Conventional wisdom says buying or selling a house in December is impossible as vendors and buyers are too busy with their Christmas preparations. While the festive period is a quiet time in the property market, buying or selling a house in December is not impossible, with some great deals to pick up if you can move quickly.
Here’s how to buy and sell your home over the Christmas period.
Will my house sell in December?
Christmas can still be an excellent time to sell your property. Here are a few reasons why we think selling now might actually be a good idea.
- You may have fewer viewings than in the spring and summer months, but they will probably be more genuine. This is because viewers at this time of year are typically more serious about finding a home. After all, they include those who’ve recently sold and are urgently on the lookout for a new property.
- You are not just selling a home; you are marketing a lifestyle choice. What better time of year to promote your property as a perfect family home than Christmas?
- Although people are busy with Christmas festivities, they also have more time off during the holiday period. This means more time for browsing homes for sale on the internet, and they may even have time to schedule viewings.
Tips for sellers
What could be more welcoming than stepping out of the cold into a warm house? This is one of the reasons why Winter is an easy time to make your home appealing to buyers. Here are a few tips for selling over Christmas.
Take marketing photos before putting up Christmas decorations
Instruct your estate agent well in advance of the festive period and have them take the marketing photos before putting up your Christmas decorations. That way, you avoid your photos looking dated if your house is still on the market in the new year.
List on all the major property portals
According to Rightmove and Zoopla, house searches double over Christmas, with Boxing day being the most popular day for online house hunting. Make sure your home is listed on all the major portals and that the advert shows your home in the best possible light.
Christmas home staging tips
All the usual home staging tips apply whatever time of year you put your home on the market. Find ten ways to make the best first impression on our article on How to Boost Your Home’s Kerb Appeal blog article.
If you are listing your home during the winter months, we recommend that you:
- Keep Christmas decorations tasteful and subtle. While Christmas decorations make winter purchasers feel jolly, too many can detract from the house itself. A Christmas tree and some elegant festive decorations are fine – just don’t go overboard.
- Make your home as warm and cosy as possible by putting fires on and turning on lights.
- Consider adding some outside lighting.
Arrange viewings in the daytime
If possible, try to arrange viewings during daylight hours so that your potential buyers get to see your property at its best. This is especially important if you have a large garden as it will be difficult to explore outside space in the dark.
Be ready to move quickly
Although there are often fewer buyers house-hunting during the winter months, the active ones tend to be serious and committed to moving quickly. You are more likely to secure a quick sale for the best possible price if you are motivated to move.
Tips for buyers
Buyers, here are a few tips to be ready for buying a new home this Christmas.
Before you start house hunting, get a mortgage agreed in principle and find a conveyancer. People selling in December generally want to move quickly, and favour offers from buyers committed to doing the same.
Negotiate with confidence
Because many people postpone their house-hunting until the new year, sellers receive fewer property viewings than at other times of the year. Less competition means that there is a better chance that you will find your dream home and put an offer in before someone else does. You are also in an excellent position to negotiate on price.
For further advice about selling your home over the festive period, contact Robert Holmes today.