DON’T GET SNOWED UNDER IN THE BOXING DAY BLIZZARD
Published 1 December 2023
Boxing Day: it’s a peculiarly British phenomenon, writes Natasha Wright. It dates back to the 19th century, when wealthy families would pack gifts in boxes for the less fortunate. Families of workers and servants would receive special Christmas boxes from their employers, and be given the day off to spend with their families.
In more recent times, Boxing Day has taken on a more frantic, commercial significance. Although the trend has receded a little in recent years, the Boxing Day Sale is still a big event in the retail world. For many years, the day after Christmas Day was the busiest of the year for holiday companies taking bookings.
And in the housing market, the ‘Boxing Day Bounce’ is still referred to, a time when people cleared away the crackers and the turkey and started planning their next home. But is it still a thing?
There can be no doubt that the advent of property portals such as Rightmove have made such post-festive searches easier. Such websites do indeed report a surge in visits on 26th December, so perhaps there is some truth in the ‘bounce’. But is it the best time to be launching your home onto the market?
First of all, let’s remember that quantity and quality are not the same thing. Yes, thousands of people may casually log on to browse the homes for sale while they munch on yet another mince pie, with one eye on that re-run of The Great Escape on the telly. But in their distracted, sherry-induced torpor, are they really paying attention?
And if you do decide to launch your home onto the market on Boxing Day, is there a danger that it will get lost in the blizzard of other homes which agents have encouraged vendors to put up the For Sale boards outside on the same day?
Maybe it is time to think and do different, as they say here in Norfolk. If you are serious about selling and want to be seen as such, there is still time to get your property onto the market before Christmas. It will still be there for the Boxing Day browsers, but will also catch the eye of potential buyers in the days leading up to the festive period, when far fewer homes are launched.
Alternatively, you may consider that the serious potential buyers are more likely to wait until the new year to start their search, doing so in the more sober month of January. So it might be worth waiting until (very early) new year to come to market. Those many Boxing Day properties will have slipped down the Rightmove listings, to be replaced with the newly-launched ones ready for those serious buyers.
It can be tempting to follow the flock and do the predictable thing. But at Christmas, the only sheep we really want to see are those being watched over by the awe-struck shepherds.
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