The Myth of the Real Estate Holiday Slowdown

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 9025089

Christmas at WinterwoodAs huge flakes of heavy wet snow blanketed central Massachusetts on Wednesday, my heart sank.  I feared that, coupled with the impending year-end holidays, it would be a knockout blow to the residential real estate market in my small rural towns for the rest of 2014.  Indeed, the MLS has for weeks been filled with daily notifications of listings that have expired or been cancelled by homeowners who chose to shut their doors to new buyers as temperatures plunged.  It's hard to blame them.

But I was abruptly lulled out of my early winter doldrums last night, when an agent who had shown my most expensive offering, a 23-acre country estate in Princeton, MA, asked if she could bring her clients back for a second showing tomorrow morning.  Before I could even confirm that appointment with the willing sellers, another local agent requested a Sunday morning showing on my Princeton "tennis court" property.  I hadn't been expecting this kind of activity at the sleepy tail-end of the Thanksgiving weekend, but both my sellers and I were delighted to keep the doors open.

There was more.  I also represent the elegant Winterwood Inn in Petersham, a 5300-square-foot working Bed & Breakfast on four acres in the picturesque center of town.  With seven bedroom suites and grand formal rooms on the main level, it's waiting for a special buyer.  Perhaps we won't have to wait much longer.  An agent called to ask if could bring an out-of-state client to see it tomorrow afternoon.  Though the innkeepers will be busy decorating for Christmas, they graciously agreed to welcome us for a tour.  Whether or not this buyer decides to purchase the Inn, he'll enjoy a memorable taste of the hospitality and warmth that emanates from a "public" home like Winterwood at this time of year, and just maybe, will find its allure irresistible.

 

Posted by


Maureen Harmonay

Specialist in Massachusetts Country Homes,

Antique Homes, and Horse Properties

978-502-5800

MHarmonay@comcast.net

 

Comments (15)

Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

I've been trying to debunk the holiday slowdown real estate myth for years, and your post is a powerful reminder to sellers to stay on the market right through the holidays.

Nov 29, 2014 03:49 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Maureen - while our market does not have the "seasonality" of yours, some of the properties on the market during this time of the year look exceptionally well and with the stigma that smart brokers like Norma Toering  debunk -- real estate can still be very active during this holiday season.  

Nov 29, 2014 03:57 AM
Maureen Harmonay
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Bolton, MA
Your Country Property Specialist, Bolton MA

 Thanks, Norman Toering, I agree.  Ironically, one of these sellers had been seriously considering the idea of withdrawing their home now, until next spring. I persuaded them to hang in there, and I know that they are now glad they did!

Nov 29, 2014 03:58 AM
Maureen Harmonay
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Bolton, MA
Your Country Property Specialist, Bolton MA

Michael Jacobs, you're right!  There is a certain warmth and feeling of friendliness in homes that are decorated for the holidays that might just help prospective buyers linger and bond with the space.

Nov 29, 2014 04:00 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Maureen,

We have always debunked the holiday myth.  Even in commercial real estate, there is plenty of activity, and I can recally many deals closed on December 31st. Have a great weekend.  A

Nov 29, 2014 04:33 AM
Maureen Harmonay
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Bolton, MA
Your Country Property Specialist, Bolton MA

Alexandra, thanks for weighing in.  I haven't seen this much activity on Thanksgiving weekend in this area in a while.  I have to believe these are serious buyers. 

Nov 29, 2014 04:58 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Hi Maureen Harmonay agents who are busy all year create that with their consistent marketing.... there are no slow seasons....how I sooo dislike that word "slow".... 

Nov 30, 2014 02:35 AM
Maureen Harmonay
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Bolton, MA
Your Country Property Specialist, Bolton MA

 Good point, Barbara.   I have been guilty of decelerating my marketing efforts in December, but no more!

Nov 30, 2014 06:04 AM
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

It only slows down when everyone agrees, not just a few agents who want to go shopping.  Last winter in DC, the storm over the w/e prior to Christmas slowed us down for that w/e until 12/26, and then we were off to the races again.

Seems like you've not slowed down yet, so keep yourself available.

Dec 07, 2014 11:52 AM
Maureen Harmonay
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Bolton, MA
Your Country Property Specialist, Bolton MA

Interesting point, Claude Labbe, about the slowdown only occurring when "everyone agrees."  

What I'm finding this year is that other agents seem to have stopped doing Open Houses and that in one of my principal towns, I was the only one doing them yesterday.  I not only had a good turnout, but also put my most expensive listing under agreement.  The sellers had originally planned to withdraw that home from the MLS right before Thanksgiving, but decided to keep it on because we had so much interest.  Their decision paid off!

Dec 07, 2014 09:40 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Maureen, I had a wonderfully busy holiday season, too.  I loved reading your post, and hope we hear lots more from you throughout 2015.

Jan 12, 2015 08:57 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I was looking for your current blogs. I hope all is going well for you.

Jan 20, 2015 03:40 AM
Maureen Harmonay
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Bolton, MA
Your Country Property Specialist, Bolton MA

 Thanks so much for reaching out, Roy!  I've been lurking on AR and commenting, but you're right--I haven't written anything for a while.  I have some ideas brewing, though, and hope to publish soon.  Take care.

Jan 20, 2015 03:42 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

We are still watching for your blogs. Now is a good time to restart!

Apr 15, 2015 03:56 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I hope this year's holiday season is just as busy as last!

Would love to see some more posts!

Sep 27, 2015 12:43 AM