Is it really the most wonderful time of the year?

Key takeaways

  • Buyers and sellers tend to be motivated during the holiday season and eager to complete their transactions.
  • Homes and communities often look their best when decorated for the season.
  • Some homeowners will offer end-of-the-year deals that can entice more buyers.
  • Holiday events offer networking opportunities to expand your sphere.
  • Self-care and time management can help you handle holiday stress.

It's the holiday season, so it must be the most wonderful time of the year, right? We all assume it is because that’s what the song we’ve heard all our life says.

Sure, the holiday season from late November into January offers some great attributes, but even the most joyful holidays can have downsides. No matter how you feel about the holiday season, we all share one crucial experience: we all must manage to get through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season while staying on top of the rest of our busy lives.

Ultimately, the holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year, but they're also what we make of them.

8 challenges and opportunities in the holiday season

Like almost anything in life, the holidays have upsides and downsides, and what one person feels is an upside can be a challenge for someone else. There are ways to improve your outlook and make the most of the season.

For real estate agents, here are some of the best parts of the season:

  • The neighborhoods where you live and work — and the homes you're marketing to buyers — are dressed for success. Decorations, freshly cleaned homes, and spruced-up yards can add to the curb appeal of a community and a property.
  • Since everyone is at least a little busier at this time of year pushing to get their work done before days off, preparing special meals for friends and family, shopping, and planning for gatherings, people who choose to search for a home or list their home now typically are highly motivated. Whether they have a deadline for their move or want to settle in early in the New Year, these buyers and sellers are likely to make fast decisions and be willing to negotiate to get to a quick closing.
  • Sellers who open their homes to buyers at this time of year may be especially eager to offer an end-of-the-year deal. That gives you an excellent opportunity to close out your year strong or provide your buyers with the advantage they need in a challenging market.
  • Neighborhood potlucks, school events, concerts, religious services and charitable activities ramp up around the holidays, which gives you a great opportunity to deepen your connections with your community. This can be an opportune time to host an event or reach out to new people to expand your network.

Of course, there are challenges to this time of year, too:

  • Your already busy schedule needs to expand to accommodate time to shop and socialize.
  • The holiday season typically requires extra spending on gifts, donations, travel to family gatherings, special food and social events, which can burden anyone's budget.
  • Weather issues can cause holiday stress, especially when you have even more activities to handle.
  • Many people find the holidays a highly emotional time of year. You, your buyers and your sellers may experience heightened emotions that can affect a transaction.

4 tips to manage the holiday season

Most real estate agents need to juggle multiple priorities on any given day. The holidays offer a chance for fun and sharing with your family, friends and community, but also require some additional physical and emotional preparation. Some tips to handle this busy time of the year include:

  • Practice time blocking. Multitasking can take a toll and make you feel frazzled. Instead, try creating a calendar with periods when you'll focus on specific tasks. Set aside the hours you'll need for marketing and paperwork, along with the time you need for holiday preparations, family activities and relaxation.
  • Accentuate the positive. Feeling overwhelmed and negative about how much you need to accomplish is common during a stressful time. Think about why so many people love the holiday season and focus on what specific activities you enjoy the most, such as baking or giving time and gifts to others. Consider keeping a brief gratitude journal to remind yourself of the joy in your life.
  • Establish personal and professional boundaries. Try not to say yes to everything and be thoughtful about your time as a form of self-care. This is the time to set your priorities for your time and stick to them.
  • Embrace the season as a time of connection. Whether you organize in-person events, make phone calls, or send cards or gifts, the holidays can be a vital time to connect with your clients and share your appreciation for their business. Remember to reach out to friends and clients who may be sad or lonely at this time of year to show you care.

If you are closing a home purchase during the holiday, one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give is a home warranty from Cinch, as it protects the most important thing this time of year: one's home. There’s no place like it.

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