Should I Take My Home Off the Market for Christmas?
Sellers that are on the market during the year end holidays will often wonder if they should take their home off the market for the holidays. The question comes from one of two ideas. The first is that there aren't any buyers shopping for homes during the Christmas season. The second is that the sellers don't want to be bothered with showings during the holidays.
Let's address the first idea, that there aren't any buyers out during the Christmas season. That is absolutely false. The Christmas season in the Northern Virginia market is busier than most sellers think. Our local economy is governed (no pun intended) by the Federal government. The Feds start their fiscal year October 1st. This means pay raises and new positions. And especially during an election year, it can mean even more change in the way of employment. No matter what is making a buyer look for a home during the Christmas season, I can assure that they are serious buyers.
Now for the second idea, that sellers don't want to be bothered with showings during the holidays. I get it. Sellers might have a big holiday planned. That might include out of town guests coming to stay with them. So what's the harm taking the home off the market a few days. Well, if you ask an agent, they would tell you the odds of showings on the actual holiday are so slim it isn't an issue. As for stretching that time off the market to include days before the holiday, well, you could be shooting your chances to sell in the foot. Reiterating the fact that buyers shopping during the holiday season are serious, why wouldn't you want to endure one more showing on December 23rd? Or even on Christmas Eve? Home buying is extremely emotional and the closer we get to the holidays, the higher that emotion with buyers can run. Wouldn't it be smarter for sellers to take each showing request and make a case by case decision?
Maybe sellers are concerned their company won't be neat. Or maybe they are concerned it would upset their guests to be dislodged for a showing. Odds are, if you set the tone with your guests up front, they would be rooting for your success and make their beds, keep their clothes picked up and even help you clean up the dishes after meals. They may even help wrangle the pets if a showing request is made and everyone has to head for the hills for an hour. It may even be an adventure for them.
The holidays are definitely a time when showings slow down, but the most serious buyers are still out there in the days leading up to the actual holiday. My advice is to go with the flow, and if you have guests coming, let them know how they can help you be prepared if a showing is requested. And, if you get a request to see the home on Christmas and you are my seller, you aren't going to get anything but back up from me if you deny a showing request for the actual holiday.