Just like many other businesses, real estate can slow down during the holiday season. This doesn’t mean you can’t look or find sellers who won’t take an offer during the holiday season. No matter what the seasonal activities, sellers are still trying to sell and will most likely work with you on showing the house as well as accepting offers.
Mortgage lending also slows down during the holiday season. This means that there is a more than better chance that your loan application will be processed faster and that some lenders may be a little more flexible with the guidelines.
Some sellers may take their home off the market for the holiday season, but those who don’t are probably serious sellers with reasons to sell before the year ends such as tax reasons. These sellers may be more agreeable in negotiations since they may have an urgency to sell. Keep in mind that less houses on the market means it might be harder to find the house of your dreams.
Also, home prices are typically lower in December. Studies have also shown that home appreciation slows down in the fourth quarter which makes houses more affordable.
It’s also a busy time of the year for many buyers, fewer on the hunt for houses. This means less competition for a home that you want to put an offer on.
You still need to “shop smart.” Make a list of what you really want in a house, what’s a deal breaker and things you want but don’t need to have before house hunting. Use it as a check list as you look at homes.
Lists can help you to prioritize what is most important to you in a home. So this holiday season, you may be wrapping up your belongs for a move while wrapping you holiday gifts.