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Should I take my house off the market in December?

As we hurtle towards Christmas, is it just a waste of everyone's time keeping your home on the market during December - especially with a general election to contend with? Or could you be missing a trick if you take it off the market until the New Year? Let's take a look.

house off market december

Our research shows that if you haven’t sold your house by the end of October, you’re unlikely to find a buyer and be in before Christmas.

That might not have been your main concern. But now that the uncertainty in the housing market caused by Brexit has been multiplied by an impending general election, you’re probably wondering what to do next.

Should you call it quits, take your house off the market and look to start marketing again in the Spring? Or sit it out?

More people search online over the festive season

Although an election and Christmas aren’t the best conditions for selling a house, it isn’t a complete write-off. There is evidence that people use the festive season to make plans for the new year ahead.

Rightmove says straight after Christmas day people start thinking about property. The real peak in activity happens after Boxing Day. Over the weekend between Christmas and New Year 2018, Rightmove tweeted that it enjoyed 25,147,701 pages viewed on Boxing Day.

This online viewing is a good proxy for buyer activity.

Homeowners who decide to sell their properties but do nothing about it until January could be missing out; many people make moving one of their new year’s resolutions, especially if intending to change jobs early in 2020 so often start looking in December.

The Christmas holiday is also a time for visiting relatives and friends in unfamiliar places which gives an opportunity for prospective purchasers to check possible moves away from their present area. You may not want prospective purchasers viewing your property while finishing turkey leftovers but most estate agents will be open every day except the public holidays if you’re up for it.

And if you’re afraid prospective buyers will interrupt your Christmas? Then just let your estate agent know the days and times when you don’t want viewings.

People are still buying and selling

Let’s look at some other reasons to keep your home on the market in December:

  • There is a market! Yes it is suppressed – but demand still outstrips supply
  • While we are seeing discounts on asking prices, this also means you should be able to negotiate a discount on your onward purchase
  • Mortgages continue to be very affordable as interest rates stay low which is good for your prospective buyers
  • And not everything comes to a stand-still in the festive season. Last December, HMRC revealed the number of house sales year-on-year during December increased by 3.6% to 102,300

So if your house is presented well and priced appropriately it should sell now.

And if you do take your home off the market…

If you have had your property on the market for a few months and decide to take it off the market over December, you should ask your estate agent to put it back on in time for Boxing Day.

You could also take this opportunity to reflect on whether you’ve had the experience you had hoped from your estate agent. If you are worried your house has been languishing on the market for months and haven’t had the guidance or feedback from your estate agent then you could switch estate agent.

Take a look at other estate agents operating in your area and how they perform according to how quickly they sell properties like yours, how often they achieve asking price and more. You can compare agents by cost and performance instantly with our free to use tool EstateAgent4Me.

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