The Big Question: Should you sell your home during the holidays?

The decision to sell your home or take your home off the market during the holiday season can be a big one. Recently, Rick Sobin talked about what to consider before selling your home over the holidays.

We all know that the housing market slows down during the holiday season. How else are you going to make time for baking cookies and buying gifts?

Between all of the parties, vacations, celebrations and commitments we have this time of year, many buyers and sellers shelve their real estate goals until the new year rolls around.

We asked our agents the big question that sellers are asking this time of year: Should you sell your home during the holidays?

Homebuyers mean business

If you want to attract a motivated home buyer, the holiday season can be the perfect time to sell your home. The prospective homebuyers who are searching for homes are usually doing so because they have a job transfer, an expiring lease or a shift in family life.

Kelly McInerney, of our Lake Forest office, said that every prospective buyer presents an opportunity to sell that home.

“I think that homes for sale should absolutely remain on the market during the holidays. Most people are in good spirits and your home looks festive and dressed for company. Buyers are in good spirits too.  If they are looking for a home during this time, they are serious buyers. Why would you miss an opportunity?

If you take your house off the market and re-list after the New Year, you will be in competition with old and new inventory. If your home is on the market, you have a desire to sell.  It may seem like a hassle to get it ready for a showing when you are trying to get ready for something else, but look at it as an opportunity – an opportunity to accomplish your goal of selling your home and moving on to your next adventure.”

Christina McNamee says that the demand is there — and that the holidays can even be a benefit to first-time homebuyers who have family in town helping them with their search.

“Selling a home can be time-consuming, so some people would prefer to have a break to spend time with their family. However, there will be buyers looking. At least half of the 15 years I’ve been a broker, I’ve written contracts on holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

Consider who your buyers are, because a young couple buying their first home may want to show the property to their parents who are visiting over the holidays to get their opinion before signing on the dotted line.”


Sell your home before competition heats up

When Pam Lynch is advising her clients, she tells them to consider that the end of the year could be, for some, the best time to buy.

“Unless you have countless back-to-back guests, I advise clients to keep their homes on the market. Many year-end bonuses are distributed at this time, and prospective buyers often plan to use these bonuses to invest in a new home. They start “dreaming” and looking at the possibilities.

Many companies also recruit during this time and fly in their potential employees to view homes/neighborhoods during the time they are negotiating the contracts that will be effective first quarter.”

Even though some believe that spring is the best time to sell your home, Michelle Chicago believes that the best time to sell your home could in fact be during the holidays.

“The best time to be online as a home seller may just be during the holidays when people are looking online to shop.  They may be talking to their friends and families about buying that new home while they are eating their turkey dinners. Then, the first thing they do after dinner is take out their phone and look for your property that is online and ready to sell.”

Over the holidays, plenty of people are moving because they have to, so finding a home is paramount. Michelle added:

“Many in the military will get their PCS (permanent change of station) orders around this time of year and will be relocating. Some have waited until this time this year to make a job change “after bonuses” to relocate out of state. They’ll want to find their dream home to go along with their new dream jobs. Or of course, there’s always buyers that think they will get a better deal on pricing in the winter as well.”

Decking the halls can help you sell your home

Even though you might want to declutter before you sell your home, it’s okay to trim the tree, pull out the twinkle lights or light the menorah. 

Stephanie Parent says that polishing and perfecting your home for holiday guests can often pull double duty when trying to sell your home.

“Don’t take your home off the market.  When else will your home shine like it will during the holidays? Most people clean up their homes and decorate in anticipation of guests.  Showing your home when it is dressed is the best time for it to shine. Likewise, buyers that are looking over the holidays are serious.  You aren’t dealing with people out just kicking tires.”

When you’re showing to a prospective buyer, you want them to envision living in the home. Marty Golden believes that staging your home for the holidays can help them do just that.

“Sellers should keep their home on market during holidays as people looking then really need to move or they would not be looking, there are fewer properties for sale thus reduced competition. When showing your home during the holidays keep  the dining room table set, china and center piece, stemware etc . Let the buyers feel like they want to be there for holiday dinner with friends and family.”


Written by @properties
@properties Christie’s International Real Estate is Chicagoland’s #1 brokerage. Through our affiliation with Christie’s International Real Estate, our network spans nearly 50 countries. No matter your real estate needs, we’ve got you covered.