I've heard agents say for years that it's a waste of time to work from Thanksgiving through New Years. They claim the market is dead, there's no business, no one wants to move during the holidays, buyers don't want to intrude on families that are having company, etc, etc.
I've even seen cases where listing agents have written in the "Remarks", No showings from X through Y. I've had sellers ask me if they should just take their house off market during holidays.
Well, I have given a variety of answers to that question, and many times it just depends on the sellers situation.
Things to consider before you decide to take your house off market for the holidays are:
(1) Many foreign buyers are here visiting and don't celebrate Christmas or the same holidays that we do.
(2) Many people are in town visiting relatives and are considering relocating to be closer to their kids and grand kids. This could be their only chance to look at homes in person.
(3) Are sellers going to be out of town? Then why take your house off market?
(4) Holidays don't affect vacant properties, so just because seller is out of town doesn't mean they can't participate in reviewing offers or signing a contract. Electronic signatures could help in situations like that.
(5) Agents can switch status of listing to " Temp Off" for a certain amount of days, but then potential buyers from out of state might not find it. In cases like that, I suggest that sellers just change showing instructions to " Appointment Only". That way it stays " Active" and can be found by potential buyers and agents. Many agents would never think to check " Temp Off" in the mls.
(6) Many sellers will say " The house is or will be a mess " and are afraid it won't show well. Most people will understand. Floyd Wickman trained us to describe that as " A Happy Mess". It's a normal scene in homes with kids. Many potential buyers have kids themselves.
(7) " Holiday Handler " Tips from Floyd Wickman for keeping your home on market during holidays. (a) Less competition (b) Serious Buyers and Transferees (c) Best Agents Still Working (d) Sensitive Buyers / Convenient Appointments.
Remember when you first listed your property? Most likely your agent explained their marketing plan that would expose your home to the largest possible agent base and the largest possible buyer base.
You should keep that in mind and do whatever possible to generate a serious, ready, willing, and able buyer, and get your house under contract.
Now, you can ask the agents calling some questions to qualify their buyer, like : Has your buyer been pre-approved? For how much? By which lender? etc. You can even ask agent to email copy of buyers pre-approval letter, or ask your agent to handle all that for you. That isn't always the best strategy, and might cause you to lose some showings, but it might reduce the amount of non serious curiousity seekers. Discuss that with your listing agent. Remember, many buyers these days are cash buyers and won't have a mortgage pre-approval letter, but they might have proof of available funds letter from their bank.
I will be working during the holidays!
Jeff Pearl | Lic in VA
Remax Distinctive | McLean VA | Lic in VA, MD, DC
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