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Buying a home during holiday season

Real Estate » Buying A Home During Holiday Season

Yes, you can buy a home during the holiday season
Yes, you can buy a home during the holiday season © Jenny Woodworth/

The year-end holiday season is a good time for gift-exchanging, entertaining and general merriment. But what about buying a house? Should you try to do that in November or December, too?

If you're not picky about the home you intend to buy, the answer might be yes.

Sellers tend to avoid the end of the year due to the short days, wintry weather and conventional wisdom that says buyers are otherwise occupied, says Tim Deihl, associate broker at Gibson Sotheby's International Realty in Boston. But those who do choose to sell at year-end are often under pressure and highly motivated to cut a deal.

"A seller who's looking to move a piece of real estate during the holidays is a seller who needs to sell, because nobody in their right mind would pick that as the most convenient time to list their property," Deihl says.

And that's why the year-end might be a smart time to buy: Determined house-hunters can take advantage of sellers' urgency.

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We're on that march toward Halloween and Thanksgiving, and before you know it, the end-of-the-year holidays will be here. This year in particular might be a good time to put real estate on your holiday shopping list.

Experts say homebuyers are likely to find deals around the holiday season. Home prices are at all-time lows, there are plenty of unsold homes to choose from, and still-high unemployment and looming holiday bills may motivate sellers to do whatever it takes to sell immediately.

Many prospective buyers are too busy to venture into the housing market around the holidays, so you're likely to find less competition for desirable properties. And fewer real estate transactions mean quicker closings. It may take less time to get an offer accepted on a short sale or a property that's in foreclosure.

Don't worry too much about interest rates rising because they tend to drop every December through January.



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