Quite often, too often in fact, Realtors hear home sellers say that they want to take their home off the market for the holiday season. Their concerns usually stem from their misconception that buyers are not looking during November and December and that is simply not the case.
For home sellers who list in the late summer and early fall their home can stay on the market longer than they anticipated because the inventory during that time is at its high point. September and October are usually the highest inventory months and then as those homes sell or people begin taking them off the market, inventory decreases.
But take a second and think about the buyers. There are a large pool of buyers who wanted to buy before the end of the year but have not for the following reasons:
They have had a hard time finding the right home
They have found the home they want and ended up losing it to another bidder
They found the home they wanted but it was overpriced so they didn’t buy it
These folks are still out there looking for a home and are eager and motivated to find one quickly.
Show Me the Facts
If you are skeptical here are the stats from last year at this time. You can see in September the inventory was at its highest reaching 27,217 homes on the market the week of September 21st. Then the inventory decreased every week by about 1% until November and December where it goes down by 4-5% each week leading up to the end of the year.
Pending Sales Per Week Last Year
One of the many metrics we track on a weekly basis at Lamacchia Realty is the amount of homes that are listed compared to the amount of homes that go pending in a given week. It provides us and our clients with very telling data.
Throughout November and December there is a slight decrease in homes that are going pending but you may be surprised at how small that decrease actually is. In September and October of 2015 an average of 7.77% of the homes for sale went pending (accepted an offer) every week. Then in November and December 6.87% of homes went pending. That is a decrease of only .91%! If we remove Thanksgiving week and the week between Christmas and New Years the average goes up to 7.10% making it only a .68% difference between those months. Therefore taking your home off the market during this time is just not a good decision.
This data shows homes for sale and pending in Massachusetts per week from September 1st to December 31st in 2015:
Pending Sales Per Week This Year
We have had less inventory this year than last but most weeks the homes are moving fast! This year September and October’s average amount of pending sales per week was 9.98% which is 2.22% higher than the exact same period in 2015. The market will continue to look like this, inventory will decrease and buyers will keep buying! You can see even more about this in our September Housing Report released this week.
This graph shows homes for sale and pending in Massachusetts per week from September 1st to October 15th of 2016:
Buyers are out there and they want to buy a home!
Year after year home buyers do look for homes during the holidays. Buyers who look at that time tend to be more serious because the casual lookers tend to delay until after the holidays.
“Buyers connect emotionally to homes. They’re looking to create memories for years to come and no better time than around the holidays. I saw my home on December 5th, I immediately envisioned my stockings on the mantel and a Christmas tree in front of the bay window. I put an offer on the home the same day.”
Joselin’s experience is all too familiar. Buyers want a home during the holiday months, there is no better gift then the keys to a new home. We put out a very similar blog last year called “Why you should not take your home off the market for the holidays” a number of our clients listened to it and were happy that they did once their home sold.