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Is Selling Your Home At Christmas A Good Idea?

house in christmas box

Written by: Category: Buying, Selling December 11, 2018

Buying And Selling At Christmas

With Christmas around the corner you might be wondering if now is it a good time to buy or sell your home, or is everyone too busy enjoying the festive cheer? Some estate agents actively discourage homeowners from going on the market in December. However this might be an ideal time to put the wheels in motion for your house search. If you have time off work you will have more free time for research and viewings.

There are mixed opinions about this and it generally boils down to your own circumstances, so it’s worth looking at the pros and cons.

Some sellers take their property off the market over Christmas time, so there will be less competition around. Fewer homes on the market means more people will see your house online which means you are likely to get more viewings. In addition to this, people looking to buy at this time may have more urgency to move so could be more likely to put in an offer.

Websites like Rightmove and Zoopla have made house hunting a lot easier. Buyers can easily search for a new house whilst relaxing at home with the family. And when it comes to viewings, people often have free time at the end of December and can view at more sociable hours.

Check if your estate agent closes over the Christmas period and if they are going to be available. Here at VitalSpace we only close for 5 days so there are plenty of opportunities for you to speak with our expert team and we are here to help throughout the whole of December. You can get a free no obligation property valuation here.

CLOSED :
Sunday 23rd & 30th December
Christmas Day
Boxing Day
New Years Day

Our full Christmas Opening Hours can be found here.

It’s not just estate agents who close, your solicitors and the council will be off work too so make sure your paperwork is organised before the start of the holidays e.g. planning permissions, searches etc.

Obviously this applies to buyers too. Christmas means people will be on a slow-go period and house hunting might not be their first priority so be prepared for fewer buyers in your area than usual. Buyers still on the ball could use this in their favour and try to negotiate a lower price.

Snowman outside house

At Christmas, your home may be more cluttered than usual with a tree, decorations and presents. So as not to distract the buyer we recommend sticking to decorations that complement your existing colour scheme. Creating a warm, glowing and inviting atmosphere in your house for a viewing can go a long way to persuading your viewers to buy. It will help them imagine themselves in your home.

It’s unlikely that you will be overrun with viewings between Christmas and New Year, but your property will be available to view for those interested in starting to look for places in early January.

What About Buyers?

The cold weather and family commitments may put people off house hunting over Christmas and New Year so there will be less people booking viewings, which means less competition. Sellers are often available to do their own viewings and we find that buyers prefer this as you get first hand experience of what it’s actually like to live there.

The seller may not have had much interest if their home is still for sale this late in the year. This could give you flexibility in negotiating the price. Also, sellers who are continuing to market their property throughout the festive period are motivated to move home and will want to make sure things run smoothly.

If you’re buying to let, it’s the ideal time to prepare for the busiest rental period of the year – January.

However, When fewer houses are on the market, they can be pricier, especially if there is a lot of demand in your area. Fewer properties means less choice, which leads to competition between buyers. Do your research on the area before viewing. If you have a clear idea of what kind of home you want, it might be a trickier find. Your relationship with us is vital as we can keep you informed of new homes coming to the market that fit your criteria.

One thing to bare in mind when buying at this time is that many of the companies who conduct property searches, surveys etc. may have closed for Christmas. This is especially important for legal and financial matters. Do your research early, online sites like Conveyancing Supermarket and Stamp Calculator can provide valuable information on costs you will incur in the house move process. Try to have your mortgage agreed in principle and ready to go before the start of the holidays otherwise you may lose out to someone who has.

Christmas will certainly give you a warm feeling about the home you’re viewing and decorations can distract you from the details. Try and visualise the home as if it isn’t Christmas.

Whilst it might seem like a hassle putting your home on the market at this time of year, there are several reasons it may not be such a bad idea. Sellers only need to find that one buyer and it’s likely the buyers will be more genuine around Christmas. Buyers if you don’t find your dream home don’t fret there will, without doubt, be a surge of new listings in the new year.

What better Christmas present and start to 2019 is there, than a new home?

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