Listing a property over Christmas probably sounds plain daft. Who is going to want to get their minds around mortgages and damp courses or curtains for the spare bedroom before the turkey and mince pies have even settled? Better, surely, to wait until the New Year, when life is getting back to normal.
Or so most homeowners probably tell themselves, even if they are desperate to sell their properties ASAP. Well, believe it or not, they would be wrong. It is true that not too many people browse property websites on Christmas Day itself – unless they are sulking because they did not get the presents they wanted or they are bored with the cheesy old movies on television. But Boxing Day is another matter, when there is a Boxing Day bounce.
On the major property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, viewings traditionally spike in the period immediately following Christmas. In fact, it is one of their busiest times all year, and when you stop to think about it, it is not hard to see why. In 2015 for example, Rightmove said its busiest day was Tuesday 26th with 4.7 million visits.
Most people take time off between Christmas and New Year and, unless they are gluttons for the Christmas sales, or are snowed under by family commitments, they will have time to browse their favourite property websites, perhaps on their new iPhones. New technology has revolutionised house-hunting. Even when estate agents’ offices are closed, or solicitors have downed tools for a few days, the hunt goes on.
Browsing pictures of desirable properties while sitting in front of a log fire may not be as much fun as drooling over pictures of beaches in the Caribbean. But it puts ideas in people’s heads. It helps them focus their minds on what sort of property they are looking for, how much they can afford and which areas they should target. House-hunters need thinking time and, in the post-Christmas lull, they often find themselves with more time than when they are working flat out.
New Year is a time for setting new goals and, for thousands, the most important new goal for 2018 will be moving house. But most are not going to think about it until 1 January. Why not try to steal a few days on the competition?
That, in a nutshell, is why we never say to those who are thinking of putting their house on the market at this time of year: “Wait till January. You’ll have a much better chance then.” The fact is that the London property market never sleeps. And it certainly never suffers from a post-Christmas hangover.
So, if you are minded to list your home this Christmas, go for it. There will be far, far more would-be buyers out there than you realise.
• Contact Kay & Co estate agents for details of properties for sale or to rent in Marylebone, Bayswater, Paddington, Notting Hill, Mayfair, Hyde Park, Fitzrovia, Regents Park and The West End (020 7262 2030; Kay & Co).