Charles Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge was a mean old miser that loathed Christmas and most people. If anything was said that seemed positive he would automatically blurt out “Bah! Humbug!” The 1843 novel, “A Christmas Carol” is a story of redemption encouraged by three ghosts (Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Future).
As I speak with home buyers and sellers this time of the year sometimes I hear “Bah! Humbug!” from the very people who express a desire to sell or buy a home. There are clear advantages for selling and buying property during the Christmas and holiday season.
The ghost of market past taught me and many Ebenezer home sellers and buyers a valuable lesson. Selling a home this time of year gives you an advantage of a smaller selection of homes for the hot-to-trot buyers. The buyers who are out shopping for property right now are not your typical run-of-the-mill springtime tire kickers. Holiday seasonal home buyers are some of the mostmotivated buyers every year. They arrive fully approved and ready to close as quickly as possible. Homes decorated with all the seasonal trappings look and smell so good – add to that low inventory and great mortgage interest rates, and it’s a recipe for a tasty seller’s market.
The ghost of market present is telling me really good news about the advantages of selling today.
So many times sellers are half-drowned in the emotional punch bowl this time of year that it’s difficult to do anything, so let’s do nothing. Presently, mortgage interest rates are absolutely fantastic, and home inventory is 20.68 percent less compared with the same time last year. When is the best time to sell? When home inventory is low, and the number of buyers is high. That time is now.
The ghost of the future market arrived to say, “It’s going to be a good market in the spring and you also have a chance to make something happen today too.” Right now, some homeowners are distressed by yard maintenance, stairs, relationships that are separating, job relocation and procrastination. They tell me, “Ahh, we will just wait and sell in the spring and tough it out for now.” Why wait? The ghost of future market shows us there’s no reason to wait for relief. You don’t have live in distress until spring. You can have peace of mind today.
My advice is, if you are thinking of selling right now, consult your local real estate broker and don’t Scrooge yourself from doing the right thing. There are many benefits for selling and buying real estate during this time of year. It could make your Christmas even merrier.
Todd Fahlman is a local real estate agent who writes a monthly column for this newspaper.