8 Reasons Why Christmas is the Best Time to Buy Property
Once the calendar ticks over to December, the days start flying by and our calendars fill up with end-of-year events, Christmas shopping and holiday preparations. With all the demands on our time, many people decide to put their property plans on hold until the new year.
However, you may be surprised to know that our savviest clients are in fact doing the exact opposite, because they know that buying a property before Christmas can save them thousands.
This is why December is one of our busiest and most rewarding months at Cohen Handler. Many of our clients are picking up the pace of their property hunt because while most people are out celebrating and not searching for property, they have a greater opportunity to grab a bargain. And as Richard Branson says, when you find yourself on the side of the majority, then you’re on the wrong side; this is especially true of buying property at Christmas.
So to spread the Christmas property cheer, we have brought together our top 8 reasons for buying a property at Christmas. As you plan all your end-of-year activities, make sure you keep penciling in those property inspections as well!
1.Sellers are motivated
The process of selling a house can be hard work, so it’s no surprise that vendors may be keen to finalise their sales before Christmas. From preparing for open houses to negotiating complex agreements, vendors often just want to start their holidays with the peace of mind they have sold their house. What this means for buyers is that sellers may be open to accepting $20,000, even $30,000 less for a quick sale. Talk to your buyer’s agent about using their networks to find motivated sellers
2.The land tax motivator
Another great motivator for sellers in December is the impending land tax date, which in NSW and Victoria falls at midnight on 31 December. Any property owned or jointly owned at this time counts towards the land tax threshold, so vendors who are over the threshold may be keen to sell quickly. If you are looking to buy and are not concerned about the threshold, then you are in a great position to negotiate on price. Giving someone the gift of reduced land tax at Christmas means you can win too!
3.Less Competition with Fewer Buyers
We know how busy everyone is at this time of year, so it’s no wonder many people decide to take a break from house-hunting. We also know that many buyers who missed out on properties over spring decide to have a rest as well; the overarching effect of which is a “reduction in buyer concentration” – that is, quite simply, less people looking!
4. Real estate agents are motivated to finalise end-of-year sales
Just like everyone else racing to finish their business before the end of the year, real estate agents are looking to wrap up all their sales for vendors too. Not only does this benefit vendors, who can head into the holidays stress-free knowing their house has been sold, but it allows agents to bring in those last commissions for the year as well. With motivated sellers, hardworking agents and willing buyers, the end-of-year deadline can lead to good results for all parties. Have a talk to your buyer’s agent about all the “must sell” properties.
5. Agents and vendors are keen to avoid the influx of listings in January
Another reason both vendors and real estate agents are keen to finalise sales before year-end is to avoid the influx of properties in January. This is a pattern we see every year: as soon as the holidays are over, people kick off their property plans and the market is quickly flooded with new stock. For existing sellers, this influx means increased competition for buyers, as well as the psychological disadvantage of having ‘old stock’ which buyers are less keen on. Vendors may accept a lower price to avoid this increased competition. Talk to your buyer’s agent about making an offer.
6. Vendors listed for January/February auctions may be open to the ‘right buyer’ before Christmas
While there are benefits for selling at auction, at this time of year vendors may prefer the peace of mind that comes with finalising their sale quickly rather than having to wait several months for an auction. Heading into the holidays with the certainty that their house has been sold can relieve a huge amount of anxiety and stress, so vendors may be more open to negotiating on price to sell now. Talk to your buyer’s agent about “will sell now” properties listed for auction next year.
7. Vendors who have just bought may be particularly keen to sell
Vendors often buy and sell in the same market, so for someone who has just bought, the pressure to sell can quickly increase. With many services slowing down over the Christmas period (solicitors’ offices closing, banks shut for public holidays), vendors in this position may be willing to accept a lower price for a shorter settlement period.
8. The Christmas break is a great time to move
Our final reason for buying property at Christmas is that vendors are often keen to move during the holiday break. If you can be flexible with settlement dates to the vendor’s advantage, they may be more willing to accept a lower price; an advantage you would miss out on if you waited until January to buy.
So as your calendar fills up over December, keep penciling in those inspections and talking to your buyer’s agent. A great property purchase this December will make for a very merry Christmas indeed!
Our team at Cohen Handler has completed 14 purchases for clients in one week – so you can see, we are able to get in and take advantage when everyone else is stepping back – having a professional buyer’s agent on your side can make all the difference!