Ask your agent

Ching-He Huang

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Is there any point putting my home on the market this side of Christmas?

Most estate agents will tell you there is nothing to be gained by waiting – whatever the time of year or state of the market.

Cynics might suggest that this is just blatant self-serving nonsense (and to be frank, in some cases it might be!), but generally speaking it is perfectly sound advice.

That’s because (assuming that you, like the vast majority of people, are looking to sell in order to buy somewhere else) the ‘swings and roundabouts’ principle on which the property market tends to operate always applies.

Or at least, nearly always. The one real exception is generally the Christmas period, when most people have other things on their minds than looking at property.

For that very reason, many agents advise against rushing to market this close to the start of the festive season, and instead suggest that you make the best use of the enforced lull by getting everything organised so that you’re in the best position to take full advantage of the traditional post-Christmas surge in buyer activity.

In this kind of scenario, the received wisdom is that - rather than simply putting your planned house sale on hold for the next few weeks - you should turn this enforced lull to your advantage by putting everything in place, so that you can hit the ground running immediately the festive season is over.

And the key thing here is to choose and instruct your estate agent, so that he or she can get started on things like commissioning your Energy Performance Certificate, taking good-quality photographs, preparing marketing materials, and generally advising you on any little things you can do to improve the buyer-appeal of your home.

As I said, this is the received wisdom.

Nevertheless…it just so happens that this year, there is actually quite a shortage of well-priced properties on the market, right now!

Many agents have buyers absolutely champing at the bit. And if there’s one thing better than having everything ready to go to market in January, it’s having a sale already in the bag!

So, when all’s said and done, my best advice is: ask your agent.

At the very least, he or she may suggest uploading your home onto the net before Christmas, to help stimulate latent interest, even while the office is closed.