Christmas is traditionally a time when the property market slows down until the new year, when keen buyers emerge from the festivities looking to make a change.
But with the UK property market buoyant as buyers look to purchase properties ahead of the stamp duty holiday deadline, this festive season could be a good time to sell your home, if you’re thinking of doing so.
There are lots of things to consider when selling your house over the Christmas period, though…
Best time to sell a house
There’s a whole host of opinions over what time of year is best to sell your home – even down to what day of the week and what hour in some cases!
Essentially, the best time to sell your house is when the market is buoyant and keen buyers are looking with serious intent – and that could, realistically, be any time of the year, as the current market proves.
Generally, though, this is what you can expect from the property market during the four seasons:
Spring is traditionally the best time to sell. Buyers tend to start, or restart, their search for a new home when the evenings start to become lighter and the weather improves. It’s also a good time to sell as spring can help your home look its best.
Summer is generally quieter for property transactions, as buyers and sellers spend time away on holiday, or looking after their children during the summer holidays, but summer can also be a good time to put your home on the market if you’re looking to move before winter.
The weeks before the clocks go back in October can be a good time to sell, as buyers have more time to search after their children go back to school in September. These weeks are also usually the last opportunity to find a property and move in before Christmas, sparking many buyers into life.
The weeks before Christmas are, traditionally at least, a slow period for the property market as people focus on the festivities and put their property search on hold until the new year, but active buyers during December are usually good buyers who are keen to move quickly.
Is Christmas a bad time to sell a house, then?
It doesn’t have to be and, actually, buyers can be very active during the festive period.
Christmas 2020 is looking like it will be busier than usual as buyers aim to find a property and complete before the stamp duty holiday ends in March 2021.
Here are some other reasons why putting your home on the market at Christmas could be a shrewd move:
- Buyers have more time to browse property portals while they’re off work during Christmas – in 2019, Rightmove had more than 21 million views on Boxing Day and an incredible 10million on Christmas Day!
- If your property really stands out to a buyer browsing the property portals in the days leading up to Christmas, or immediately after the festivities, they could take the plunge earlier rather than waiting until the New Year
- Christmas buyers are generally extremely committed to moving quickly
- There are usually fewer properties on the market at Christmas, meaning less competition for your home
- January traffic on Rightmove is always much higher than in December, so listing your property before Christmas means you’ll have a far greater chance of buyers seeing it. In January 2020, Rightmove had more than 150million visits in that one month
Tips for selling your house before Christmas
Get the decorations up… but not too many
Getting into the Christmas spirit is a good thing and making your home feel festive will help buyers see themselves in the property during the holiday period. But don’t over-do the decorations, as this could detract from the property itself.
Keep the decorations down in your marketing photos
Your estate agent should recommend this, but make sure your property’s photos are done before your decorations go up. If your property doesn’t sell over Christmas, its photos will immediately look dated in January if there’s a tree in the corner of the living room.
Be realistic with pricing
Although buyers at Christmas are generally regarded as having more desire to move quickly, your property’s asking price needs to be realistic. Ensuring you have an estate agent behind you who knows the current market conditions can be key to pitching your property at the right price.
Get ahead with a solicitor
The Christmas period means time off for solicitors as it does for most other industries, so get ahead and find one as soon as your property goes on the market. This can save vital time and put you in a great position with a buyer.
If you’re looking to sell your home before Christmas, take a look at our guide to selling quickly, which is packed with tips to get you that fast sale.