Traditional wisdom says that the festive period is one of the worst times of the year to be a home seller and traditional wisdom has long been right. Times, however, change and while Christmas and New Year are still massively important holidays, they’re no longer periods of total buyer hibernation, quite the opposite in fact.
The internet has changed everything
Prior to the internet, finding out about homes for sale meant either physically visiting an area and checking on “For Sale” boards or relying on analogue adverts, typically in the form of adverts in estate agents offices, newsletters from estate agents (usually delivered by post) and adverts in the local press.
These would all tend to slow down around the festive period (or grind to a halt) as the festive season took priority. It could be hard for sellers to convey the relevant details of their home since the practicalities of old-school printing limited the number of images which could be used and video was, of course, impossible, hence initial viewings were of even more importance than they are now and in the pre-internet days these depended on the availability of estate agents, who were, of course, likely to be on holiday themselves over the festive period, thus creating a frustrating bottleneck for both sellers and buyers.
Thanks to the internet, however, those days are over. Buyers can get much more information about a house directly from the online portals, meaning that they are only likely to visit properties which have a good chance of being suitable for them. They can even ask questions if they want to know about anything which isn’t mentioned in the sales particulars. Sellers, meanwhile, can opt to take over home viewings themselves over the festive period, if their preferred estate agent is not available.
Productive winters leave more time for enjoying the summer
Spring has traditionally been peak time for home sales due to a combination of people wanting to make a fresh start in a fresh year and the fact that school holidays are in summer, so families can move over the summer period and have their children settled by the time the new term starts in the autumn. In reality, however, this last point is only a big advantage if the move will mean that children have to change school.
For the many buyers who are staying within their local area (and simply want more or less space), then it arguably makes more sense to move before the best weather starts, so that they are settled and able to enjoy it when it does arrive. Moving during term time also has the advantage that buyers can keep their children going to school as normal, while they get on with the relocation, instead of them having to try to divide their time between getting themselves settled in their new home and entertaining their children during the holidays.
For all these reasons, there are increasing signs that Christmas may be the new March, at least in terms of home sales, and motivated buyers are recommended to take advantage of this and to put their home on the market as soon as possible.
Indlu are new hybrid estate agents in Manchester, offering a ‘no sale, no fee’ fixed price service to rival traditional high street estate agents in Worsley, Eccles and Manchester City Centre.