A Guide to Buying and Selling Homes During the Holidays

Christmas Decorations

Buying or selling a home during the holidays can come with major benefits! Whether you’re looking to buy or sell real estate in San Diego, don’t put off the process simply because it’s the holiday season. Here’s what you can expect if you’re going to list your home or start the house-hunting process before Christmas.

Benefits of Buying a House During the Holidays

House hunting is often stressful. And while looking for a home during the holidays may sound unconventional, there are plenty of benefits you can enjoy. Here are a few of them!

It’s Easier to Get a Hold of a Realtor

Utilizing an experienced realtor, is, of course, crucial to ensuring a seamless transaction. But during peak buying/selling times, the best real estate agents may all be booked. This may mean you either have to settle for a less experienced realtor or, worse yet, it could mean you attempt to navigate the house hunting process on your own. But as temperatures drop, the availability of the best realtors in San Diego goes up.

This availability isn’t just key for finding a realtor. You’ll also be able to get in touch with a home inspector, underwriter, and attorney more easily. Even during the moving process, you should have fewer issues hiring a crew or renting a U-Haul which can be a nightmare during the busy summer months. If there are any repairs you’d like to make right away, contractors likely won’t be as booked up so you can get them done ASAP.

You’ll Face Less Competition from Buyers

We think that buying around the holidays is a great idea—but not everyone agrees with us. Because it’s not the hottest time to purchase a home, you won’t necessarily have to be as aggressive. This means you can take a little more time to think about putting in an offer rather than putting one in on a house immediately just for fear of losing it. If it’s your first time purchasing a home, this can make the process less overwhelming. You also may be able to ask more of the seller since they won’t necessarily be expecting as many offers.

You May Pay Less

Because a home isn’t as likely to get many offers during the holiday season, you won’t be as likely to get in a bidding war that drives the price of the home up. There’s a good chance you’ll pay the actual asking price which is a true relief in this hot seller’s market. In some cases, you may even be able to get a house for lower than the asking price if it’s been listed for a while and the seller is desperate to get rid of the property before the year’s end. You may also be able to get a lower interest rate for your mortgage since rates tend to be lower in November or December. Saving money is a huge benefit of buying a house during the holidays, and it’s a Christmas gift that your whole family can enjoy!

Benefits of Selling a House During the Holidays

On the opposite end of the transaction, there are also plenty of advantages to selling your home during the holiday season.

Festive Lighting Enhances the Home

Something that is not as fun about this later time of year is that the days are shorter, making sunlight all the more precious. This can make it more difficult for buyers to see the curb appeal of your home and it may even detract from the beauty of the home’s interior. However, around the holidays, you have an easy way of boosting lighting: Christmas lights! From the lights on the roof outside to the lighted tree on the inside, you can make your home look extra festive and make it easier for buyers to see what makes your home so special.

Staging Is Easy

Good staging sells homes! But sometimes it can be tricky to figure out how to stage a home to appeal to the most buyers. The holiday season takes out some of this guesswork. While you don’t want to go too overboard, many buyers will appreciate some holiday spirit. This is especially true of buyers who have kids or who are thinking of having kids soon. Seeing some stockings, a tree, and other decorations may help them picture themselves in your home at the same time next year. Of course, you want to make sure the décor is still tasteful.

You don’t have to stop with the holiday decorations either. Having some Christmas music playing quietly in the background, burning some Christmas scented candles, and even serving holiday cookies to touring buyers all adds to the experience. This can make it easier for buyers to connect with the home and may make them more likely to put in an offer—hopefully a good one!

Agents Have More Availability

Just like if you’re buying a house in San Diego during the holidays, sellers should have an easier time connecting with a qualified realtor who’s at the top of their wish list in the holiday season. This may lead to a better relationship with your realtor because their time isn’t as divided between so many clients. If you’re in San Diego and you have a home to sell, make sure you get in touch with Horton Realty Team! With our extensive experience with the local real estate market, we know what to expect any time of year, including the holiday season.

The Best Christmas Light Displays in San Diego

If you’ve decided that selling around the holidays is right for you, you may want some inspiration for how to decorate your home. The San Diego area has some amazing festive light displays for you to check out. While a lot of them are probably too over the top for the average buyer to appreciate, they may inspire you on how to decorate your own home before you list it or just help you get excited about the benefits of selling your home during the holidays.

Carmel Mountain Ranch

Every year at the Carmel Mountain Ranch neighborhood Fairway Village, residents go all out by decorating their homes for Christmas. This year, you can see the displays in their full glory from December 10 to January 1 anytime between 5:30 and 10:30 at night. From festive inflatables to impressive light shows, it’s no wonder this display has been dubbed one of the best Christmas shows in all of San Diego!

If you want to go the extra mile with getting into the holiday spirit, you can also attend the block party that takes place the Saturday before Christmas. Between hot cocoa, holiday music, and cookies for the whole family, it will make you love the most wonderful time of year even more.


Of course, you can’t enjoy Christmas in San Diego without checking out the downtown celebration at Holiday Market at Petco Park’s Gallagher Square. Right up until Christmas Eve, you can enjoy the stunning sights of the 30-foot Christmas tree that’s completely decked out. Local vendors participate in this Holiday Market and guests can enjoy holiday-themed foods and characters.


If you want to see a business that goes all out for the holidays, look no further than Hotel del Coronado. While this may be a beachfront property, it takes on the appearance and atmosphere of a Christmas movie set with the ice rink that comes with an ocean view. The hotel’s pine trees are impressive all year round, but they are especially majestic when they are decked out in Christmas lights. In fact, the hotel has the famous Norfolk Pine which was the world’s first electrically lit outdoor Christmas tree. Some other fun activities include gingerbread house decorating, a Christmas Eve buffet, and, of course, photos with Santa!

San Marcos

Christmas on Knob Hill is a can’t-miss show from November 24 to December 30. With the magic of over 100,000 holiday lights, this is the biggest Christmas light display in San Diego. It’s been shining bright since 1988! Since the light display took the year off in 2020 for the pandemic, it’s bound to be even more exciting today!

While you can always expect the display to be big, something that people love about it is that it’s just a little bit different each year. The homeowner behind the display searches for new additions every year in preparation for the holidays.


If you’re looking for a more COVID-safe holiday option, you’ll love the annual drive-through light display in Jingle Terrace Park. Unlike some of the other holiday displays, this one is completely free! However, the show is also an opportunity for you to get into the spirit of Christmas by making a donation to the San Diego Food Bank.

Buy or Sell Real Estate in San Diego During the Holidays with Horton Realty Team

Hopefully, we’ve given you a lot of reasons why you should at least explore the idea of going through your real estate transaction during the holiday season. If you have any more questions about the pros and cons of entering the buying or selling process at this time, get in touch with Horton Realty Team! Whenever you’re ready to list your home or begin your house hunt in San Diego, we’ll be happy to help.

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