Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Sales

Many homeowners ask us should they leave their home on the market at this time of year. Traditionally the Christmas period was always slow from a property perspective. When I started in property, back in the 80’s (!), we might as well have shut down the office from December 1st to January 10th each year. When the Christmas sales were over and the kids had gone back to school, house hunters began to emerge again and deals were done. It was very rare to even have a viewing over the Christmas period.

There were some exceptions. I remember in the mid-90’s agreeing a sale on the 23rd December. The house looked great decked out for Christmas and I think that this, plus the Christmas cheer, helped the owner get a good price. (My negotiation skills might have had something to do with it also!)

In December 1999, against my better judgement, a developer persuaded us to advertise a new development for an official launch in January. I will never forget the sight as I drove around the front of the office on January 2nd. There was a queue, admittedly only 3 people, but a queue nonetheless, to book a house in the development. The rest of the development, all 35 homes, sold out within the day. The Great Celtic Tiger property boom had arrived.

Now that the property boom has disappeared, prices are back quite a bit from their heights of 2006/2007. Some homes are down by 25%. Some are unable to be sold at any price, due to the lack of available finance.

So, back to the question. Should a house stay on the market over the holiday period? My reasoning is that a house can only be sold if it is for sale. The market is so tight that if a house is not in view, either on the web or in our offices, it will not sell. I am sure that some homes will sell over the Christmas period, maybe yours will be among them.

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