Should I take my house off the market in December?
As we hurtle towards Christmas, is it just a waste of everyone's time trying to sell your house in December? Should you take it off the market and start fresh next year? We look at the pros and cons
Post updated: December 2nd, 2021
3 minute read
Our research shows that if you hadn’t sold your home by the end of October, you’re unlikely to find a buyer and be in before Christmas.
But that isn’t everyone’s main concern. The perennial question we get from home sellers at this time of year is whether they should take their house off the market over Christmas. Is selling a house in December a good idea? Or should you call it quits and start marketing again in the new year?
The case for selling a house in December
1. It’s a sellers market
As demand continues to outstrip supply, the market for properties, particularly houses with outdoor space, continues to be very hot. So if your house is presented well and priced appropriately it should sell pretty quickly despite the festive period.
2. You’ll be one step ahead of the competition.
Rightmove last month, saw a 14% jump in the number of home-owners starting the selling process by requesting a property valuation from an estate agent, compared to the same period last year.
3. The boxing day boom
Yes it’s a thing. Every year Rightmove see more and more people searching their site straight after Christmas. Last Boxing Day, visits were 54% higher than the previous year.
Moving house or buying a first home becomes more pressing as people set their sights on the year ahead and make plans. In fact there were more than 51 million visits to Rightmove between Boxing Day and the first working day of the new year. So it’s a great time to be seen by potential home buyers.
4. Low cost of mortgage borrowing
The double whammy of very cheap mortgages at the moment and the threat of interest rates rising in December and again across the course of 2022, means it is currently a very good time for prospective buyers.
5. Do Not Disturb
Why not keep your property on the market but ask the estate agent to operate a ‘Do Not Disturb’ policy, so you can get on with enjoying the festivities knowing viewings are being booked in for the New Year.
6. Reaching new potential buyers
Unlike last year, this Christmas holiday should see a return to visiting relatives and friends in unfamiliar places which gives an opportunity for prospective purchasers to check possible moves away from their present area. Taking your property off the market would mean missing out when visitors start checking out the local market.
7. More dedicated buyers
Arguably anyone who has time to go house hunting in December is probably going to be a more committed and motivated buyer. In a market where competition for desirable properties is high and supply low, serious buyers may see the festive period as the prefect time to look, while their competition are off wrapping presents.
Should you decorate for Christmas when selling your home?
In an ideal world, you’d get your professional photos organised through the estate agent before you put any decorations up.
That’s because your house is likely to still be on the market into the new year. The photos will quickly look dated and may put some buyers off.
It’s also a rule of thumb that your home should be clutter free and clean to make it look more spacious in the marketing photos. Christmas decorations, no matter how tasteful, won’t help.
Christmas decorations are also a very personal thing. Most buyers want to be able to visualise themselves in your home, which becomes more difficult if you have the Christmas decorations up.
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