Real Estate Insider Blog

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Should You List Your Home During the Holidays?

Conventional wisdom used to be that you shouldn’t even try to sell your home during the busy holiday season. Potential home buyers were too preoccupied with attending parties, cooking meals, buying presents or planning vacations. With all that going on, there just wasn’t time to ride around with a real estate agent, looking at properties.

But with the Internet, smartphones, tablets and our always-on lifestyle, that conventional wisdom isn’t relevant anymore. The reality is, the home buying season is now year-round.

Here’s why you should consider listing your home during the holidays, or even in January.

Today’s buyers never stop looking online

Today, serious buyers are always looking — and the holidays are no exception. They may check out the latest listings in a Zillow Mobile app before bed or while waiting for the kids’ school holiday show to start.

Our hectic lifestyles also play a role. Many serious buyers today work hard. They don’t shift into holiday mode until the last minute. Even during the holiday break, they’re still squeezing in work. There’s no such thing for them as “going off the grid.” So why not continue to monitor real estate listings, too?

The inventory — and the competition — is usually lighter

Despite our always-on lifestyles, many sellers still believe buyers can’t be bothered to look for a home between, say, Thanksgiving and...

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The Pending Home Sales Index increased for the third straight month to a level 11.1% above the same period a year ago.  The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased 1.1% in March to 108.6, up from an upwardly revised 107.4 in February. The PHSI increased year-over-year for the seventh consecutive month, and reached its highest level in 9 years.

Regionally, the March PHSI increased 4.0% in the South and 1.7% in the West. However, the March PHSI declined by 1.5% in the Northeast and 2.5% in the Midwest. Year-over-year, the PHSI increased in all four regions. The West, South and Midwest increased by 15.6%, 12.4% and 11.3% respectively from the same period a year ago, while the Northeast increased by a slight 0.6% over March 2014.

The string of positive pending sales released during the first quarter of 2015 contrasts with the disappointing first quarter GDP results released earlier. However, the good PHSI report suggests continued good news for the existing sales market and for builders in 2015.

Stephen Melman, J.D., is the Director of Economic Services at the National Association of Home Builders. Mr. Melman is a spokesman for NAHB’s forecast of new housing trends and the analysis of the home building industry. He has published numerous research articles on topics including industry structure and publicly traded builders. Before his...

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