Tag Archives: Christmas

A vase of flowers on a vintage mini table surrounded by comfortable sofas and a burning fire place.

This is a question we get asked all the time at HomeTruths. The answer is, it depends on your home! Some types of buyers will only view homes in the summer time; others search regardless of the time of year. Here’s my exclusive guide to the buying calendar:

Young couples and singles: first time buyers often begin their first home search very early in the year. Perhaps they have spent one Christmas too many at home with their relatives, and realised it’s time to move out! Their search often starts in earnest in January and February, and in fact their purchases at the lower end of the market – apartments and terraced homes – then supports the second and third time buyer market – semi-detached and detached homes. This then in turn supports the larger properties, and so the cycle goes on. One thing to remember about young couples and singles, is that they tend to look at lots of different properties, and as they are not in a hurry, their search can go on for months, and even years! So be patient with them, and let them take their time to make up their minds.

Families: family buyers tend to buy at three distinct times of year: autumn, spring and early summer. Recognise the significance of these times? They are term times! Buyers with children don’t usually like to house hunt during the holidays. Firstly, because they have better things to do, perhaps going on holiday, and secondly, it’s a whole lot more stressful viewing a home when you have a bored and whiny child to contend with! Mums and Dads tend to wait until the children are in school, so they can view the house in peace. In addition, summer time is a time for playing outside and enjoying the garden, so ‘upsizers’ won’t feel as squeezed for space in the warmer months, and consequently their move may not feel as urgent. House hunters looking in September and October are usually fewer in number, but tend to be keener to make an early decision, so they can move in and start enjoying the house for Christmas.

Downsizers: Older couples and singles usually prefer to look at homes over the warmer months, so bungalows and retirement homes will often languish on the market over the winter months. Older people don’t want to venture out looking at homes in the rain and snow, and nor do they want to move house in the winter time. For them, summer is the ideal time to sell, and to buy, and this type of buyer tends to look at fewer properties, and make their minds up more quickly. It’s not uncommon for an older buyer to buy the first home they view, whereas a younger buyer will often view 20 or more homes before they put in an offer.

Know your buyer, and plan your house sale accordingly. Keep smaller homes on the market for longer, but take your bungalow off the market for the winter months. The less time your home is on the market, the closer to your asking price you are statistically likely to get, so plan your marketing periods carefully.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

A flower vase with candles on top of a table and a fireplace behind it

Trying to launch your home to the market during winter can be tricky. Buyers have Christmas on their minds, and keeping your home looking its best during this time is a challenge.

One of the first hurdles you’ll encounter for a winter launch is the photography. No one’s garden looks at its best at this time of year, and trying to make sure it looks attractive to buyers through photography is definitely difficult. Here are my top tips to make sure your winter photography looks good enough to attract viewings:

  • Use a professional – your agent may try to reassure you that he can take your photographs himself and save you some money, but it’s a false economy. Photographing properties is a specialist skill, and in the wintertime, even more so. Grey skies, bare branches, lack of light – these are all challenges for a professional photographer, never mind an eager amateur. From only around £300, you can make sure that your house and garden look pretty and appealing, so it’s well worth the investment.
  • Your outdoor images need to show as much greenery as possible – bare trees and bushes are not going to look great. Evergreen foliage is best, or your lawn, if it is still green.
  • Avoid photographing your garden in the snow, frost or rain. Low sunlight can look gorgeous, but it’s best left to the professionals to capture.
  • Don’t include any seasonal flowers in your images (unless you want to repeat the exercise in three months!). Snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses will all pinpoint how long you’ve been on the market within a few weeks, and may give your buyer a bad impression if your house is still on the market in the summer.
  • Inside, keep it looking as cosy as possible. Have all your lamps lit, and the fire too, if you have one.
  • Don’t ever have Christmas decorations in your property photographs – it will be distracting not to mention easily dateable!

Stick to these simple rules and your images will be good enough to tempt buyers to brave the rain and view!

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

Candle lamps with a small green plant over the rattan table with glass top.

Candle lamps with a small green plant over the rattan table with glass top.

From the beginning of November each year, many sellers start asking us the question “should I take my house off the market for Christmas?” The simple answer is yes. Here are my reasons:

1. Stale properties lose value. No one wants to buy a house they think no one else wants to buy, so resting it from the market for a while will make it seem like a fresh property to market when you relaunch;

2. With your Christmas tree up, presents and food everywhere, and Aunty Doris asleep in the armchair, chances are your house is not looking its best over the festive period. Give yourself chance to enjoy your Christmas without having to worry about how your house looks, and put it back on the market when  you and your house are both recovered and refreshed;

3. Buyers often disappear over the Christmas period, distracted by their own festive commitments.  Moving house usually loses its urgency for a few weeks, until the new year begins, when viewings pick up pace once again;

4. Your estate agent is probably also distracted, and too busy thinking about what presents he’s going to get to concentrate fully on selling your house;

5. Any advertising is often overshadowed by larger, sparklier adverts for gifts from the big advertisers, like John Lewis and Marks & Spencer; your house just won’t get a look-in with that kind of marketing noise.

So don’t panic that you’re off the market and no one will find you – very few buyers, if any, will be even looking. Also, have a chat with your agent before you do take your house off the websites; make sure he knows that you do still want to sell, you’re just resting the marketing. That way, if he does get a super-keen buyer, he’ll call you. In the meantime, enjoy a viewings-free Christmas!

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.