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Listing During The Holidays


Dear Phyllis,

After a long bout with cancer, my mother passed in January.  Soon after, I met with her real estate agent who provided me with a list of things to do to prepare her home for sale. It took months to go through her personal papers. Then family members picked up what they wanted and then we held the estate sale.  The home was then painted, hardwood floors refinished and we put the home on the market in October.  The Realtor® has told me the market has shifted and it’s no longer a seller’s market. How can the market change so quickly? When we initially discussed price, the plan was to sell with more than one offer and over asking price.  Now, the real estate agent wants me to reduce the price. Personally, I think it was a mistake to list the home so near the holidays and that’s the bigger issue.  What is your opinion?
Feeling Frustrated


Dear Frustrated,

I am sorry for the loss of your mother and sympathize with how much work it is clearing out an estate. It appears that you have done everything needed to prepare your mother’s home for sale. Unfortunately, recent interest rate increases have decreased buyer’s purchasing power. The market has shifted to a healthier and more balanced one.

Do you have a real estate question? Ask Phyllis! Email her at or contact her directly at
(818) 790-7325. Phyllis Harb is a Realtor® with Dilbeck Real Estate.

More expensive homes have been particularly impacted by the reduced deduction for property taxes. Previously a homeowner was able to write off their property taxes but are now limited to a $10,000 maximum deduction.  Homeowners could previously write off interest on a $1,000,000 mortgage but that has been decreased to $750,000. 

Fewer homes come on the market this time of year, so you will have less competition.  Please don’t make the mistake of pulling the home off the market for the holidays… as many sellers do.  There are still many motivated buyers and they have a very limited selection.  I wish you success in getting your mother’s home sold and closed.

On a side note, please be certain that you have informed the insurance carrier that the home is vacant.  In the event of a claim, you wouldn’t want to have an issue with coverage.