The day before Remembrance Sunday, a smartly dressed man walked into Robert Holmes and Co’s office in Wimbledon Village to enquire whether we had a three-bedroom family home sale… with a fireplace and fully functioning chimney.
The man, who was probably in his late 30s or early 40s, went on to explain that he and his wife had a boy and a girl aged four and seven and were looking to settle in Wimbledon because of its excellent schools.
“We’ve looked closely at a number of different areas all over London but as soon as we discovered Wimbledon we knew it was where we want to live. It has quick access to central London but is far enough away to not feel trapped in the city. Wimbledon Village has a fantastic range of boutique shops, independent restaurants plus the huge expanse of open space at Wimbledon Common is on the doorstep. It’s the perfect mix of London and country.”
But why do you require a house with a fireplace and chimney? we enquired. The customer said that on Christmas Eve each year he sprayed footprints made from artificial snow from his front door up to his children’s bedrooms to make them believe Father Christmas had delivered the presents in the stockings they had hung at the end of their beds.
But my eldest daughter now knows that Father Christmas comes down the chimney and I want them to grow up thinking that the real Santa visits them every Christmas Eve, he added. That’s why I want a house with a fully functioning chimney.
That particular sale went through over a decade ago and we’re pretty sure the children in question – who must now be well into their teenage years – have debunked the myth that Father Christmas visits every property with a chimney on 24 December.
However, if your children still believe in the tale of Father Christmas, please stop them reading the previous paragraph of this news article.
Another myth to be debunked in the intervening decade is that owners should not launch their property on the market in the latter months of the year.
In the days when confidence in the property market was not as high as it is today, achieving a home’s asking price in the winter months was a challenge because it can be difficult to present them in their best possible light if viewings are conducted during the hours of darkness.
Buyers were also less enthusiastic about spending their weekends viewing properties when outside temperatures fell below 5C. There was also a popular opinion that sellers were not prepared to welcome viewers in December when their property was filled with Christmas decorations.
But like the gentleman and his family mentioned above, the majority of people who buy substantial homes in Wimbledon Village and the surrounding areas of Coombe Hill, Putney, Southfields and Wandsworth do not move home very often.
When the owner of a family home launches their property for sale with Robert Holmes & Co, we contact our database of would-be purchasers and generate interest in the house immediately – any time of the year.
We do acknowledge, however, that the majority of sellers do not want their Christmas preparations and celebrations disrupted by viewings. Therefore, we offer the following advice to anybody marketing their property in the final weeks of the year.
- 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?
- While Christmas decorations make winter purchasers feel jolly, too many can detract from the house itself. A Christmas tree and subtle festive decorations are fine – just don’t go overboard.
- You may have fewer viewings than in the 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 due to the fact that they include those who’ve recently sold and are urgently on the lookout for a new property.
- It is your house sale. Few people like the thought of viewers entering their home between 20 December and 4 January, so feel free to say no and refuse viewing between any dates you choose.
For further advice about selling your home over the festive period, contact Robert Holmes today.
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