Growing up in Connecticut, the holiday season was always a special time. Winter was still new and looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner and hopes of a white Christmas was alway on everyones minds.
However, when you think about the holidays, one thing that does not come to mind is selling your house.
Most people think of selling their home in the spring and summer seasons. But what happens when your situation does not allow for that and you are forced to sell during the least popular time of year for home sales, the end of year holidays?
Can it be done? What would someone have to do in order to successfully sell their house during the holidays?
Before diving in to the details, I think its important to define the holiday season. For all intents and purposes, I feel the season starts with Thanksgiving and goes through New Years.
Considering the preparation time for Thanksgiving and the time it takes to get back on track after the New Year, lets define the holidays as the middle of November through the first week of January.
Included during this time frame are the following holidays.
▪ Black Friday
▪ Christmas Eve
▪ Christmas Day
▪ New Year’s Eve
▪ New Year’s Day
Can you believe some are considering Black Friday part of the holiday season??? Do you?
If you are considering a sale of your home during the holiday season and wanted to know if it makes sense from an overall market perspective, then we need to take a look at some historical statistics.
First, lets take a look at the volume of home sales during the previous 3 years (2015, 2014, 2013). Do home sales completely stall during the holidays?
Lets look at this logically and figure out what the data means. To understand home sales during the holidays, we need to look about 45 days out from when the holidays take place. This is because the houses will not actually close until 45 days after entering into escrow.
So we need to look at January, February and March to look at homes that were on the market during the middle of November through the first week in January.
I pulled the home sale statistics and for 2015, Hartford County had 9761 single family and condo sales. Or about 813 sales per month. During the months January, February and March there was 511, 474 and 593 home sales or an average of 526 home sales. Thats 64% of the average number of home sales per month. Also the 2 previous years 2014 and 2013 follow a similar pattern, so this establishes a trend.
Now that’s a significant percentage of decreased home sales. But remember the amount of inventory is lower and buyer volume is lower, so it naturally makes sense. The one thing that I take away from these numbers is that home sales do NOT completely stall and selling your house during the holidays is in fact, completely possible.
The below graph shows you number of homes that have sold in Hartford County Connecticut month by month for the years 2015, 2014, and 2013.
Now that we have established that selling your house during the holidays is possible. The next question we need answered is how long does it take to sell a house during the holidays?
We again need to go to the MLS home sale statistics to get the answer.
In 2015 the average number of days on the market was 46 days for homes that closed. During the months of January, February and March the number of days on market increased to an average of 62 days. This is an increase of 35% more time than the average.
So while it is possible to sell your home during the holidays, you will probably have to wait it out a little longer to find your buyer.
You can see this increase in the chart below. Which shows the number of days on market data for homes sold in 2015, 2014 and 2013.
So what is perhaps the most important factor for many sellers? Price. Everyone wants to maximize the amount of money they net into their pocket. So will selling your home during the holidays do just that? Unfortunately the answer is NO.
You can see in the below chart that the price per square foot takes a dive from other months for homes that were on the market during the holidays. This is important for sellers to take note of if they want to be competitive during this time of year.
While it could be argued that price per square foot is not the best price metric to look at, I think the 3 year trend shown below is hard to argue against. Although, January of 2014 did have a spike, this is most likely to a cluster of higher than average home sales.
So what the above three graphs and associated metrics have concluded is that it is possible to sell your home during the holidays but it will generally take longer and can cost you some money on the sales price.
What this means for you is that you probably should wait for a better time to sell your home but if you absolutely need to sell than I can get it done for you.
We just took a look at the market reports for home sales during the holidays, but what about other aspects that are important to people.
When evaluating the merits of any option, one exercise that is particularly helpful is running through the list of pros and cons.
Below is an infographic that I put together that does a good job of breaking down what you need to think about for making a decision to see if selling at this time is right for you and your situation.
Every situation presents opportunities and selling your house during the holidays can be an opportunity to get some attention to your home that would not have happened any other time of the year.
The first thing that comes to my mind is how people love decorating their houses for the holidays. What about wrapping your whole house in a bow with a big for sale tag? Think about how cool that would be photographed and on the MLS and all the major internet portals!
Check out this picture to see what I’m talking about. You can even add a border and a Santa pic to give it some more personality. I’m pretty sure this would get you some attention and potentially even attract a buyer!
How about building a massive snow fort like this guy did last year? He even got featured on the news and as you can imagine people were driving from all over to take a look at it. If you are selling your home, I can’t think of a better way to get the word out than that!
These ideas are obviously a bit gimmicky and I do tend to steer people away from that but selling your home during the holiday season might just need a bit of cheesy stuff to help you out. However, nothing will beat the winning combo of making your house look really, really good, pricing it strategically and marketing it appropriately.
While I think the answer is clear that selling your home during the holiday season is not ideal, you can’t always choose when you have to sell. Also, don’t forget that getting your house sold for the beginning of the year puts you in the best position for the spring market.
Most importantly, if you do find yourself in the position where you have to sell, it is important to work closely with your Realtor on a strategy that will get you the results you want and not cause you to lose out on selling for lower than you have to.
If you or anyone you know is looking to sell their home in Connecticut, please contact me for a no obligation discussion on how you can get the results you want. Navigating the Connecticut real estate market has unique challenges and I want to help you find your way through it!
About the Author: The above real estate information on Can I Sell My House During the Holiday Season? was provided by Kris Lippi, a local Connecticut real estate agent serving Hartford and Tolland Counties.
Are you currently thinking about buying or selling a home? I have an awesome marketing plan that focuses on what works to sell your home and welcome the opportunity to help you find your next home in Connecticut! Contact Kris Lippi for a no obligation discussion, call or text 860-930-1371.
Kris Lippi services real estate sales in the following Hartford and Tolland County towns: Andover, Avon, Berlin, Bloomfield, Bolton, Bristol, Burlington, Canton, Columbia, Coventry, East Granby, East Hartford, East Windsor, Ellington, Enfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Granby, Hartland, Hartford, Hebron, Manchester, Mansfield, Marlborough, New Britain, Newington, Plainville, Rocky Hill, Simsbury, Somers, South Windsor, Southington, Stafford, Suffield, Tolland, Union, Vernon, West Hartford, Wethersfield, Willington, Windsor, Windsor Locks Connecticut