Real Estate Advice for Atlanta Homeowners

Should We Sell Our Home During the Holiday Season?

The holiday season is upon us and one of the most common questions we hear from homeowners is "should I sell my home during the holidays?"  Many potential sellers think that they shouldn't list their home during a busy holiday season and should wait until after the new year or the Spring to put their home on the market so they can attract the most buyers. We thought it would be helpful to share the benefits to a holiday sale, so you can decide what works best for you and your family.

We are often asked "Should I sell my home during the holidays" by Atlanta homeowners. This article should give you some insight.

Benefits of Listing in November - December

Serious Buyers are Shopping

You may be wondering who would want to look at homes during the holidays, when most of us are focused on parties, cooking and shopping?  The answer is: Serious Buyers.  The serious home shoppers NEED to find a new home due to a job relocation, new baby or recent home sale.  You're less likely to find the "looky-loos" at this time of the year.

Your Home Looks Warm and Inviting During the Holidays

The wonderful thing about shopping for homes during the holidays is the houses are usually decked out in their finest holiday decor. Think about it -- holiday lights, freshly baked cookies, stockings hung above a glowing fireplace. It really makes it feel like a warm, inviting HOME. This can easily trigger an emotional nesting instinct with home buyers, as they envision themselves celebrating the holidays with their family in their new home. Buying a home is often an emotional experience and that's typically at an all-time high during the holiday season.

Tax Benefits

There are several tax benefits when closing on a home before the end of the year.  If buyers own the home on January 1st, they can file for the Georgia Homestead Exemption, which will help them save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each year on property taxes. Also, when you buy a home, there are certain tax write-offs, including the mortgage interest, real estate related tax credits and sometimes a portion of the mortgage fees. Purchasing a home before the New Year, is often a big incentive for savvy home buyers.

Other Perks

Many homeowners ask us if their home will sell faster or for more money during the holidays and honestly, it depends.  On one hand, there are fewer homes on the market during the holidays (i.e. less competition), but there aren't as many home buyers who are actively looking for a home. As we mentioned earlier, those that are looking are usually under a deadline do to personal or tax reasons, so they are much more likely to close quickly and often don't quibble about minor home repairs.

If there is a serious inventory shortage in the neighborhood, the home shows well and is priced fairly,  there is a good chance you'll still get multiple offers.

The Proof is in the Numbers

December is usually our 2nd busiest month each year for home closings.   The busiest period is typically late May / June, so we wanted to look at home sales stats from both periods so you can see how they measure up....

December is our 2nd busiest month each year for home closings.

The data above was extracted from the Atlanta FMLS and includes several popular Intown Atlanta zip codes -- 30306, 30307, 30312, 30316, 30317 and 30030.

You can see that even though home sales were up about 17% during the Spring, the time it took to sell a home was very similar, as was the amount negotiated off the asking price.  Holiday home buyers negotiated about 0.7% more off the price. On a $400,000 home, that would only be $2,800.  On the plus side, the average sales price was 6.2% higher during the holidays last year!

 

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question mark If you are still wondering "Should I sell my home during the holidays", our answer would be to list your home whenever it's most convenient for you and your family.  If you have to relocate to another area for a new job or for any other reason, that makes your decision a bit easier.  If you still can't decide what to do and would like to talk with an Atlanta real estate agent who regularly sells homes during the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas holidays, please call us at 404-205-8800.  We can provide you with the latest home sales, your home's current value and also let you know what is happening in the real estate market so you can decide if you should sell during the holiday season or wait until the New Year.