Ruth Malkin Top Brookline Real Estate Agent

The Real Estate Market and the Holidays

Wondering if you should take your Greater Boston property off the market during the holidays? Watch the short video below to learn the advice I’m giving my clients.


Hi everybody. It’s Ruth. I want to talk about the real estate market during the holiday and the winter months, and about days on market and how it’s really time to look at that number a bit differently. So the winter months, we know that traditionally between Thanksgiving and roughly mid to late February the real estate market slows down substantially. I do want to point out, though, that in the metro areas, where we’re less sensitive to the school year cycle, these seasonalities are much more flexible and much harder to predict. There is a lot more activity going on then there used to be in winter months, partly because of the inventory shortage in the past few years and because it’s just been a year-round market. Sure, it cuts down a bit, but it has not stopped, and it has been active the past few winters and through the holiday season.

If you’re a home seller, you’re probably asking your real estate agent, or just like my clients have asked me, should I be taking my property off the market during the holiday? Is this something that I should be doing? So, to this, I ask, why would you be doing that? If this is a lifestyle decision, if selling the home during the holidays is going to be disruptive to you in any way, by all means take the property off the market. Let’s put it back on when this time has passed. But, if the motivation is because you do not want to accumulate days on market, to that I say, that is not a good enough reason not to be on market. It is time to think about days on market very differently. The market has changed. The days of a property going on the market and selling over the weekend, well, that’s going to be more and more rare, and even the best of properties are going to take a few weeks to sell. That is not unusual. It is unusual to us because of what’s been happening in the past few years, but that is not unusual for the market.

We need to detach ourselves from the days on market. And buyers, as home buyers, you shouldn’t even be too concerned about days on market. You should see it as no successful negotiation has happened yet. It is not a reflection on a property, whatsoever, or the quality of the property. You should be looking at if the home has been off market and on market several times, you want to ask, well, why hasn’t sold? Why has it been off market? That’s a great question. But, as a home buyer, to just look at a number of days on market and assume that it means anything except for, this home has been on the market for a while, and the market has slowed down is the wrong way to look at things.

So, home buyers, home sellers, it’s time to detach yourself from that number of days on market. It may not mean so much, especially in a changing market. Two years ago, last year, something has been on market 10 days, we’d worry it didn’t sell in one open house. What’s wrong with it? If you really think about it, that is outrageous. Let’s focus less on how long it takes to sell things. Let’s focus more on making sure a buyer is finding the right property, and a home seller is getting the right deal for their property, and trust that it will, although, it will take longer, it will happen. So, I wish you a wonderful, warm, winter, and holiday season.