November 17, 2011 | by David Bediz
Home for the holidays?

It’s official; the holidays are upon us. Halloween seems like a blur (perhaps
for the wrong reasons!) and while the weather doesn’t exactly feel like a winter
wonderland yet, the Christmas commercials are already airing and the department
store window décor has already changed. It’s hard to believe that among the hubbub
of Thanksgiving preparations and holiday shopping, people actually buy houses — a
lot of houses — this time of year.

Most agents in my office report a huge upswing in calls, open house attendance
and closed deals in just the past two weeks alone, which I attribute to a few factors.
First, the changing leaves (if not changing temperatures) remind us all that winter
is coming and buyers who have been on the fence about a purchase are more
likely to pull the trigger now so they have a home to cozy up in a new domicile for
the cold months ahead. Between trudging through snow to view listings and moving
boxes up icy steps, the thought of shopping for or moving into houses in the dead of
winter is hardly appealing.

There’s another main reason I believe the market is buzzing now: interest rates. The
price of housing has inched up slightly over the past year, but rates have dropped
quite a bit (current 30-year fixed interest rates averaged an eye-popping 3.88 percent just
a week ago, and are still near 50-year lows at 4.04 percent this week). Buyers hoping to
wait long enough for an amazing deal to pop up are now resigning themselves to
pay a fair market value on their perfect place and to lock in an extraordinarily low
interest rate on their loan.

One final reason for a pre-turkey push may be a little romantic and not so realistic:
perhaps subconsciously some folks like the idea of treating themselves, or their
loved ones, to a new abode as a holiday gift. It may be the largest purchase of a
lifetime for some folks, so why not wrap it in a bow?

So if you’re a seller and think it may be insane to list a home for sale over the
Holidays — think again. If you’re a buyer who has an inexplicable itch to just go for it,
you’re not alone. Either way, it’s a great time to buy or sell your “ho-ho-home”!

David Bediz is a realtor at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and part of the Dwight and David Real Estate Group. He can be reached at 202-352-8456 or throughDwightandDavid.com.

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