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Tips for Selling over the Christmas Season

08 December 2015
By Michael Kinsella, auctioneer with kinsellaestates.ie

christmas-tree1

Christmas may well be the season of selling but this has traditionally been restricted to reindeer jumpers and festive bath salts, certainly not property! But is this still the case? Over the past decade, our property market has been up and down and is just about levelling out now. If the last few years have taught us anything, it is that seasonality is a luxury for functioning markets and in Ireland, we are not quite there yet.

The run up to last Christmas was uncharacteristically busy due to the ending of the CGT waiver period (when properties that were purchased between specified dates and subsequently held their investment properties for a period no less than seven years could benefit by way of an exemption from Capital Gains Tax). This limited Revenue initiative encouraged new investors, drove existing demand and effectively focused the buying power of investors in the marketplace. It was not a happy time for owner-occupiers struggling to compete for their new home. It is also one of the most likely reasons for the slow-down in transactions throughout 2015.

With the New Year just around the corner, have sellers left it too late to sell or sale-agree their homes or investment properties in 2015? The good news is that the property season now continues, right through the jolly season. Here at Kinsella Estates, like every Christmas, we will be taking phone calls and dealing with emails throughout the holidays. In fact, we know from experience that this is a busy time, particularly with returning ex-pats who use the Christmas holidays as a time of house-hunting and research (in between rounds of visiting and mince-pie eating of course!). This year will be no exception. With the strength of the sterling against the euro, interest from UK buyers is already growing. Many of these UK buyers are Irish emigrants or they have Irish roots and are looking to return home or to pick up a bargain holiday home for personal use. The sunny South East has always been one of the destinations favoured by these buyers.

So what are the pros and cons of selling at Christmas?

Disadvantages:

  1. Certainly there are fewer buyers active in the marketplace.
  2. Accommodating viewings can be difficult with visiting family (especially noisy children).
  3. Christmas decorations will need to be handled with taste, recycled tinsel is rarely irresistible to house-hunters.
  4. Buyers might (rightly or wrongly) assume that the seller is financially motivated to sell quickly.
  5. It can be difficult to find a local estate agent willing to work over the Christmas period  – luckily this is not a problem in the Wicklow and Wexford areas as we are always on hand and ready to sell.

Advantages:

  1. Buyers who are looking during this period are generally serious buyers and ready to commit to the right property once they find it.
  2. With the exception of a beautiful, bright summer day, Christmas is usually the time when your home is looking its best.
  3. The Christmas season is generally a feel-good time and potential buyers should be able to experience your home at its most homely and cosy, with all the look, smell and feel of the season.
  4. With fewer sellers opting to bring their properties to the market at this time of the year, sellers who do will have less competition for a genuine pool of ready buyers.
  5. This reduced competition between sellers increases the chances of attracting a ready buyer in a shorter space of time.

So, if you make the decision to bring your home to the market this side of Christmas and to keep viewings going over the holiday period, here are a few helpful tips:

    1. Do go ahead and decorate  but keep it tasteful!
    2. The usual advice to de-clutter is even more important at this time of the year, remember, for viewings, less is always more.
    3. Curb appeal is crucial over the holiday period with people returning home so keep the ‘For Sale’ board prominent and stick to classic seasonal decorations outside. Top tip – your family and friends might appreciate your quirky personality on show in your garden but potential buyers are unlikely to.
    4. Be flexible, allow viewings at short notice and make the house cosy and inviting. It this time of the year it is difficult to showcase in natural light so create the feel of luxury and comfort instead.
    5. Most importantly ask for advice. Local estate agents know the area, we know the buyers around at this time of the year and we want to help you sell.

 

For specific queries or to speak with a local property expert about your buying and selling needs in Wexford, Wicklow and surrounding areas, contact Michael, Alan or Eileen Kinsella at kinsellaestates.ie.

Email me directly on michael@kinsellaestates.ie or telephone: +353 53 94 21718

on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 in News

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