Date Published 29 November 2016
For many years it has been commonly thought that there is no point in putting your house on the market over Christmas – or indeed any time after Mid-November, as everyone is on the wind-down for Christmas. There is no doubt that this used to be the case, and that after the Christmas decorations went up, the sale board may as well have come down… people were too focused on their own plans throughout the festive season, to be thinking about viewing houses, and those who had their properties already on the market, were not keen to allow viewers to visit their houses once they had their decorations up.
Nowadays, this doesn't seem to be the case. Here at David Doyle in Boxmoor, we find that we continue to see a stream of viewers registering to view and buy properties all the way up until Christmas Eve, and certainly again when we open the doors after Boxing Day. Rightmove intelligence shows that there were 1.3 million visits to their site on Christmas Day, and 2.6 million visits on New Year's Day – highlighting the importance of not waiting until the New Year to bring your house to the market.
The time that people have off work over the Christmas period can be the perfect time to start considering a change – and more often than not, it might be the first time that they have had a chance to sit down with family and make important decisions. With more and more families considering multi-generational living; a visit from parents, or grandparents around the dining table, can be the perfect time to make decisions about a change of lifestyle or living arrangements for the New Year.
Although Christmas bonuses aren't quite such a feature for most people as they perhaps once were, we do still see some impact with those living in the environs of London, and receiving city bonuses – enabling them to look for a new property in a price range above what they were previously considering.
Sadly, there are always those relationships which suffer over the Christmas period – either through bereavement, or relationship breakdown, and the New Year will always bring a flurry of properties which have been brought to the market in less happy scenarios. It's essential that the right agent in chosen in these situations, to make the transition as easy as possible for all those involved.
Whatever your reason for wanting to sell your property at this time of year; we're here to help!
Top tips for selling your property in December/January
• If you are marketing in December, don't worry about putting up your decorations – viewers are aware of the fact that you will be wanting to celebrate, and in most cases, Christmas decorations will show the house off as a welcoming home. There aren't many people who won't enjoy the sight of twinkling lights – but perhaps don't go too overboard. If you would normally complete fill your house with every possible decoration you can find; remember that you want to show your house at its best, and people might find it hard to visualise their furniture in your house if it's totally full to the rafters with tinsel!
• On the other hand – if marketing in early January – not letting the decorations linger until Twelfth Night will probably make the house look bigger – it always feel refreshing to get the house back to normal when all the decorations get packed away, and it's a good excuse to have a good clean through, which will ensure that the house is in tip top condition for potential viewers.
• Arrange for the estate agent's photographer to come around to prepare the particulars in the middle of the day when the light is likely to be at its best for photographs. During the winter months, there is a short space of time when photos can be taken to show off your property at its best from the outside, and it's vital that this is done – too early in the morning and there will likely be frost on the ground, and too late and the light has gone.
• Along with getting the right light for photographs, it's also very important to ensure that the weather is taken into consideration. If you are considering a move within the next month or so, you should bear in mind that if we get snow, it can take a week or so to clear, which can delay your marketing process by vital days waiting for the snow to melt. It's better to get the photographs taken and kept in store by the agents for when you are ready to launch, than waiting and then possibly missing the window you were hoping to get it on the market.
• As many people will be waiting until the perceived 'spring market' to sell their properties, if you are thinking of selling, don't wait to bring your house to a market which might be swamped with other properties – get yours on the market now and get it the attention it deserves from buyers. Don't delay – sell today!