Real estate update: selling your home during the holidays | Paid Colum…


by Wally Gudgell

Whether preparing for the arrival of Hanukkah, Saint Nick, and/or New Year’s Eve, there are at least three reasons the holidays are a great time to consider listing your home.

1. Inventory. For sellers, the biggest advantage in listing now is lack of inventory. Since March 2020, the San Juan County real estate market has leaned deep into a “seller’s market,” the likes of which we’ve never seen. Throughout the islands, properties are selling remarkably fast, with some pending within days or even hours of going live on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, nationally in October, “total housing inventory was down 19.8% year-to-date, and of the homes sold, seven of ten were on the market for less than a month.”

When looking at the Orcas 98245 zip code, NWMLS statistics show our local, active inventory is nearly half of what it was last year at this time. Homes are selling 26 days sooner on average, and there’s a 47% increase in the number of pending homes. Pair the current shortage with typical off-season inventory trends and a new listing is sure to stand out.

2. Motivated and Serious Buyers. During the slower season homebuyers tend to be more resolute and inclined to shop within a specific timeframe. Additionally, some buyers look for a quick close to take advantage of years’ end mortgage interest or property tax breaks. Oddly enough, due to the pandemic and strict showing protocols, the number of buyers that are genuinely serious about the listings they choose to see has accelerated; for safety reasons there are very few ‘tire kickers’ out viewing real estate.

3. Ho, Ho, Holiday Décor. Decorations and lighting make homes and neighborhoods inviting, warm, and welcoming, and can showcase a home’s finest attributes. Think clean, cozy, and simple as the best approach in using decorations as holiday accents. Be careful not to draw attention away from a home’s best features with clutter; potential purchasers need space to envision their holiday collections next year. Think about what sold you on your home originally and choose what and where to show off favorite features.

The end of the year is a time of reflection and inspiration, offering the promise of a fresh start as the new year dawns. It’s a natural time for both buyers and sellers to reassess and update their real estate plans. If you’re considering selling your island home or just curious about its value, a comparative market analysis can be a helpful tool in determining next steps, needs and objectives.

Stay healthy and safe, and happy holidays!

The Wally Gudgell Group at Windermere, 360-376-2172, [email protected]


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