Holiday home sales slowdown? Maybe. Maybe not

11/21/2014

Holiday home sales slowdown? Maybe. Maybe not

NEW YORK – Nov. 18, 2014 – Homeowners may assume they can't sell their home in the months of November and December. After all, aren't potential buyers sidetracked with the holidays and likelier to postpone a house hunt due to bad weather and shorter days?

But sometimes the "off-peak" time to sell is actually the perfect moment for sellers. Several studies show that, on average, homes listed in November and December are more likely to sell, and they'll do so quicker and closer to the asking price, according to Forbes.com.

A 2011 study conducted by realtor.com® found that 60 percent of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because they believe it's an opportune time to sell. Nearly 80 percent of real estate professionals say that more serious buyers emerge during the holidays, and 61 percent say less competition from other properties makes it an ideal time.

Thanksgiving is particularly good, the article notes. Buyers may have held out during the busy summer months thinking they'll find a better deal over the holidays, but now they have an increased urgency. Other buyers may hope to close on a home before the end of the year for tax purposes, since they can deduct purchase costs, such as points, interest and property taxes.

Also, certain sellers who sold homes during the summer season may be facing a capital gains tax. To avoid paying capital gains, these buyers may be highly motivated to buy in November since they must close on the purchase of another house within 180 days.

Source: "Why November Is the Best Month to Sell Your Home," Forbes.com/Trulia (Nov. 14, 2014)

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