The holiday season often leads to a slowdown in real estate activity, but this year might be an exception because of low inventories and strong sales.

While sellers often take homes off the market after Thanksgiving to avoid stale listings, limit days on the market or change real estate agents, this year it may be worthwhile to see if buyers are shopping for more than presents.

October saw the highest sales for that month in three years, driven by low interest rates and strong demand, according to RealEstate Business Intelligence.

"I don't think this year will have the holiday hiatus that we used to see," said Robyn Burdett, an agent with Re/Max Allegiance in Fairfax. "The pent-up demand is still in place, and we are seeing homes selling very quickly and over list price."

She says interest rates have dropped since early November, and with the talk of a bad winter, "if you want to move, you might want to do it before the snow comes."