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Is selling your property at Christmas a good idea?

It’s only four weeks until Christmas which means you are about to get very busy. There’s decorations to hang, shopping to do, eating and drinking with friends to enjoy and holidays to plan. So if you’re contemplating selling your home at Christmas time, is it such a good idea?

Selling at Christmas has traditionally been seen as bad timing. Let’s face it, most people choose the Christmas break to go on holiday and relax.  An obvious consequence of this could be a reduction in the number of potential buyers looking at your home. Not only that but real estate agents generally use the Christmas and New Year period to take some time off themselves, so they might advise you against selling your property over this time to ensure they don’t miss out on a sale!  But times are changing.

Buyers now realise that if they want to secure their ideal home they need to beat the competition. So while many buyers shelve their property search during the festive season, the truly motivated ones are constantly searching. As a seller this is great news. Your pool of buyers are not tyre kickers, they’re keen to secure a property over the holidays so they can start the New Year afresh and are less likely to waste your time.

So what are the pros and cons of selling at Christmas? 
Pros:
With less competition during the holidays, the number of houses on the market decreases, reducing competition between sellers and increasing competition between buyers. As buyers bid to secure a home for themselves, they may end up offering far more than originally asked. People who seek properties during the holiday months are serious about purchasing and it is likely that you will make a quick sale so they can settle early in the New Year.  Let’s face it, spending week after week searching for properties can be exhausting!

Cons:
The buyer who is looking over the holidays may be suspicious of your house-selling motivations. They may think you are desperate, or that there must be something wrong with the property as it hasn’t sold yet.  They might assume you are in a situation where you need to sell your house quickly to relieve yourself of a financial debt or because you have already bought another home. If they believe that you are impatient to sell, buyers are more likely to make offers lower than the asking price with the result of either diminishing your profits or needlessly dragging out negotiations until you are satisfied.
However, with a good agent and clever marketing strategy you can actually capitalise on the time of year to achieve a price higher than expected.

Whether you are buying or selling over the holidays one thing is certain, there is a huge psychological benefit to getting the deal done by December 31. House selling and hunting is tough and knowing you can head into the New Year with a new home, or cash in the bank is an enormous motivation.

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