Homes listed at Christmas have 15 per cent more viewings, claims estate agent
It is because Christmas provides a captive audience as people are not at work
Buyers are often spending time with partners and family who they're buying with
I'm considering putting my property on the market, but is trying to sell your home at Christmas a good idea, or should I wait until the New Year when there is likely to be more people looking to buy?
MailOnline Property's expert Myra Butterworth replies: It may seem strange but December is a month that can present those selling their properties with an opportunity - one that not a lot of people are aware of.
In particular, the week after Christmas sees families come together and consider the New Year. This is often when decisions are made about a fresh start, something that may include moving home.
If you make sure your property is listing at this time, instead of waiting until the spring, you can make sure that your property for sale is reaching an audience that it may otherwise miss out on.
We spoke to two estate agents to answer your question and both told us that traffic on the property portals spikes after Christmas and that they even see a rise in buyers registering.
It's unlikely that you will get a rush of viewings between Christmas and New Year, but you will get your property in front of those interested in starting to look at places in early January.
Complicating the matter this year is Brexit and particularly the imminent vote on the withdrawal agreement deal. Reports show that property markets are doing well in the Midlands and northern cities, but concerns over Brexit are sapping confidence in London and the South East. You may want to factor this into your decision.
Matt Burrows, regional sales director for the south west for fixed-fee estate agent Yopa, says: The property market takes a bit of a dip towards the tail end of December as everyone looks forward to Christmas. No-one wants to think about surveys, mortgages and chains over their turkey dinner.
But over the past decade there has been a growing phenomenon with the property portals Rightmove and Zoopla in that their busiest week of the year is the one commencing December 26.
There is such a build-up to Christmas day but once the Queen's speech has come and gone, there is a vacuum.
People wonder what to do and the natural thing is to look towards the New Year and a fresh start. Do we upsize? Downsize? Relocate to Spain?
There is also a spike in relationship break-ups over Christmas, so this may mean moving out and getting a flat. Whatever the reason, there is a lot of traffic on the portals from Christmas day onwards.
So if your property is launching on Christmas Eve, you will be among the freshest stock, right at the top of the list and will get an enormous amount of interest over the festive period.
If you plan to sell your home next year, it may seem sensible to wait until spring, arguably the busiest time of year for the housing market. But rather than being the only property for sale of a type, which could be the case if you list over Christmas, you become one of say, 20. This can drive prices down as buyers pick and choose.
Some people question whether now is a good time to sell because the photos won't be as good as they would be if you waited until spring, when leaves are on the trees and gardens have recovered from winter.
The quality of photography will make the difference between selling and not selling, no matter what time of year you put your home up for sale. If you have poor photos you have little chance of selling at any time of year so choosing an agent with high photographic standards is critical.
If your property photos have been taken in winter, the advantage is that your home is clearly fresh to market. Those properties with parched lawns have hung around a long time and not sold, which rings alarm bells.
While we don't know what's around the corner in terms of interest rates or Brexit, we do know what is happening now. Properties are selling well, with 97 per cent of our properties achieving their asking price. This month presents an opportunity that not a lot of people are aware of.
This month, up to a third of buyers will register between Christmas Day and December 29th
Simon Gerrard, managing director of estate agents Martyn Gerrard, says: For most of us, December is one of the busiest months of the year thanks to an increased social calendar and the need to prepare gifts, meals and events.
It seems like madness to throw selling your home into the mix. However, stats have repeatedly shown that the period between Christmas and New Year brings a huge spike in the number of people searching for a home online.
We found that in December up to a third of buyers registering fall between Christmas Day and December 29, and properties listed in the Christmas period have at least 15 per cent more viewings on average.
It's the only time of year when you can guarantee that most people aren't at work, they're usually around partners or family they might be buying a home with, and the weather makes staying on the sofa appealing. Also, an impending New Year prompts many to think about any big changes they're planning, of which a house is usually one.
While it may seem like a hassle to put your property on the market during the festive season, it could significantly boost your sales prospects by making the most of increased internet traffic and ensuring plenty of viewings are booked into the dairy once January rolls around.
For those who don't want the distraction, we manage the enquiries on their behalf so they can come back to the sales process in January with plenty of prospective buyers lined up.
Selling during the Christmas period needn't be a headache, and could result in more interest, a higher price and a quicker sale - getting 2019 off to flying start.