Should I Take My Home Off the Market for Christmas?

By
Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

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.   

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should you take your home off the market during the holiday season

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Rainmaker
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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Chris Ann,

Great discussion on this subject.  It depends on timing for the buyer and the seller.  Showings may be slowing down, but if someone is eager to move, it may be a good time to stay on the market. A

Dec 19, 2016 06:40 PM #1
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Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900
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Yes, it's easy to just presume no showings during holidays, but on the other hand, who wouldn't be happy with a purchase contract?

Dec 19, 2016 07:07 PM #2
Rainer
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Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

Best Christmas gift you can get is a contract if you are really interested in selling.

Dec 19, 2016 07:30 PM #3
Rainmaker
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Patricia Feager
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

This is a really good post for all buyers and sellers to read! Who doesn't love to drive around and see neighborhoods in lights with beautiful decorations? It's the most wonderful time of the year and it shouldn't stop sellers from keeping their homes listed or buyers looking. 

You did a great job, Chris Ann Cleland

Dec 19, 2016 09:21 PM #4
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Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

My clients have to make that decision but I give them all the information to make a good decision Chris Ann Cleland 

Dec 19, 2016 09:43 PM #5
Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Chris Ann. Homes are never more appealing than holiday times. I also believe that those who shop at this time are serious and so you increase your chances of a good sale.

Dec 20, 2016 06:18 AM #6
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Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

There are still buyers out there as you said and the pickings are slim.  Seems like the perfect time to sell a home.

Dec 20, 2016 08:44 AM #7
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Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Chris Ann - You're right, and Mary and I have a bunch of very productive holiday seasons to prove it. Our home is currently for sale, and we wouldn't consider taking it off the market (but we'd probably turn down a Christmas day showing).

Dec 20, 2016 11:54 AM #8
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Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Personally, if the decorations are not over the top or causing clutter, a festive house is a happy house to see.

Dec 20, 2016 12:22 PM #9
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

You can solve the problem of showings during the holidays, especially this close to Christmas, by changing the showing instructions to Call Listing Agent. That way the seller isn't bothered and the listing agent can qualify the buyer.

Dec 20, 2016 12:47 PM #10
Rainmaker
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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I bought my current home on Christmas eve, at about 7:00 pm.  The listing agent complained that I was bringing him a counter offer at the hour.  I felt guilty and accepted the original.  You can sell a home anytime.  Why not Christmas!

Dec 20, 2016 04:34 PM #11
Rainmaker
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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Chris Ann, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!    

Dec 20, 2016 04:37 PM #12
Rainmaker
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Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

I always say no, no and no. People wanting to see a home during the couple of weeks before Christmas are ready and willing to buy at a rate higher than the average buyer. I say let them in and Santa may bring a sale Chris Ann Cleland 

Dec 21, 2016 06:25 AM #13
Rainmaker
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Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Less competition on the market and more serious buyers...a winning combination as far as I'm concerned!

Dec 23, 2016 10:25 AM #14
Rainmaker
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Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Sitterle Homes - Richmond, TX
Sitterle Homes

Chris Ann,

 It depends last year people were beating a path to my door, but this year quite it all has to do with where we were and what the offers were. I too think it depends if you want to move your home then you do it!

Dec 23, 2016 05:20 PM #15
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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