Monday, December 20, 2010

Real Estate During the Holiday Season

Every year it is a debate whether or not to leave a house on the market during the period between Thanksgiving and New Years. I tell my clients that it is a personal decision. First off, it is very unlikely that their house is going to get an offer if it is not on the market. Second, traffic should be light but those that are looking are most likely serious buyers. But if you struggle with keep the house ready to show the rest of the year, it could be even more difficult with shopping and wrapping and baking and other festivities. It is a person decision.

This year I had one young family that decided to pull their house off the market in the middle of November. With two young girls, they wanted to concentrate on the spirit of Christmas and not the spirit of real estate. I understood completely but three weeks after we pulled it off the market I got a phone call from an agent that had showed it previously. After discussing it with my client, we decided to put it back on the market for 14 days. Guess what? Within 24 hours we had two offers and we put a sale pending sign out front.

Another young family had already purchased a new home and decided to tough it out and leave their house on the market. We only had a couple of showings but did receive and accept an offer. A third listing received an offer, but after going back and forth a couple of times, we did not come to terms and the discussions stopped. And here it is the week before Christmas and another listing has two showings scheduled and one promising showing took place over the weekend.

My guess is that most of this activity is being driven by higher interest rates. After months and months of unbelievably low rates, they have inched up for the five last weeks and so buyers that have been kicking lots of tires are suddenly putting in purchase offers. I don’t blame them!

I hope you and your loved ones have a safe and happy holiday. My photo above was taken at Lamberton Conservatory at Highland Park. They have a beautiful poinsettia display and for the next two Friday evenings they will be open till 9 pm with an incredible light display. The cost is $3 at the door.