Why you shouldn't take the For Sale boards down over the summer holiday period.
Have you noticed how all the For Sale boards in the suburbs seem to disappear the minute that schools close for the December break?
“This generally doesn’t happen because everyone’s gone away, or because estate agents also feel like a holiday, but because home sellers have the impression that buyers don’t go property shopping in the festive season and that it is thus a waste of time to try to sell during this period,” says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group.
“However, this is really not true. In fact, the summer holidays are often particularly busy home-buying times – and not only in SA’s beautiful coastal towns and cities – because this is when those who have been transferred for work and those who want to move to live closer to certain schools and those who want to buy for any other reason are most likely to have the time off to find a new home.”
What is more, he notes, the reduced number of homes available for prospective buyers to view means there is less competition for their attention and actually increases the chance of achieving a sale if you keep your home on the market during the holidays.
Some other things to consider before you give your home a “rest” during the festivities are the following:
It can’t sell if it’s off the market. “If your home has already been advertised and begun to attract the attention of buyers, taking it off the market now would be a serious mistake. You will lose any marketing momentum your agent has built up and have to start from the beginning after the holidays. You may not want to hold actual show days during December, but you should be available for any viewings your agent arranges – and any offers they bring you! Remember if you do sell now, it is very unlikely that you will have to move until well into the new year.” The current competition among the banks for new mortgage business is making it easier for buyers to obtain home loans and interest rate concessions at the moment, and this is also a plus for home sellers as it increases the demand for property and the likelihood of successful sales, Everitt says.
Your buyer might be especially motivated to buy now. “People buy homes throughout the year for a variety of reasons, but those who will be starting a new job in your area at the start of next year, for example, will definitely be out shopping for their new home this festive season, and if your home is off the market they will buy something else.”
Your buyer might not be a typical "family." Many sellers still think of homebuyers in terms of the nuclear family – mom, dad, two kids and a dog – but actually non-traditional families, working couples, empty-nesters and singles now make up a very large percentage of home buyers, says Everitt, and for many of them this is not the time to go away on holiday but a very good time to shop for a new home.
The holiday spirit might actually help you sell. “Many owners work hard to get their homes and gardens spruced up and looking their best for family and other visitors at this time of year, and that not only makes them more appealing but also helps potential buyers picture themselves enjoying holidays and good times with friends and family in this setting.”