Sellers – here’s why it’s actually a good idea to list before Christmas

You might think that listing before Christmas isn’t a very good idea as activity winds down, agents shut up shop or reduce operations for the Christmas period, and everyone gears up for the holidays – which should be more normal this year after last year’s Covid-affected festivities.

However, there is plenty to be said for getting your home on the market just before the Christmas period, as the number of eyes on properties at this time of the year soars.

The favoured Christmas pastime of most people is no longer watching the EastEnders special, getting up at the crack of dawn for the Boxing Day sales or playing board games that you never play at any time of the year, but searching the portals and agent websites for property.

With the extra free hours at their disposal and boredom seeping in, people turn to their smartphones, tablets and other devices to browse for their dream home.

This is no longer just a trend, but an annual phenomenon, as much a part of Christmas as pantomimes, Christmas pudding, the Queen’s Speech, sprouts and pigs in blankets.

Here, examining the data from recent years and the expected surge this year, we at Expose Property look closer at why you should in fact put your home on the market before Christmas.

Huge levels of traffic

Boxing Day has, for the last few years, become all about searching for property. With the excitement and stress of Christmas Day subsiding and plenty of time to fill, Boxing Day is when the portals experience a dramatic surge in traffic.

Last year, with various restrictions in place and advice to avoid mixing, traffic soared even more than usual as people were forced to stay inside, by and large.

Zoopla, for example, witnessed a record 70.5% increase in traffic last Boxing Day, a bounce which compared favourably to a 61% upsurge in traffic (impressive on its own) recorded on Boxing Day 2019.

The portal revealed that, for the whole month of December 2020 – up to and including the 26th – it experienced a 33% increase in searches for property in comparison to December 2019.

The website also recorded its busiest run-up to Christmas in well over a decade in 2020, with the market recording sales agreed on £62 billion more worth of homes last year than in 2019.

Elsewhere, Rightmove also experienced its busiest ever Boxing Day in 2020, with traffic leaping a massive 54% in comparison to the same day in 2019.

Visits from December 1 to December 28 were also some 57% higher than they were for the same period the year before – while, between December 26 and December 28, visits went up by 18%.

The Boxing Day bounce is now well-established as a Christmas tradition, and this interest tends to carry on all the way through to New Year’s Day.

There will some who are serious, motivated buyers eager to push forward their home-buying goals. Others, meanwhile, will likely just be doing some casual browsing with the hope – or expectation – that they might find their dream home.

Whichever way you look at it, the extra exposure your property will receive in this intense period of browsing is remarkable – staggering, even. And something that only keeps increasing each year.

Despite Christmas being a more normal affair this year, Rightmove anticipates the usual Boxing Day surge-fest to occur as per usual.

Whether the same levels of traffic witnessed last year – 51 million visits between Boxing Day and the first working day of the new year – will be replicated this year is up for debate, given the circumstances at play during Christmas 2020. But the numbers will still be huge.

“As soon as Christmas Day is out of the way, there’s a boom in people searching for property on Boxing Day, perhaps with time available during the holiday season and a resolve to enjoy their next Christmas in new surroundings,” Rightmove claimed in its most recent house price report.

The website expects Boxing Day to be the effective start of the 2022 home buying season. Typically, January is the busiest month for activity and portal traffic as new sellers come to the market and concrete buyer interest bounces back after the holidays.

The initial interest piqued over the festive period is then acted upon in the early part of the new year.

As a result, by listing before Christmas and taking advantage of the huge increase in eyes on your home, you could improve your chances of completing a quick sale in the early months of next year.

Waiting until early January to list, meanwhile, could mean you miss out on buyers who have already been enticed by another property.

It would also seem unwise not to take advantage of the massive increase in exposure your property will receive from Boxing Day onwards. However, the window of opportunity to list before Christmas is fast closing.

If you want to list before the festive period, you need to act fast, getting your home on the market by working with a local agent to get it valued at the right price and marketed in the most effective way.

A good, experienced local agent can help to ensure your home stands above the competition. Targeted marketing, home staging, well-written descriptions, and canny use of (seasonal) photos can all help to achieve the best price.

Here at Expose Property, we can help you to list your home before Christmas, using our experience of listing homes in Beckenham, Penge, Crystal Palace and other places in South East London.

You can also get an idea of how much your home is worth by using our free instant online valuation tool here.

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