Is it a good idea to buy or sell property over Christmas?

The festive season is synonymous with shopping but is it a good time to buy (or sell) a house? Well, that all depends on who you talk to. Like any other time of year there are pros and cons to buying and selling property at Christmas. What it really comes down to are your priorities and the current market conditions in the area.

Advantages of selling at Christmas

Less competition

In the run up to Christmas, the real estate market is typically quieter than at other times of year.  Many families choose to go on holiday in summer and consequently, there tends to be fewer houses up for sale. This can be advantageous for sellers as it means there will be an increase in competition between buyers for your house. You house could conceivably fetch more than your asking price.

Increased interest

If your property is located in a popular holiday area, you may have interest from people visiting the area. The more interest your home generates, the better your chance of selling it for a good price.

Shows your house off in a good light

Bright and cheery summer days can help to show off your property in its best light. Christmas trees and tasteful decorations can also add a welcoming and homely feel that appeals to buyers.

Quick settlement

Buyers who are house hunting during the Christmas holiday period tend to be highly motivated, otherwise they would wait until the new year. There is a good chance they will want a quick settlement, to wrap up the purchase before the end of the year.

Advantages of buying at Christmas

Less competition

The housing market is traditionally quieter at Christmas, and fewer people looking for a new house means less competition. As a buyer, this could work in your favour (especially if the seller is looking for a quick sale) giving you leverage to negotiate a better price.

Grab a bargain

If a seller believes Christmas is a bad time to put their house on the market, they may price it lower in an attempt to make it more attractive to buyers. This could mean you purchase a property at below-market price.

Quick sale

Sellers are likely looking for a quick settlement if their house is on the market over the holidays. There is a good chance you could secure a quick settlement on the property.

Drawbacks of selling at Christmas

Drawn-out settlement process

Business closures resulting in a drawn-out settlement process impacts buyers and sellers equally.

Less choice

Fewer properties on the market mean less choice. As a buyer you may not find a property you like.

So, you can see there is no straightforward answer to whether it is a good time to buy or sell property over the Christmas period. Like most things in life, it all depends on what your requirements are and a bit of luck.

If you are planning to purchase a home in December, complete our pre-qualify form or give one of our lending specialists a call. We will be open for business, Monday to Friday except for the public holidays.

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