Understanding the listing period - Christmas


Christmas can really throw out the listing cycle when it comes to selling a property. Understanding this will help you to list your property fro sale at the right time, and will create an opportunity for you if you are a buyer. Here’s what normally happens when an agent lists a property.

The listing cycle - typical 

When a real estate agent lists a property for sale, they are usually granted a 60 day exclusive agency period (in QLD, check how long this is in your own State). The first week of this is taken up by communicating with the owner about advertising and inspections, etc. In a lot of cases it is at least one week after a property is listed that it is first advertised.

Most residential properties have a 4 week marketing program. After that they rely on inquiries from the internet or just general inquiries not related to the property at all.

By this stage the agent has already used up around about 35 to 40 days of their exclusive agency. They don’t really have long to go and without any fresh marketing, now is a good opportunity to try and buy. It gets even better with a week of their exclusive listing left and they still have no indication as to whether they will get to keep the listing. Often the agent becomes desperate (let alone the seller!).

Now, let’s throw in a curve ball. Christmas.

Statistics show that the volume of both inquiries and sales always drops off in the weeks leading up to Christmas. This occurs no matter what the state of the market is.

So for probably 2 to 3 weeks before Christmas there is reduced level of inquiries, and then for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year there is next to no inquiry... plus the agent is often on holidays!

Put this into context with the 60 day listing period and things become very interesting. A vendor needs to list their property with an agent no later than mid to late October to have an honest and full blown crack at selling their property. List any later than this and your sales campaign will be compromised.

People think it is just those that list in December that will have it bad, but think about if you were to list in mid to late October. Remember it takes about a week before you property to be first advertised, which means a 4 week advertising campaign runs through the quietest time of the year... and may not even make 4 weeks before Christmas comes.

List in mid November and essentially the last 3 or 4 weeks of the exclusive agency is wasted because there is no advertising and no one to answer the inquiries anyway!

So there is a distinct opportunity for buyers. But it gets even better for them.

Statistics also show that your first offer is often your best offer, and that is usually comes within 3 weeks of listing. What if someone lists in the first week of December? Remember, it takes one week before any advertising can occur... so there might only be one ad before Christmas! By the time the second week of January comes around and inquiry returns to the market your property has gone cold.

Smart investors should be ready to strike!

So if you ever plan on selling your home at this time of year, ask yourself whether you can wait until the New Year, which is seasonally when property inquiry is at its highest. Perhaps get everything in place... interview agents, arrange appraisals and spend your Christmas break readying your house and gardens. Sign up an agent in the first week of January and hit the ground running!

If you are a buyer, then actively look at and make offers on property before Christmas.

And also ask yourself this question, ‘why would anyone place their property on the market for sale just 2 weeks before Christmas?’. The answer is they probably have no choice.

If you would like help in buying property in Brisbane - at any time of the year - then click here to read about our Property Source membership.

Alternatively, if you already own or are looking for yourself and you have some buying, renovating, valuing, developing or just general questions, then click here to read about our Property Pro membership.

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