Home for the Holidays

Posted by Brandon Vasquez on Thursday, November 4th, 2010 at 3:21pm.

This time every year we are asked by our clients if it makes sense to pull their listings “off the market” for the winter holidays, and then put it back on in the spring. The answer is no, but yes for a particular few. How do you know if it is right for you?

If you are serious about selling your home, there is one very good way to improve your odds – have your home on the market (the MLS) *See my previous blog ‘Demystifying the MLS’ for more background

Our experience these past 29 years, and more particularly the last two years, has shown that during this period of mid-November to mid-January there have been a surprising number of sales occurring, with some even resulting in closing dates prior to the New Year.

The pace of sales, while increasing, is well below the number from more recent years past. This brings out local buyers looking for value, as well as transferees planning ahead and seeking to get a good value too.

In addition, we are no longer seeing the pronounced seasonality to the timing of sales as we once did. They are occurring in fits and spurts, with buyers entering the market at what might be considered random times. The only way to make sure your home is seen when the buyer begins looking is to be on the market.

The Holidays are a time of visits from family and friends, of entertaining, of decorations, and children home from school. Keeping your home “show ready” during typical conditions can be a challenge, let alone during the holidays. As agents, and having sold our own homes, we do understand the stress of having a home on the market. Buyers have families and holiday decorations too, so they understand that showings around the holidays mean that things are not what they might otherwise have been.

For some, taking their home “off the market” offers a break from the showings, for others it removes one additional pressure point that builds during the holidays. We acknowledge that life goes on outside the real estate market. Breaks can be good. However, clients must also be mindful that there are risks involved.

There are limited buyers for each home in this market, given its shallow buyer pool.  During the time your home is off the market an active buyer could decide to finally pull the trigger on a purchase, or a new buyer could enter the market and buy a home. If so, it could mean that some time could pass before another buyer for whom your home is a perfect fit does comes along. Each seller should weigh the opportunity for a break with the risk of missing a buyer for their home during the “time off.”

For our clients who have weighed the risk and still want to be “off the market” during the holidays we take certain measures to lessen the risk. We remove the listing from the MLS while continuing our listing contract on a quiet, “withhold from MLS” basis. This quiet listing allows us to continue to promote the property to buyers, agents, and post the property and our high-quality photographs solely on our www.barryberggroup.com website where we feature them as Exclusive Listings. While this method is the next best option and has proven to be successful, and has led to a few sales in the past, it runs a distant second to having your home on the active, open market.

The present you could receive for the holidays may just be a home sale!

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