Question: Now that we approaching the holiday season, should I just wait until next year to put my house on the market?
Answer: By the time you read my answer there won't be much time before Christmas will be behind us. Your home may look very festive and inviting, warm and special during this holiday season and people will see how it can look during the holidays. No problem with that. I suppose some prospective buyers could be troubled with the decorations if they are not of the same holiday persuasion, although that would be a very small minority of people. On the other hand, you want people to see what the house looks like under normal living conditions as that is how they will live once they purchase the home. At this point I would suggest that you wait until after you take down the decorations to put your home on the market. Here is another reason for that: when you put the house on the market you will want professional pictures taken of the home and those pictures will look like Christmas. Most homes take a month or so to get into escrow, which means you home online will look like Christmas in March. That will mean the prospective buyer immediately sees a home that has been on the market for a while. The remedy to that is to redo the photos after Christmas and change them out on the MLS to avoid the distraction of the Christmas photos. People that put their home on the market in November, prior to decorating, only have the issue of the home being decorated when people come by to look. Those people already saw the home online and know what it looks like without the Christmas or holiday display. In regards to putting your home on the market in December, many think that the market is very slow during the holidays and that it does not make sense to sell during the holidays. The truth is the inventory is lower (because many people don't put their homes on the market) so the buyers have fewer choices. The buyers that are looking during this time of year are usually serious buyers and often are relocating to the area and have a week off to look. They tend to make decisions faster and for more money. From about November 1st to the middle of February that is the case. So, the decorations don't hurt you during December but they would not help in February. Be sure if you list during this time and your home is decorated, just change the pictures right after the holidays so that you don't date the timing. Enjoy your home and expect the buyer to enjoy it the same way next Christmas. Thank you.