*UNsponsored post co-written with Rakesh Gupta, Director at Melbourne-based mortgage broker ARG Finance.
There are many reasons that underpin why someone decides to sell their home. Significant events like moving cities for a new job, upsizing due to the birth of a second child, downsizing as children become adults, moving for the lifestyle benefits – all are possible reasons.
Because such events are sometimes unplanned and random, there might come a time when you will sell your house during the holidays. If it ever happens, a common question that all sellers ask themselves is whether selling their home over the holiday period really such a good idea?
While the process of selling a house is already stressful enough on its own, needing to worry about whether people would show up for inspections when you sell your house during the holidays will intensify the worry.
Many agents consider the holidays as an industry “black zone” – a time when sellers should take their homes off the market temporarily. Yet, many others advocate for selling houses during holiday seasons because there is less competition on the market that could work in the seller’s favour.
So what should a seller do when faced with such a decision? In this post we try to help guide you through some of the pros and cons of selling your home during the holiday season.
Pros of selling over the holidays
The need of getting the kids ready for school
The holidays before the New Year usually entail anxious parents getting their children ready for school. That means getting uniforms, books, schedules and a family home ready. Parents who are hunting for a family home just before the new school year has the added motivation to finalize a purchase deal before the 1st day of school, which means an increased likelihood of paying more just to make it happen.
Lack of competitors / house supply
The number of available houses for sale generally decreases during the holidays because of the “black zone” period. The lack of supply also means reduced competition between sellers, leaving buyers with limited buying options. As there are more buyers than sellers, selling in such a market would increase your chances of getting a better price than what you originally expected.
More free time for inspections
Those who have experienced the chore that is Saturday house inspections, they understand the hardship of holding a full time job while looking for the perfect home. Motivated buyers on a break from work however means there is more time to pound the pavement looking for their dream homes. That will lead to more home inspections, and more chances for someone to fall in love with your house and willing to pay a higher price for it.
Everyone’s merry on holidays
You know that happy feeling you get when you are on holidays? Yes, the one that makes you spend more than you normally would. Home buyers on holidays experience the same free-spending euphoria, and that’s something a seller should take advantage of. All you have to do is show them a house worthy to buy.
Cons of selling during the holidays
Lack of buyers in market
The obvious downside of selling your house during the holiday season is the lack of interested parties due to everyone being on holidays. A key factor to obtaining a high sale price is competition amongst buyers. Without it, there is a high chance that the few buyers left in the market will not be willing to pay premium prices for your property.
Stigma of property rejects
If your property doesn’t sell during the holiday period due to lack of buyers, it might fall into the stigma of being an unwanted property. This negative sentiment will lead buyers to wonder why it wasn’t sold in the first place; concerns like structural problems, pest infestation, and illegal constructions will start to creep into the buyer’s mind. When the stigma sticks, it will be difficult to sell your property.
Delays in closing of deal
The whole real estate buying process involves not only the seller and buyer of the house; it also involves lawyers, surveyors, councils, banks etc. There is a high probability that a key stakeholder will be unavailable during the holidays which will delay the selling process. Problems such as missed deadlines, financial penalties, and inefficient workflows can all contribute to unnecessary angst.
Where are the real estate agents?
Real estate agents are human and need rest too. Because it is the holidays, agents are likely to take time off as well along with the rest of the market. Without the key stakeholder agents around to help you promote your property in its best light, it will be difficult to reach an appropriate market, leading to lower chances of obtaining a good sale price.
It is important to note that the property market has changed significantly over the years. While selling a property over the holidays has its pros and cons, the downside risks mentioned above have largely been mitigated by technology.
The ability to view a property 24/7 online for example has played a major part in improving transparency amongst both sellers and buyers of real estate, driven by disruptive players like Realestate.com and Domain.
The factor of people needing to physically inspect a property before making a purchase decision is less relevant now compared to 5 years ago. What hasn’t changed though is the need to present to the market a property that ticks all the right boxes.
Good luck with your decision!
P.S : If you have been following my articles, you know that I am not a big propagator for real estate investing. I’ve written before on why I think property values are under pressure; my strategy would be to sell into a strong market and bank my profits. Rakesh approached me with this topic discussed in today’s post, and I thought it was a great piece to share with you if you were in the market to sell your property. I’d like to make clear that this is not a sponsored post, and this post is not trying to sell you a product. It’s only about sharing great ideas to keep you well informed.