First and foremost, let’s clarify that every property decision relies on individual circumstances. There is no cut and dry ‘best’ time to buy and sell a property, however, there are many advantages in putting your property on the market before Christmas.
At this time of year, the phrase ‘quality over quantity’ springs to mind as we see a much lower viewing-to-sale ratio. The quality of the buyer is higher in December than at any other time of the year, as speculative and non-motivated people focus on the festivities and hold off until the new year.
The truth is that the market isn’t as frantic and saturated in December compared to the new year, so use this to your advantage.
Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t a negative, and here’s why:
- When you partner with the right agents, those who are equipped with the relevant knowledge, experience and network, your Christmas wish can come true.
- An added benefit as a seller is that people will tend to have more time over the Christmas period to peruse for property online; so if you’ve already got the ball rolling and your marketing materials are already live online, you’re ahead of the game and first in line when the new year starts. Don’t underestimate the time it takes for your home to go to market.
- With less properties competing for sales at this time of year you’re going to stand out and gain more exposure to motivated buyers, which is exactly what you want.
- Generally speaking, houses that are available at this time of year fall into two categories – they’re either exceptionally new to the market or they’ve been listed for a while. On occasion, buyers are able to capitalise on the latter and negotiate with a higher bargaining position to sellers who are likely to be eager to secure a sale.
It is widely understood in our industry that the busiest days of the year for online property searches fall between Boxing Day and New Year. Last year, Rightmove saw a giant 54% increase in visits to their site on Boxing Day than the previous year, so getting ahead of the new year rush and marketing your property before January will see you enter 2023 ahead of your competition.
People who choose to buy and sell in the latter months of the year are a different breed to the those who move in the summer. Festive buyers and sellers are motivated and driven by a greater sense of urgency, perhaps a baby on the way, new job starting in the new year, or simply because they want to stand out from the crowd who decide, ‘a new year means a new home’. This is great news for buyers and sellers alike as this leads to more genuine transactions overall.
Not only that but selling your home over the festive period could mean that you’re more likely to achieve a better selling price than you would trying to sell against the flurry of stock in the spring market.
There’s no escaping the fact that we are living in unprecedented times, and it’s safe to say that the last couple of years have been challenging for us all; however, all is not lost – the property market is still buzzing with activity.
Christmas is a time for celebrating so let’s add your property sale to the list of reasons to celebrate this year!
In summary, here are our top tips for buying and selling at Christmas:
1. Act now. There is less supply but still high demand so make the most of the motivated market.
2. Online is essential. Make sure that you have a prominent online presence. Over the Christmas period, this is where your buyers will be looking.
3. Make the most of the festive season – don’t underestimate the power and value in setting the tone and painting a picture for potential buyers of a cosy home at Christmas. Consider staging, lighting and how to make the most of this for viewings.