Should you take your home off the market in December?
We’ve looked at reasons why Christmas is a good time to sell property before (check out our blog, ‘Is Christmas a good time to sell?’). But if your home is already on the market – what then?
As we count down to the big day, is it just a waste of time – and money – to try and push on with selling your home? Is the sensible choice to take it off the market and start again in the new year?
Here the property experts at GD Legal debate the advantages – and disadvantages – of selling in December.
More for your money
As the cost-of-living crisis continues, it’s anticipated that the housing market will begin to slow in 2023, with previously booming property prices starting to dip.
Makes financial sense, then, to keep your house where it is – the sooner you bag a sale, the more money you’re likely to make.
Highs and lows
Yes, the market often slows in December as people switch their focus to other festive priorities – but if you take your property off the market, you could miss out on the Boxing Day boom.
Property websites typically see a significant surge in online searches between Boxing Day and New Year, with Rightmove reporting a record 50 million+ visits between Boxing Day and the first working day in 2021!
Take your property off the market and you’ll miss this massive opportunity to find the right buyer.
As many people go with the knee-jerk reaction to take their property off the market in December, the savvy sellers amongst us will realise that this means there’s less competition – and more chance of bagging a sale – for those that stick with it.
It looks bad
There are two schools of thought here.
First, that if you keep your property for sale in December, it will just increase the time it’s been sitting on the market. Leading people to question why and potentially putting prospective buyers off – or giving them a hook to negotiate a lower asking price.
The flip side of this is that, actually, there’s every chance your home could sell during December. Additionally, by taking your home on and off the market, you risk looking like you’re blowing hot and cold about selling – a huge put-off for house hunters.
You’ll be taken seriously
Keep your house on the market in December and buyers will know you’re serious. It also shows that despite it being a busy time, you’re keen to keep things moving – helping to attract buyers looking for a quick sale.
Christmas is a time of travel, as people move about the country to visit friends and relatives or choose to spend the holidays away from home. This exploring increases the chance of people considering a move to a new area, upping the potential of new buyers checking out the local housing market – so make sure your property is on it when they do.
Everyone is busy at this time of year, so if you choose to keep your house on the market in December, you’re going to have to be organised.
Many of the offices and people involved in the sale of your property will break for Christmas – conveyancing solicitors, estate agents, etc – so getting things in place and being clear about exactly when they are and aren’t operating is essential if you’re to avoid frustration.
Find a happy medium
Don’t fancy the idea of viewings interrupting the festivities?
They don’t have to.
Just because your home is on the market in December doesn’t mean you can’t relax and enjoy some downtime without the worry of how tidy your house looks. Just chat with your estate agent and let them know you’d prefer not to accept viewings over key festive days. This way, you can relax and enjoy family time, but still keep your home visible on the market.
Schedule viewings for early January, or for the time between Christmas and New Year (you know you’ll only be eating chocolate anyway!). Just remember to try and be as flexible as possible to keep buyers onside.
Use the season to your advantage
Yes, December may typically mean bad weather, but don’t worry that you’re showcasing your house in a poor light. This is often the time when homes actually look most attractive. Twinkling lights, warm glows, welcoming fires, enticing smells, and rooms all dressed up with their finest decorations – you can work the season to your advantage.
So keep your house on the market in December – yes or no?
In truth, you can only do what feels right for you and your individual situation, but we’d argue there’s sound reasoning for keeping your home on the market in December.
We’d also definitely recommend lining up your property conveyancer – which is where we come in!
At GD Legal, we understand the need to work with a team you can rely on. That’s why our dedicated property solicitors will do everything in their power to ensure the process of selling your home is as quick and stress-free as possible – whatever time of year it is!
We will close to give our hard-working team a well-earned break from 1.00pm on 22 December and re-open at 9.00am on 3 January 2023. However, thanks to our innovative online systems, you’ll still have access to all the important information and key documents you need when you choose to work with us. In fact, the Christmas period can be a great opportunity to catch up on some of the extensive paperwork required with a house sale!