Should I put my house on the market before Christmas?
In a normal year the weeks running up to Christmas are quiet in the estate agency world. Simon Godfrey discusses the advice we have been giving to our clients in 2021.
We get asked this every year in the weeks leading up to Christmas. This year’s answer might surprise you.
I remember a wise person telling me a long time ago not to think about things going back to normal because normal never existed. Prophetic words indeed when one thinks about the huge changes we have all been through in the last couple of years.
I was thinking about this when recently advising a client on whether they should put their house on the market now, or whether they should wait until after Christmas.
Once the clocks had gone back and we see people hunkering down for the oncoming winter, we would have traditionally seen vendors wait until the New Year before putting their place on the market.
But are things different this year?
There is of course the question of how the property market will be next year. There were plenty of doom mongers out there at the beginning of the pandemic and we now know how wrong they were.
To be fair there are some storm clouds on the horizon.
There is growing talk of interest rate hikes and a higher mortgage repayment is going to affect the ability of a buyer to afford their new home. And we know from the past that prices cannot keep going up and up.
But my feeling is that the new normal is different this year.
There are still greater levels of demand than there is supply of properties in this part of the world and the result is that when we launch a property, we have a rush of calls asking to view.
Evidence of very strong demand
Just last week a single property was viewed 2,233 times on our website within 24 hours of our Early Bird emails being sent out - further details at the bottom of this page.
I looked at the number of new instructions in this part of the world this year compared to last year from the beginning of October to mid-November and the figures show that there have been 30% fewer instructions this year.
No wonder buyers are complaining that there is not a huge choice.
Buyers are acting differently this year.
When we launch a new property we see a real spike of activity with many viewings booked within days.
In years gone by we would average around nine viewings before achieving an acceptable offer.
In recent months this has fallen to just six. And in many cases we are receiving offers from more than one buyer which helps maximise the prices we have been achieving for our seller.
And all of this can happen in a week, so long as you have got the asking price and the presentation of your house right.
The great thing about marketing a property in the darker months is the opportunity to maximise the ‘hygge’ factor with images of roaring log fires, neatly stacked logs and perhaps even some twilight photography.
So, what are we recommending?
So our view is clear, if you are minded to sell, we recommend that you take advantage of the next month whilst we are enjoying this lively market. You could well be enjoying Christmas comfortable in the knowledge that you have secured a buyer for your home.
Arrange a property valuation today – we can arrange this very quickly for you if this is what you’d like.
The other great thing about finding a buyer at this time of year is that there is no pressure to ‘get in’ before Christmas. Typical timescales for completing a sale are around 2-3 months, so you can be planning your move with the thought of Spring on its’ way.
If, on the other hand, you’d rather not deal with viewings and so on at the same time as Christmas shopping but would rather leave the marketing of your property until the new year, then we do recommend you consider getting ahead.
Now is a good time to ask your agent to arrange for professional photos to be taken – the autumn colours in our gardens are fabulous at this time of year whereas gardens tend to look a bit sorry for themselves in January.
It’s also a good idea to ask one of our valuers to pop out to discuss your plans, value and marketing strategy so you are well prepared.
We do all this without any cost or obligation on your part.
Here's my number if you'd like to call me direct - 01580 766766
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