It’s Friday evening and there’s a dusting of snow on the ground in Bethesda. The Washington, DC area is supposed to get up to 20 inches over the next 24 to 36 hours, which would be a record snowfall. I’ve already canceled the 4 showings in Virginia for tomorrow. Most were new houses and — even if we could safely get there – no one was willing to promise that driveways and walkways would be shoveled or plowed.
I’m hoping that the roads will be clear enough so that I can get out for the two scheduled showings that I have on Sunday. The tenacity of many buyers here — despite the elements — reminds me how and why the holiday season can be a fruitful time for home sales.
Home buyers who are asking to see homes in the last couple weeks of December with 2 feet of snow on the ground, aren’t going out for “fun” — unless they’re skiing from house to house in Vail or Beaver Creek
In DC and much of the country? Very few are going to be taking the roads for information gathering. No, the majority of holiday buyers (at least in my experience) have done their research, and are “pushing on” because they need to buy a home.
And for those who don’t have to brave the elements this time of year (Sarasota, Florida, Austin, Texas…), there are still other commitments of the season. And those who need/want to sacrifice some of this time are equally committed to the process.
Where Did The Sellers Go?
Home sellers showing their properties over the holidays find themselves with far less competition (at least in much of the close-in DC Metro area). It is not uncommon for some sellers to take their homes off the market in order to secure a little peace and quiet during their special time of year.
And Holiday Buyers? This would be the time to kindly remind you to work with an agent who is aware and/or is looking for those properties that have been “temporarily withdrawn”. If he/she already knows your wants and needs, and finds “your home”, he/she may be able to gain access even if it’s currently “withdrawn for the week”.
Properties Decked Out in Their Holiday Best
Regardless of a buyer’s ethnicity or religion, there is something undoubtedly appealing about the smells and decorations. Is this on the top of the list of “motivators”? No…but real estate is an emotional process and all nuances that turn a house into a home “count”.
So, take heart…if you’re working with buyers over the holiday season, they’re probably truly motivated and if you’re lucky, you’ll join them in seeing homes decked out in their finest.
Any other holiday sale related thoughts or anecdotes?
And Happy Holidays!