Is selling property over Christmas a good idea?

The traditional real estate market pause from early December to late January doesn’t mean you have to put your property sale on hold. Our team spends extensive time working with sellers over the ‘holiday’ period to prepare for strong February sales and to take advantage of any active buyers – who don’t stop searching for their new home just because it’s Christmas! Here’s our advice for sellers going into the Christmas season.

Prepare your home for sale

If you’re thinking of selling, December and January provide the perfect opportunity to prepare your home for sale, or meet with stylists who can suggest effective ways to present your home to prospective buyers. This is also a great time to call on local agents who can provide expert advice about the property market in your area.

It’s also worth remembering that not all buyers have the same routine. While some will be out of town over the Christmas/New Year period, many buyers from overseas – either returning home or visiting from a foreign country, take this opportunity to inspect properties first hand. Make sure your agent is available to these buyers when they’re ready to inspect.

Stay prepared for an off-market sale

We don’t recommend beginning a public sale or auction campaign until later in January, but if you’re prepared, your agent can list your property ‘off-market’ and contact prospective buyers from their database to inspect by request. In some cases, this results in a quiet, off-market sale, as it’s usually only serious buyers who will make special requests to see property during this period.

If your property doesn’t sell before the end of January, you’re still in a strong position. As February begins, refreshed buyers will be ready to look for new properties and yours will be ready to advertise and will be one of the first they see.

What pre-Christmas sales in 2016 have shown

CoreLogic data from the final week of sales in December 2016 tells us two things about Melbourne real estate sales: we’re not immune from the typical Christmas slowdown, but auction clearance rates still remain higher than those in all other capital cities!

Across Melbourne as a whole, the auction clearance rate for the week ending December 18, 2016 was a massive 75.7%, whilst clearance rates as a whole are down this year from 2016, we still expect to see great results in the final weeks leading in to Christmas.

To put these figures in perspective, during this same week, Perth saw a clearance rate of just 30% across the city as a whole, while Adelaide auctioneers cleared 61.4% of properties on the market. Sydney was the only city with a clearance rate even close to Melbourne’s, coming in at 74.1%.

In recent years we’ve started to see a trend towards sales ending later and starting earlier in the year. Across the city as a whole, it’s no longer uncommon for inspections and auctions to start well before Australia Day and the return to school. But we still recommend beginning any public campaigns after Australia Day when all buyers are out in force.

Trends for eastern suburbs sellers

Sellers in Manningham, Whitehorse and Nillumbik have the advantage of being consistently popular with buyers throughout the year, so while there is a Christmas/New Year slowdown, it’s far less pronounced than in other areas. The period also tends to have minimal impact on eastern suburbs prices, which means it’s always the right time to get advice on timing your sale, and making the most of your sale.

Get in touch with our team today for more advice about when to put your property on the market.