BUYING AND SELLING OVER CHRISTMAS
Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2020
As the Stamp Duty deadline continues to draw closer, buyers and sellers are advised to act quickly and the race is on to complete on property sales and purchases before it's too late. It may seem unusual to some to sell a house over the festive period, however, the property market is very much still active at this time of the year
People have more free time and motivation to make a change in time for the New Year, so it can be a great time to buy and sell. Shifting COVID-19 rules can be difficult to keep up with, but getting advice from one of our knowledgeable team will put your mind at ease. We are up to date with the latest in health and safety regulations to always put your safety and wellbeing first.
With this in mind, here are their top tips for buying and selling over Christmas.
An online presence is vital
If you are selling your home then needs to be listed and visible on all the major property portals over Christmas. People will tend to have more free time and will start to browse properties online over the festive season.
Rightmove say that Boxing Day is their busiest all year, with statistics showing that over recent years that the busiest days of the year for internet traffic on property portals are the days immediately following Christmas and Boxing Day.
But why is this period so busy? The reason? All those lovely new phones and iPads. It is also one of the few holidays that the family will be all together and most likely at home. This means that any discussions about a move can be had, viewings can be done with all the decision makers present, adults and children, and with a coming New Year, what better than a new home?
Spring is a popular time to buy and sell, but winter has its benefits, too.
Sometimes stepping into a bright, warm, cosy home on a bitterly cold day or drizzly evening can have just as positive an effect as viewing a property on a warm summer day.
Tip: Try to arrange viewings in the daylight. If you arrange a viewing after work at 6pm, you won’t get the true experience of the property, especially if there are grounds to explore. It is important to view them before the night draws in.
Motivated To Move
People who are looking to move in December and January are committed to moving quickly. It’s a great idea to make the most of this.
Although there are downsides to house hunting over the festive season, the benefits can outweigh the drawbacks. Houses that are available for sale over the Christmas period have often either been on the market for a while or are very new to the market. This means that sellers are likely to be eager to secure a sale, giving buyers greater control as they find themselves in a much better bargaining position.
The December and the Christmas period is a great time to try to sell your property as the quality of the buyer is higher than at any other time of the year. If someone is out house hunting around Christmas time, it generally means they are motivated to buy quickly. The speculative, non-motivated viewings decrease as people are busy preparing for Santa and won’t go out to view unless they must. There also tends to be less properties for sale around this time of year and therefore less competition to compete against for a buyer’s attention. Plus the ‘the viewing to sale ratio’ is much higher at other times of year.
Think About Photography
If you’re thinking of making the most of the Christmas attention, it’s a good idea to think ahead. Try and instruct your agent prior to putting up any Christmas decorations as this prevents the photos from looking dated if it doesn’t sell instantly.
Ready For The New Year Rush
In the New Year, there will be a rush of people looking to buy and sell. Why not beat the rush by getting your sale registered or getting to know the market in December?
January 2nd is one of the busiest days. There aren’t likely to be too many viewings happening over the Christmas period, but it’s nevertheless a great time to get some viewings lined-up for the New Year.
Many sellers hold off until after the New Year and miss out on the busy online searching that takes place between Christmas and New Year. Additionally, because there are fewer sellers listing their property over Christmas, those who do benefit from having less competition than they typically would have in the New Year or Spring.
Don’t underestimate the time that it takes for your home to go on the market, either. Given the time it takes for an agent to prepare the marketing material for a property including taking photos, preparing floorplans and commissioning an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), it’s best to start the process now so that they are ahead of the competition and ready to take advantage of these peak periods.
Don't wait until spring
Most sellers wait until spring and then there is more supply and more competition. Whereas over the Christmas season, there is less supply but still high demand. By selling your home over the Christmas season, you are more likely to achieve a better selling price than you would trying to sell against the flurry of stock in the spring market.
If you are hoping to make the most of the Stamp Duty holiday, don't wait to put your property on the market. With the deadline being on 31st March 2021, buyers and sellers may think they have plenty of time to take advantage of the savings, however, property transactions are taking far longer than usual to complete.
Top Tip: House hunting over the Christmas season is to contact local agents and see what stock they have ready to launch over the festive period, as most agents hold back stock to launch over the Christmas holidays. This way you may get first refusal and will get to register your interest first.
Are you thinking of buying or selling during the Christmas period to get ahead of the Stamp Duty deadline? Get in touch with us today.
Source: Property Guild