23 November 2023

Ask The Agent: Should I Wait Until After Christmas?

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As the holiday season draws near, a familiar dilemma arises among sellers: should they hold off on marketing their property until the new year? To shed light on this common query, we turned to Lorna – an expert sales negotiator with many years of experience under her belt – to share her insights and top tips for anyone that’s thinking of selling at this time of year…

Q: So Lorna, how are things at the moment?

A: I know that this will come as a surprise to a lot of people, but at the Chaddesden branch of Hannells, we’re still really busy. We speak to lots of other agents all the time and a lot of them are surprised by the number of new properties we’re bringing to the market and, most importantly, selling.

Q: And why do you think that is?

A: Well, I can only speak from my own experience but I think that Hannells have such a brilliant track record now and have done for so long that we’re now able to maintain a steady amount of activity pretty much throughout the whole year – regardless of what else is going on. It’s taken over 20 years of hard work and thousands of property sales to get there, but it’s now almost a “luxury” that most other agents just haven’t been able to achieve yet because they don’t have the experience, the longevity or hold the same company values that we do.

Q: At this time of year, lots of sellers ask whether now is the right time to market their property – or should they wait until after Christmas. What’s your take on that?

A: Yes, that’s a great question and I’ve already been asked a few times. And my answer is always the same. Providing that your asking price is reflective of the current local market conditions, there is still plenty of buyer demand – and there always will be. Most people’s motivation to move doesn’t just stop because of the time of year. If they’re serious about buying and the right property becomes available that’s within their budget, they’re going to try and secure that property whether it’s November, December, January, July or August.

Trying to time the property market is like trying to time stocks and shares – unless you’re incredibly lucky, you’ll lose out. My advice to anyone that’s thinking of selling is that if you’re ready to go ahead and get things moving, go for it! It only takes one buyer to spot and fall in love with the property and you just never know when that buyer is out there looking!

For example, last year in November and December alone we agreed sales on over 150 properties. Now, had all of those sellers decided to postpone marketing until after Christmas 2022, who knows what difference that would have made. The numbers really do speak for themselves.

Q: I see marketing from other agents promoting “record website hits” on Boxing Day and waiting until then to launch. Is that smart?

A: I don’t necessarily think so.

Most of the nation is sat at home on Boxing Day taking stock of all the festivities. Plenty of people will be relaxing on their sofas browsing social media and their Rightmove app. It doesn’t mean they’re serious buyers. Personally, I’d rather have 10 serious people looking at my property, than 1,000 people who have no motivation to move and aren’t in a position to do so.

One of the other common lines I hear from other agents is “If you wait until Boxing Day to launch, you’ll come up as a “new listing” on that day and you’ll take advantage of all that increased website traffic.

And whilst there is some truth to that, the trouble is that you’ll be launching on the exact same day as hundreds of other competing properties, who have also fallen for that line. So in reality you just become lost in a sea of newly available properties that could have already found a buyer had they not fallen for the “boxing day myth”, as we like to call it!

Look, we’ve been the top selling agency – by far – in Derby since 2005. We have a huge presence, generate way more enquiries and sell many more properties than the next best agent. We’ve always been open on the days between Christmas and New Year and it’s one of the quietest periods of the year – which means you waste the first few days of marketing. I can guarantee you that every agency in the UK will be operating on reduced staff numbers on those days – and yet it’s supposedly full of activity? That doesn’t quite add up to me!

Q: Good points! So in summary then, what’s your answer?

A: My answer is, unless it’s in the couple of days leading up to, or straight after Christmas – go to market whenever you’re ready. You never know who’s out there looking for your type of property and so long as you market at a realistic price and instruct a pro-active estate agent, you have nothing to lose. And of course, if you’re in Derby and the surrounding suburbs – give Hannells a call!

Q: Excellent Lorna, thanks for your time. Anything else you’d like to add?

A: You’re most welcome! And yes, I’d like to say a big “Thank you” to all of our buyers and sellers in 2023 and I’d like to wish everyone reading this a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

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