With unemployment rates still high and looming holiday expenses, many home sellers are extremely motivated to sell immediately and are more willing to negotiate a lower home price. Properties that are on the market over the holiday season usually have very serious sellers.
Most owners are anxious to get the home sold before the end of the year because it helps on their taxes. Serious sellers mean more negotiating power for the buyer, especially if the home has been on the market for several months.
With so many people shopping, traveling and entertaining, November and December are usually slow for real estate. Buyers can take advantage of that fact and find less competition for the most desirable homes. Fewer buyers and plenty of listings on the market mean bidding wars with other buyers (which can drive up the cost of the home) are less likely to occur.
Mortgage companies are slow as well. They have fewer transactions, so that means your loan can get processed faster and that leads to a quicker closing.
Most settlement costs paid to the mortgage company, lender or broker are tax-deductible in the year in which you pay them. If you close on or before Dec. 31, you may be able to deduct the interest on your first monthly mortgage payment from your taxable income. And, you may be able to deduct points paid to reduce your interest rate as well.