Buying Advice

Buying and Selling a Home for the Holidays

Pictured home: 338 Naniakea St., Hilo

It’s that time again! It’s time to remind sellers that, especially in Hawai`i, property does in fact sell during the holidays!

Hawai`i’s Hot Holiday Season

Conventional wisdom would indicate that the holiday season is the worst time to sell. In Hawai`i, however, this has not historically been true. While home sales in the rest of the nation lag during the holidays, here in Hawai`i, the period between Thanksgiving and the New Year is one of our heaviest selling seasons.

Holiday Buyers

Wanna know who looks at property during the holiday season? Buyers, not lookers, that’s who! It makes perfect sense. Because so many of our buyers traditionally travel from off-island, they typically combine their buying trip with their holiday break.

We don’t know how COVID will affect this, but based on recent activity, brisk sales are still expected. Local buyers usually have extra time off during the holidays as well. You can bet the ones who take time out to view property during this hectic time are very serious.

Holiday Sellers

If selling your home is on your “to-do” list for 2021, you may want to back your time table up a bit. After all, think how much nicer your home will show with the holiday decorations. Take time to bake those holiday cookies; that “homey” smell helps create a sense of nostalgia. It’s a great “staging” opportunity. It helps mentally move a buyer into the home…which is exactly where you want them to be during this busy selling season!

Stay on the “Nice List”

Buyers can be sure that sellers willing to list at this time of the year are very serious. Buying opportunities are still great, but one word of caution to buyers; be careful that your Christmas shopping does not give you a “holiday hangover.” Just $100 of additional credit card debt will impact the amount of mortgage you can qualify for by $15,000 or more. Don’t forget that new debt or credit inquiries might negatively impact your credit score. Interest rates remain near historic lows and there’s new inventory daily. These are all reasons that buyers will be buying and sellers should be selling.

So shop ‘til you drop but don’t forget to book time with your REALTOR®. Whether buying or selling, your agent will be happy to assist with your holiday real estate needs. After all, we know that there’s still time to “wrap up” your transaction in time for Christmas!

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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