Selling your home or purchasing a new property throughout the festive season can be tricky, and there are pros and cons for buyers and sellers alike. Regardless of the season, there are certain measures that should be taken and research that should be conducted before entering into any financial or legal agreement. At Christmas however, there are a few additional factors that come into play that you should be fully aware of.

What to expect if you’re selling a property:

The property market is surprisingly kind to sellers around Christmas time, and this is because there are typically fewer properties available for purchase throughout the festive period. People tend to postpone listing their house until the New Year, and luckily for you sellers, that means that buyers have less choice and fewer properties to compare against.

People searching for property around Christmas time are likely to be serious about finding their dream home or investment, and therefore as a seller you’re less likely to come across timewasters. You can secure a quick sale throughout the festive period as buyers will be eager to move in before the New Year commences, and they will do their upmost to make the process as quick and smooth as possible.

Buyers often tend to have more flexibility when it comes to viewing times around Christmas as they don’t have to plan things around strict working hours, which means that you don’t have to spend late nights and weekends showing prospective buyers around your property.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows for sellers around Christmas time however, as it can be a manic time that is only worsened by the stresses of selling your home. Estate agents, solicitors and the council all take time off for Christmas so you must communicate with them prior to their time away from the office and make sure all paperwork is signed and ready.

Prospective buyers may also take a break, and the number of enquiries about your property could decrease as a result. Buyers who are still active within the market could then use this to their advantage by trying to bag a Christmas bargain and negotiate at a lower price.

What to expect if you’re buying a property:

Good news for buyers at Christmas time as there is less competition on the market, and you’re less likely to have to battle with other prospective buyers to secure your dream home. With less activity amongst buyers, you will have more time to explore properties during your viewing, allowing you to get an authentic feel for the house.

If a property is still up for sale during the festive season, then the chances are that the seller hasn’t had a huge amount of interest in the months leading up to Christmas. In light of this, you may be able to negotiate a lower price and spend the money you’ve saved on extra special Christmas gifts for your loved ones.

If you’re a buy-to-let investor, then you can prepare for the busy rental demand in the New Year by purchasing property throughout the festive season and expanding your portfolio.

Don’t be fooled however, as buying property at Christmas is not without its complications. Typically there is a shorter supply of properties on the market throughout the winter months, and in areas where property is in high demand, competition is fierce and sellers can demand higher property prices.

Again, solicitors, surveyors and other industry related professionals will be taking some well deserved time off to relax and indulge in a few sweet treats – so make sure that your mortgage in principle is completed and your solicitor is aware of your current position, and as the festive break comes to a close you can smoothly and quickly secure your sale.

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, it is important that you weigh up the pros and cons of being active on the market throughout the Christmas period. There are benefits to buying and selling around the festive period that cannot be taken advantage of throughout the rest of the year, making it an attractive option for both professional investors and homeowners.

Indlu are hybrid estate agents in Monton, Manchester, offering a no sale, no fee service from only £995 + VAT

Claire James