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Just Cause it’s Cold Outside Doesn’t Mean a Deep Freeze for the Housing Market

We naturally understand that the holidays place a huge stress on our time given all the commitments the festive season creates. Yet we’ve always believed that real estate should carry on like usual though many consumers opt to put the brakes on the buying and selling of real estate during the holidays.

We’ve said it here before that those who continue shopping throughout the festive season are more inclined to realize a good buy as opposed to those who wait till winter’s thaw.

And it appears that our message is starting to get through.  According to a survey by Ipsos Reid, two-thirds of prospective home buyers in Ontario are planning to continue their search for the perfect home over the holidays. A majority of buyers feel that shopping for a home during the holiday season could mean less competition among potential buyers and, possibly, a better deal on the price of a desired home.

With the thought that potential sellers could be worried their home will sit on the market while prospective buyers are enjoying the holiday season with their families, a majority (55%) of likely buyers believe that sellers are more willing to negotiate on the price over the holidays, compared to two in ten (19%) who don’t believe sellers will be in a negotiating mood over the holidays.

If you’re a seller, less competition is a good thing for you. You are competing in a much smaller inventory over Christmas and New Year’s so that means more buyers’ eyes on your property. Ensure that your house is priced well and that your home is always ready for a viewing.

If you’re looking for a home over the holidays, you’re obviously very motivated.  Since time constraints from seasonal commitments and miserable cold weather make people want to hibernate, sellers need to be flexible about showings.

Festive decorations can make a home look merry and bright. Just don’t overdo it. Christmas lights are pretty but not in the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation way. When strangers traipse through your home they want to feel cheerful and comfortable so don’t assault them with stinky food smells, ugly décor and too much clutter. Bake gingerbread and light a fire to add to the warm and cozy feel.

The poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid, a leading public opinion researcher, on behalf of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).

 

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