Do Not Sell Your Home During the Holidays!

It’s that time of year again…when all real estate blogs are full of articles of why you should put your home on market during the holidays.  I agree with all of them, and I have my own thoughts about the topic of selling your home in Winter.

But I learn the best real estate lessons from my clients, and for many homeowners, the holidays is the wrong time to sell.  If you answer YES to these questions, you are better off waiting for Spring market.

  1. Do you have to buy in order to sell? Especially true if you are buying a home much more expensive than you are selling.  Everyone is pointing to the seller’s market with slim inventory and price pressures.  This situation is exacerbated by the slow winter market.  Those who must buy are finding few choices and nervously competing for a house they may not love.  The seller’s market will work for you as a seller, but against you as a buyer.  So you are better off making your move when sellers have less control, and buyers have more options – the busy Spring market.
  2. Are you hosting people for the holidays? Few things annoy your real estate agent more than the inability to show a home for sale.  If you have people visiting, and you don’t want to be bothered with showings, then don’t put up the For Sale sign just yet.  Your flexibility for showing the home is essential for a sale.  I’ve showed properties on Christmas day and negotiated on New Year’s Eve.  If this is not for you, please wait.
  3. Are you extremely busy around the holidays? Selling your home requires some energy and effort.  It is my job as a real estate agent to minimize this work, but you’ll have to keep the home looking better than usual.  Decluttering, packing away many of your things is required before the home comes on market.  After that, maintaining cleanliness and organization is a daily chore you can’t skip if buyers are scheduled.
  4. Do you have plenty of time? If you don’t have to sell your home immediately, don’t rush.  Haste makes waste.  Take advantage of this time to prepare your home for a sale.  More lead time means you can start consulting your real estate agent immediately about how to prepare the home, and your agent can start working on marketing the property.  The more you prepare now, the less you rush and worry later.

If you’ve answered yes to these questions then you’ve probably decided to wait for Spring market.  Sure it’s a wonderful seller’s market, but you should always work around your schedule.

So when does Spring market start?  From my experience, February 1st, but others may say differently.  It is time to contact your local William Raveis real estate agent to plan your Spring market home sale.  Happy holidays!

Ruth Lerner, MBA, Realtor, represents buyers and sellers for real estate in Brookline, MA and the Boston Area.  Boston, Brookline and Newton real estate information can be found at

image via HGTV

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