchasing process.

Essentially, if your property disappears from the market now, it's back to Square One early in 2018. And have you also considered that there will be more competition and price pressure as all those other sellers who decided to take a break gradually start to list again.

I think another issue is that sellers often don't like the prospect of people viewing their home during the actual holiday periods themselves. Well that's incredibly easy to organize - simply make arrangements with your agent to set up days when the home won't be available for viewing. It’s best not to do this, for the above stated reasons, but it for sure is a much better idea to restrict things for a few days than to give up on 2017 altogether!

With the difficulties presented by low inventory in recent years, we've gradually seen a shift away from such a concentration of sales activity in the summer months. This is because buyers often find it challenging to find a home that ticks all their requirement boxes. They continue to look in large numbers beyond the high season and I think sellers need to seriously question the wisdom of taking yet another option off the market for a while. That really helps no one and contributes to a wider perception of low availability.

My team and I will be making the same full-on, determined efforts to sell for our clients throughout the rest of this year and into the next. Why not contact us today and we'll present a strategy for making the most of what are some unique selling opportunities right now that you simply don't see during the rest of the 12-month cycle.

Dominic Nicoli