Are homebuyers still searching for their next great home over the holidays?

(BPT) – While you may think of spring as the hottest time to launch your homebuying efforts, the truth is that people are buying and selling homes all year round. And real estate experts will tell you that buyers may even have the upper hand in the winter — even over the holidays — when there may be less inventory, but also fewer active homebuyers. People who list their homes this time of year may need to sell now for a particular reason, so buyers could benefit.

However, a new survey conducted by digital real estate platform Opendoor shows that homeowners are split on whether they would be open to buying a new home during the holiday season. In the survey, more than half (53%) said they would rather not search for a new home over the holidays, while 30% were open to it — and less than one in five were “very open” to buying a home during the holidays. To some degree, these feelings were split along generational lines, with millennials being most open to holiday homebuying (62%) while baby boomers were more likely to be adamantly opposed (27% were not at all open to it).

What to expect when holiday home shopping

Besides being aware of schedule limitations when it comes to in-person home tours over the holidays, there are other things you can expect if you’re looking for a home this time of year. One of them is to see plenty of decorations, which can certainly make a home look festive and welcoming.

In fact, American homeowners like getting an early start on decorating their homes for the holiday season, with many (40%) beginning to decorate right after Thanksgiving. Surprisingly, the survey also found that in these seven states, the decorating starts well ahead of Turkey Day:

  • Ohio: 48%
  • Texas: 42%
  • Florida: 41%
  • North Carolina: 37%
  • Georgia: 35%
  • Arizona: 33%
  • California: 32%

How the holidays impact what you look for in a home

With the focus on family and entertaining this time of year, it stands to reason that homebuyers might be seeing prospective homes in a different light. The Opendoor survey found that homebuyers nationwide look for particular home features that are important for holiday entertaining. In the survey, these were the top sought-after features:

  • 63% wanted an open floor plan that makes entertaining easier
  • 38% focused on a fireplace mantel suitable for holiday decorating
  • 37% sought a double oven setup as ideal for holiday cooking and baking
  • 27% prioritized a formal dining room for sit-down dinners

Regional differences

The survey also examined several states to determine what homebuyers thought was most important when it comes to holiday entertaining: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.

Survey respondents in all seven states cited an open floor plan as their top desired feature in a new home. This was especially true for those from the baby boomer generation — perhaps because their extended families are the most likely to be expanding, and they may be hosting events at their homes.

While numbers two through three in the top desired features varied from state to state, they focused on the double oven and mantel suitable for decorating, with one standout difference: Californians chose the “formal dining room” as their second priority — not what you might have expected for a state with a famously laid-back vibe!

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home over the holiday season, you can make it easier on yourself and take more control of the entire process by using Opendoor, a digital real estate platform that gives people a simple and convenient way to buy, sell and move. Whether you’re looking to sell or buy your dream home, Opendoor is a one-stop shop that allows people to move with the click of a button — any time of year.