Seven Tips For Buying A New Home In A Christmas Market

12 December 2020

Christmas can be a great time to buy property – sellers are motivated and hordes of buyers who would have been your competition just a few weeks earlier have disappeared from the market to head to the beach.

You can sometimes pick up a great deal in this environment if you know what you want and have conducted research to understand the price trends in your target suburbs.

If you’re in the market at this time of year, it’s fair to assume you’ll be a serious buyer and ready to do a deal.

Perhaps you want to make a fresh start for the New Year, or settle the family into their new home and prepare the kids for their new school at the beginning of the academic year. Whatever the reason, it’s likely the agent and the seller are going to assume you’re ready to go. So, it will pay to play a tactical game.

Firstly, sellers may be just as keen as you to strike a deal. A fresh start in the New Year appeals to them, too.

As a buyer at this time of year, it’s essential you have your finances ready to strike a swift deal. It’s almost impossible to organise finance while everyone is taking a break.

Here are seven more tips to help you find your next home before Santa arrives.

    1. Research the local market and understand not just the price trends across the year but also over the Christmas and New Year period. The fewer transactions at this time of year can affect the data.
    2. Find out the seller’s motivation. Asking why they want to sell is not unreasonable, and the question can be posed in a friendly manner. The answer will give you valuable intel on whether they need a quick deal or can hold out for their asking price. If they’ve got a new job, or the sale is due to a divorce, you’ll know the clock is ticking for them.
    3. Be careful with what you reveal – the seller or their agent will likely ask you a similar question. If or how you respond will give them clues about how to negotiate with you. Don’t fob them off with, “just looking”. No one does that in real estate with Christmas on the horizon.
    4. Don’t make a low offer because you think the market is dead. You risk insulting the seller and their agent, and nothing will cut you out of a deal quicker than that.
    5. Start to negotiate at the lower end of price trends you learned from your research. Go in just high enough to get the ball rolling and expect them to counter.
    6. Be ready with your cash. Deals tend to be done quickly, as buyers and sellers want to move on with their lives. If there’s someone else expressing interest, you’ll need to move swiftly so don’t negotiate and then try to make it subject to finance.
    7. Remember, everyone deserves Christmas. The break can make it harder to raise people and hit deadlines, but even agents deserve some time with their family. Be reasonable with requests for inspections or follow ups.
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