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The Pros and Cons of Home Selling During the Holidays

by Jilli Spear

            One of the great debates in real estate concerns the prospect of keeping a house on the market during the holiday season. Some argue that the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve is busy enough without the worry of buying a home, while proponents like the prospects since those shopping are generally more serious about buying.

            A downside for the seller is that the hectic time of year makes it harder to get your home ready at the drop of a hat if a call comes in. People are busy making food, wrapping presents and preparing for a house-full of guests.

            However, your house will also be decorated with beautiful lights and decorations and will create a festive elegance to a home that will attract buyers.

            Some agents believe that keeping your house on the market will have you appealing to a much smaller inventory of buyers who have very specific needs that your home might not match. Others counter that less inventory over the holidays means less competition and since more people have vacations this time of year, they actually have more time to search for their ideal home.

            The holidays can provide a breather for homes that have been on the market awhile, as some use the time to remove property from the market in favor of a fresh start in January. However, you risk losing the buyer who may have been looking in December to capture tax benefits that many consider with their need to buy a home.

            What’s the best solution? Of course it’s up to individual homeowners and their respective circumstances. Prospective sellers should discuss their holiday prospects in detail with their Prudential Real Estate agent. Working together, they can make holiday wishes come true.

 

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Jilli Spear

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates go up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

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The Spear Team
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties
79 S. Livingston Avenue
Livingston NJ 07039
(973)-992-6363