Should we list in December or wait until after the first of the year?

I have received this question from multiple clients in the last two weeks.

“Should we list in December or wait until after the first of the year?”

What are the pros and cons of each? How would the home compete on the market?

There are two big advantages to putting the home on the market in December:

  1. During the holidays, homes are usually in their pristine state. Holiday decorations brighten up a home and make it feel more welcoming for potential buyers.
  2. There are fewer buyers which means fewer showings. However, each showing is a higher quality showing because people looking at homes in December are motivated buyers. They likely have to make a move in the next 45-60 days.

People buy homes based on emotions and then justify the purchase to themselves with logic. Because a home is inviting during the holidays, it feels more appealing to those buyers that visit the home.

From a competitive standpoint, many people take their home off the market between Thanksgiving and the New Year. That means that those same buyers who need a home quickly, will have fewer choices. That can be a competitive advantage for a home seller.

Waiting until January to put a home on the market has its positives too. Once a home is cleaned up after the holiday season, people have used the week between Christmas and the New Year to purge the home and get rid of things or make donations to their favorite charities.

As a result, the home is staged better in January than other times of the year and there is less clutter.

The downside to January listings is that other homes will also come on the market during that time period. We have all heard about the “Spring Market.” That Spring Market starts in early January. Homes that go under contract in January often close in March or April and by listing in January you can be one of the first homes available. Because of this, there are more homes to compete against for a seller. That means that the home has to be priced more aggressively and must show well.

The January timeframe is when many buyers enter the market for a new home. That means there are more buyers for the increase in inventory that usually happens in January.

It is up to the seller as to when the house goes on the market. As a real estate agent, it is my job to give you the positives and negatives of each strategy and let you make a decision.

If you would like to sit down for a no-obligation consultation to discuss when the best time to list your house would be, I am happy to have that conversation

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