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

News at Howland Jones | 03/12/2021

As a seller, you might be wondering whether now is a good time to list your home, so close to Christmas and with the normal slowdown in activity before the festivities expected to return this year after last year’s unique, Covid-affected situation.

But, in actual fact, listing in the final weeks leading up to Christmas could be a great move because of all the extra eyes on your home over the festive period.

The favourite Christmastime activity is no longer watching the Queen’s Speech, playing charades, getting up early for the Boxing Day sales or heading out for a festive walk, but browsing for property.

This has become the pastime of choice for many during the Christmas break, as they use the extra free hours at their disposal to put their home-buying dreams into action.

The figures from the portals for several years now suggest this is no longer just a trend, but as embedded in the Christmas tradition as advent calendars, turkey and mince pies.

Here, analysing the data from recent years and the expected surge this year, we take a closer look at why you would be wise to put your home on the market before Christmas to achieve much greater exposure for your home.

Record levels of traffic

For a number of years now, Boxing Day – with the excitement and stress of Christmas Day gone and little else to do or think about – has been the day where traffic on the portals and agent websites really soars.

This was amplified to a greater degree last year when various restrictions and advice to avoid mixing meant many more people were staying inside even more than usual during the Christmas period.

Last Boxing Day, Zoopla witnessed a record 70.5% increase in traffic, with the Boxing Day bounce comparing favourably to a 61% upsurge in traffic (on its own massive) recorded on Boxing Day 2019. 

The portal also found that, across the whole month of December 2020 – up to and including the 26th – it enjoyed a 33% rise in searches for property in comparison to December 2019.

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

Meanwhile, Rightmove had its busiest ever Boxing Day last year, with traffic jumping a huge 54% compared to the same day in 2019. What’s more, visits from December 1 to December 28 were some 57% higher than they were for the same period last year. Between December 26 and December 28, visits jumped by 18%.

The Boxing Day bounce is now nothing new – it’s become an annual phenomenon which sees people testing out their new smart devices and using the hours of free time they have to search for property once the dust has settled from all the excitement, present opening and over-indulgence of Christmas Day.

Some will be serious buyers looking to progress their home-buying ambitions, while others might just be doing some casual browsing in the hope that something wonderful catches their eye.

Either way, the number of eyes on property over the Christmas period across all the major portals reaches ridiculous levels – and has only been rising year on year.

Rightmove expects the usual Boxing Day surge-fest to happen this year as well, although whether it reaches the same levels of traffic – 51 million visits – between Boxing Day and the first working day of the new year as it did in 2020 remains to be seen, given the unique nature of last year.

The portal said in its most recent house price report: “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.”

It says it anticipates Boxing Day to be the effective start of the 2022 home buying season. This is historically the start of a busy period of both new sellers coming to the market and a bounce-back of prospective buyers browsing properties.

January is typically the busiest month for the portals as interest initiated over the Christmas period is cemented in the early part of the new year. By listing before Christmas and taking advantage of the boom in interest and eyes on property, sellers could increase their chances of a quick sale in January 2022.

If you wait to list, you could be behind the competition and miss out on buyers who have already set their hearts on a property elsewhere.

Given the volumes of traffic that the portals and agent websites receive over the festive period, it would seem foolish not to take advantage of this by listing in plenty of time. The window of opportunity to list before Christmas is fast closing, so if you are looking to list it’s important that you begin the process soon. You should look to get your home on the market now by getting it valued and partnering with an agent to both market the home correctly and set the right sort of asking price.

A good agent will also help your property to stand out from the crowd – whether this be via home staging, clever use of photographs, snappy descriptions or targeted marketing.

Here at Howland Jones, we can help you take advantage of the Christmas surge and improve your chances of selling quickly next year.

Our offices are based in the village of Measham in the East Midlands, and we operate within a 20-mile radius of our base, giving us extensive knowledge of the local area. Measham sits on the border of four counties and we are almost equidistant from Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Birmingham.

To find out more about what we can do for you, please get in contact with us today.