Selling you home during the Christmas Period - Ask the Experts

News at Kerr & Co | 01/12/2023


Selling you home during the Christmas Period - Ask the Experts

The period over Christmas and New Year is one our busiest times of the year especially as the New Year looms and families reevaluate the life plans and focus on the year ahead.
Firstly over the last 5 years the property portals ( eg Rightmove, Zoopla, on the market ) have seen a surge in their website traffic with people looking to sell.   Moving house is not an individual decision so the festive period allows families in particular to assess their lifestyles during this period as they realise, they may need more space, or their school, job or personal circumstances may have changed.   Its surprising how having family around for the Christmas can force a decision, which may have been only in the pipeline 6 months ago.  

So to help we have tried to answer many of the questions we get asked.

1. Do houses sell in December?

Yes !  You might not get the same volumes of interest that you would at other times of year like in the Spring time, however anyone who has time to go house hunting in December is going to be a more committed and motivated buyer. Serious buyers may see the festive period as the perfect time to look, while their competition are off buying presents.

2. Is it true is there a Boxing Day boom?

This has been a common trend for the last 5 years.  Every year Rightmove sees more and more people searching their site on Boxing Day or straight after Christmas. Moving house or buying a first home becomes more pressing as people set their sights on the year ahead and make plans. In fact, there were more than 51 million visits reported by Rightmove last year, between Boxing Day and the first working day of the New Year. So it’s a perfect time for potential home buyers.
3. Are potential buyers really looking at this time of year ?

The Christmas holidays is an opportunity to see relatives and friends visiting unfamiliar parts of the country which also gives an opportunity for prospective purchasers to check possible locations if they are looking to move away from their present area. So, by taking your house off the market you risk missing out when visitors start checking out the local area.

4. Is the disruption at Christmas worth it?

If you don’t want the disruption of viewings over Christmas, there might be a middle ground. Why not keep your property on the market, but ask the estate agent to operate a ‘Do Not Disturb’ policy, so you can get on with enjoying the festivities knowing viewings are being booked in for the New Year.  

 

Are there any advantages or disadvantages selling in December?

As in all times of the year selling your house can clash with other events or bank holidays, If you are selling in December is considered a shorter month and so we would recommend the following to help get the maximum out of your viewings.

1. Get extra organised
It’s not just you who is getting ready for Christmas - everyone will be focused on the Christmas break so its important to be clear what you want.  So if you’re selling your house in December, make sure you find your Estate Agent and solicitor early and if raising a mortgage apply in good time.   Find out if their closing times over Christmas and for how long.  Its a good time to get any DIY or decluttering done so your property looks its best.
2. Are the shorter days and bad weather a disadvantage ?
If you’re selling a house in December, your home won’t necessarily look at its best on a cold and wet winter’s day compared to on a brighter day. So try to use the colder weather to your advantage by making your home feel cosy and warm. Also try to arrange any viewings in daylight so potential buyers can see the property and the garden properly.

3. Is December a good time to buy a house?
Selling your property is a very personal thing, and sometimes events or circumstances dictate both for the buyer and seller.  From a buyer’s perspective there are a number of advantages including the likelihood that there are fewer buyers around so you’ll have less competition. Also  you may find it easier to negotiate a lower price too. For more information, read our article Christmas Shopping Extends To Property 

4. Should you decorate for Christmas when selling your home?
Get your professional photos organised through the estate agent before you put any decorations up, your property will still be on the market into the New Year, so to avoid your property looking dated as it may put some buyers off.    Also, its essential your home should be clutter free and clean to make it look more spacious in the marketing photos. Christmas decorations, no matter how tasteful, won’t help and are also a very personal thing. Most buyers want to be able to visualise themselves in your home, which is more difficult if you have the Christmas decorations up.
There is never a good time to put your property up for sale - its normally driven by personal circumstances and situations which motivates sellers to put their house on the market.  Buyers on the other hand have the advantage of taking their time to ensure they find the right property to move to.  Many people move into rental properties to ensure they are in the best position possible when the right property comes up for sale in the right location and at the right price.  So, our advice is December is as good as any time to sell your property.  As in any sale your estate agent is there to help you manage the process ensuring you sell at the right price to the right buyer.

Kerr and Co have over 30 years’ experience and knowledge in the West London Area - specialising in Shepherds Bush and Hammersmith - If you are looking to sell in the next coming weeks Kerr and Co would be happy to have a conversation with you and support you through the sales process .

Call us on 0208 743 1166 or email us on [email protected]