Buying or selling over the holiday season…Yay or Nay?

Written by in Selling on December 2, 2016

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

We’re talking about Christmas, of course – that wondrous period of weeks where everyone slows down, celebrations abound, and the jolly old man in a red suit visits town to deliver cheer and goodwill.

It may sound like we’ve been hitting the eggnog a little too hard, but that’s not the case at all. Rather, we’ve been busily researching property market trends and we’ve got a little pep in our step as a result.

Why? Because we’ve discovered that when it comes to transacting property, Christmas-time can be the gift that keeps on giving!

Advantages of buying or selling at Christmas time

  • Deadlines. The major advantage for property buyers and seller is the time pressure that the silly season creates. Most buyers and sellers want to be able to relax on Christmas Day without the pressure of a pending property transaction weighing on their minds. This motivates them towards taking strong action in the weeks leading up to December 25.
  • Demand. During this time, people move to and from new cities and suburbs, often to take up new job opportunities. They generally want to find their new home (or sell their old one) and get settled as quickly as possible, which creates a sense of urgency that builds momentum in the market.
  • Atmosphere. They don’t call it the most wonderful time of year for nothing. Whilst some people interpret this time of year with a generous helping of stress, the majority of us experience Christmas as a happy, positive time of year. The general atmosphere is pleasant and optimistic, which paves the way for productive property negotiations.

Disadvantages of buying or selling at Christmas time

  • Competition. Are you selling because you’ve already committed elsewhere, and the pressure is on to offload your old home? Chances are, there are plenty of other people in the same boat. This creates a lot of competition in the market, and promotes flexibility in other buyers and sellers who are more motivated than you to make a sale happen.
  • Crowds. People are undeniably busy at this time of year. While they’re out and about already celebrating the season, it may be a major effort for them to slot in a property viewing to an already bustling calendar.
  • Office closure. Over Christmas, commerce shuts down for a period and for up to two weeks, you may find that your accountant, solicitor and other property professionals are nowhere to be found. This can feed into settlement delays and potentially create issues – especially if you need urgent legal advice and you conveyancer is sunning himself in Vanuatu with no internet or phone coverage.

When all is said and done, deciding upon the ideal time to buy or sell your property is a personal decision that will depend on your own circumstances. While some people thrive under pressure of the silly season, others will prefer to take their time and wait until the new year so they can see what opportunities 2017 brings to the market.

After all, selling up and moving house can be physically and emotionally exhausting – for some advice on moving on, read our handy tips here.