DON’T PUT THOSE CHRISTMAS DECS UP TOO EARLY!
Christmas comes around quicker every year. It’s a fact! This year I saw Christmas goods in shops before the Halloween costumes were even for sale! What’s that about? But how does the Christmas period impact the housing market? It’s probably one of the most commonly asked questions I get asked this time of year. “No one views in December do they, we may as well wait until the New Year to market our home”. Ironically, this is exactly why you SHOULD be marketing in December and not January…
Yes, there are fewer buyers and tenants registering in December. Of course there are; with umpteen Christmas parties, Christmas shopping and a host of friends and family to accommodate, it is understandable that looking for a new home gets pushed down the pecking order. The question I would ask though is “are you looking for viewings, or a sale/let?”. With other priorities in December, how motivated do you think the buyers and tenants are that are actually viewing? Very is the answer. So, you may receive fewer viewings, but they should be of higher quality.
Then there’s the undisputable evidence from property portal giant Rightmove. The image above is their data from Christmas 2018.
As you can see there is a surge in page views by over 230% between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. What this means is that if you wait to market your home until January, you have missed the boat. You need your property advertised ready for this increased traffic.
However, be aware of the ‘new year new me’ brigade! Yes, page views go up over Christmas to New Year, yes viewings are at their highest in January, but guess what else increases? Time wasters and fall throughs. From my experience over the last 13 years I’ve noticed that the number of viewings conducted before a sale is agreed increases in January, and so does the number of sales agreed that fall through. But why? The ‘new year new me’ brigade. It’s well known that gym memberships increase in January, but how long does this fitness craze usually last? Everyone has their best intentions, but normal day to day life resumes and we fall back into our routines. Well those people that decided that they needed a bigger house due to the overcrowded table at Christmas Dinner, or (even worse) those who came back from relatives with a case of the green-eyed monster, tend to have second thoughts and change their mind. That added to the fact that more houses come to market in January, meaning more competition (which generally leads to a lower achieved sales price) gives even more reason why not to wait for the January rush.
But, the reality may be that you don’t want viewings in December. And that’s fair enough, you should do what it best for your situation. No matter the time of year, your home should still sell/let if you have the right marketing strategy. But whether you are planning to sell/let in December or in January, there is one thing that applies to both of you – get your photos taken before the Christmas decorations go up! Your marketing strategy will determine the price you achieve. We are in an Instagram world whether you like it or not, and people will judge your home based on what it looks like online rather than what it looks like in person. And if you don’t get people through the door, your agent can’t do what they do best and sell them the dream. Homes always look at their worst over the chaos of the Christmas period, so having your photos taken before the Christmas decorations go up is an absolute must. Bad news for those of you with twitchy fingers!
Get in touch with us today so we can prepare your marketing in advance. That way we can press the magic button for it to go live to the world on what date works best for you, whether it be December or January. This way you will stand out from the crowd of homeowners that weren’t given this advice…
By Dominic Marcel
Founder, Lion Estates