Have you ever set a New Year's Resolution or your yearly goals but come October, you realize that your goals or resolution have not yet been accomplished? Well if your New Year's Resolution has ever been to buy a home, you are not alone. Millions of Americans decide to buy a home every year, but WHEN a buyer decides to buy a home is of utmost importance to a Seller. Year after year, Autumn has proven to be one of the best times of the year to list and sell your home. By taking advantage of the buyer who "MUST MOVE BEFORE CHRISTMAS," along with low housing inventory/competition, and a seasonal rise in home sales, you can earn top dollar, and negotiate terms that fit your needs, all in a shorter period of time.
Here are the Top 3 Reasons to Sell Your Home Before Christmas
1. Buyers want to close Escrow and be settled before Christmas/New Years:
Every year since 2013, the Orange County Real Estate market experiences different waves of buyer activity for each season. The most active buyer season is typically Spring to early Summer (March to June). The inventory climbs each month starting somewhere around March, and peaks around August. This first wave of buyer activity is the largest group of buyers for the year. Qualified Spring Buyer's have just filed their taxes, received loan pre-approval, and are ready to hit the real estate market hard. This first phase of buyers will slow down around August and September or right around when school starts. The market usually does not pick up again until mid-October, just in time for the "Autumn Buyer."
In Autumn, housing inventory drops, yet the number of sales climb in December. The average length of escrow is typically 30-45 days, which means buyers who want to close by Christmas are writing offers in mid-October to early November.
Buyers who did not buy a home in the busy Spring and Summer months, get motivated to close escrow before the end of the year. They may have set a New Year's resolution to buy a home this year, or want to be settled down in their new home by Christmas/New Years. The beauty of selling your home to a buyer before Christmas is you get to take advantage of this emotional buyer motivation, along with low inventory and high buyer demand.
2. Less inventory = Less Competition:
Since 2013, the number of new listings drop by an average of 1,454 listings from October to December. This is the largest decrease in new active listings for the entire year. You might be surprised to know that the number of sold homes significantly rise between November to December at an average of 261 Sales. As a Seller, this is one of the best times to list your home. By taking advantage of the decreasing inventory and the rising buyer demand, you can put yourself in the position to sell your home on your terms, at a higher price, and in a quicker amount of time. Take a look at the data and graph below comparing the Number of Sales per Month to the Number of New Active Listings per Month since 2013. Take note of the dramatic decrease in New Listings around December and the increase in Sales at this same time.
3. Tax Benefits:
Buying or Selling a home allows you to use your Real Estate related expenses as a tax write-off. By selling your home before the end of the year, you can likely use this to your advantage and write-off some Real Estate related expenses. For both the Buyer and Seller, this is typically a driving factor to buy or sell by year's end.
If you are on the fence about selling your home, I highly recommend taking the above points into consideration. Remember, timing is just as important as pricing and marketing, so be sure to take advantage of this "Jolly" time to sell your home. You can check out last week's blog, "Top 10 Home Selling Pre for $0", if you are thinking about selling and want to have some left over money for Christmas presents!