Home Sales During the Holidays

Dawn Griffin Posted by
Buying & Selling Tips Nov 2009

Everyone always wants to know if they should list their home (or keep it listed) during the holidays. There are a couple answers to that question. YES, because homes do sell in the months of December and January. NO, because traffic tends to slow down and there aren’t as many buyers out looking. NO, because it’s a hectic time of year and it’s too difficult to ship-shape for showings. YES, because there are people who MUST buy and if your house isn’t listed then those buyers won’t see it. NO, because it’s already been on the market for 6 months and there haven’t been any takers yet. YES, because there’s typically less inventory and less to choose from so your chances might actually be better.

In the end (like everything in else in the real estate world) the answer will be different for each house and each special set of circumstances. But here is a little data from the MLS about past sales during the holidays. I mapped a section of St. Louis City: South of 40, curving around River Des Peres, then back up the Mississippi to downtown.

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Here’s what I looked for: Any house that sold in the month of December or January that was listed between 100K-300K

December 2004: 138 SOLD   January 2005: 75 SOLD

December 2005: 150 SOLD  January 2006: 107 SOLD

December 2006: 142 SOLD  January 2007: 80 SOLD

December 2007: 113 SOLD  January 2008: 66 SOLD

December 2008: 57 SOLD   January 2009: 32 SOLD

The idea here is that if a home closed in December chances are the buyers walked through sometime in November or early December. If the home closed in January, chances are the buyers came through in December or early January. So, based on past data from the MLS, it looks like there is a decline in viewing traffic during the month of December. But based on the number of solds in January, there are indeed people out there shopping for a home in December.

Happy Holidays!

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