There's never a huge Santa rally when it comes to property. Just a few too many many distractions, although estate agents will seek to use the persuasive closer – buy now, this is your last opportunity before February next year. That's not really the case anymore, given property is accessible via the internet even if it looks like everyone is off on holidays.
Auctions are scheduled through to December 22 this year, with most agents ideally, or more likely desperately, seeking to sell before auction. Private treaty negotiations will then continue until Christmas Eve and then through even to New Year's Eve, with vendors hoping for the occasional buyer seeking to finalise contracts for their special acquisition before the end of the year. Finding a solicitor might make things trying during the break, though. But the economist Christopher Joye bought his Sydney house on a past Christmas Eve, maintaining it was a good time to crunch the cheaper deal given the vendors had the property still for sale after an unsuccessful early December auction.
If you are thinking of being a fresh seller in 2013, have a conversation with your agent now about the marketing for your property. Decide whether you want to bring it to auction in early 2013, i.e. around late January or early February, or sell it by private treaty. Check on the agent's own holiday plans, as will he or she be around to show your home? Select the best selling agent for your property. Don't necessarily choose the agent who quotes the hearty highest selling price, as he or she could be overquoting just to get the listing and then crunch your price expectations down the track.
Pop the listing up on the agency website and other online marketing as soon as possible as a forthcoming auction or private treaty sale, and you never know, you might just get a buyer without forking out too much in marketing or any auction fees. There are still plenty of spring sellers who have yet to find their new home.
Be aware that February almost always achieves a higher clearance rate than December. Likely buyers return from their summer holidays brimming with enthusiasm.
While waiting for the early bird 2013 buyers, give the place a quick repaint possibly inside and out. A fresh coat of paint will brighten even the most tired-looking property. Consider the services of a professional home stylist and hiring new furniture before getting the photos done for online and print marketing. At the very least, clear out clutter and anything old or dirty to make sure your property looks its best.
Then get your summer garden in good shape. The Christmas holidays are a good time to spend some time weeding, cleaning out dead plants and putting in some landscaping that will make your property shine come early 2013. Consider getting a pest inspection and building inspection report done. It could be a good selling point, and getting it done early will prevent any nasty surprises down the line. Get your floors in order. Re-polish floorboards, clean and/or re-grout tiles, and lay new carpet, if your current floors are looking a bit tired. Even renew the outdoor paths and patio.