It is easy to think that no one will be interested in looking at real estate during the holidays given all there is to do and see in New York City during this festive time. The season kicks off with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; the blowing up of the balloons itself is an event. There are many live performances, including the perennial favorites, the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center, and the Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes at Radio City Hall. There are also the magical store windows on Fifth Avenue where you can stroll from Bergdorf Goodman to Saks Fifth Avenue positioning you opposite the world-famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The excitement continues through the final weeks of the year until the ball drops in Times Square on New Year’s Eve!
Yet, despite this thrilling and all-consuming holiday season, I maintain that this is a good time to be buying or selling a home. Here’s why:
To sellers: Tourists flock to the city during the holidays, many for vacation but also to purchase real estate seeking out a second home or investment. Plenty of native buyers are also on the hunt — anyone who has an expanding family in a small apartment understands the urgency of finding a new home over attending an optional holiday event. The buyers who are seeing properties in December tend to be serious.
Apart from missing out on a motivated buyer seeing your home, not listing your home during the holidays means you are also missing out on a market with less competition. Sellers tend to take their property off the market or simply postpone introducing it to market until the new year. Supply always dwindles the last two months of the year, and this year is no different. Why not give yourself a competitive advantage?
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Naturally the one caveat is that if your home will be a busy place filled with hosting events and out of town guests, then indeed pausing your listing is a good idea.
To buyers: Knowing that inventory is low, why would I recommend that buyers also keep their search active? Because buyer competition is also low. Many buyers leave town during the month of December. If you are in town and serious about your search, you may find an owner who is willing to strike a deal. Besides, with the Big Apple all dressed up, it is a great time to be out and about wandering the streets and catching the holiday buzz.