By Katrina Creer
The Christmas countdown has begun but not everyone will be putting their feet up this festive season.
Tinsel and baubles signal the busiest time of the year for many real estate agents, particularly those working in coastal destinations where tourists may decide to make their holiday permanent or buy an investment property.
Regional areas are also expecting a flood of enquiries over the New Year as the trend for remote work continues following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Good time to list
Braden Walters from Belle Property Byron Bay/Lennox Head said while enquiries in the region have tripled since Easter, it doesn’t mean they can hit the beach.
The agency will reduce their opening hours over the break but are expecting strong interest and even enquiries on Christmas Day.
“It is hard for regional areas because we fluctuate so much, we don’t have the same stability as the metro markets,” said Mr Walters who is Chairperson of the REINSW’s Residential Sales Chapter.
“Up here we need to be working just as much as we can because it could easily dry up.
“Between Christmas and New Year there is not a lot we can do with solicitors on holidays but as soon as we can get one to turn their phone back on, we are back to selling.”
One upside to the festive selling season is that buyers are generally in a happy mood and less demanding. Now is also the perfect time to list property with a captive audience over the holiday period.
“We do meet so many people we can generally sell things just from our website without going all the way onto the market,” Mr Walters said.
Wagga Wagga agent Matthew Newley from Fitzpatrcks Real Estate will also be working over the New Year period – with the exception of two dates.
“It is hard to escape but I love it so I don’t mind it as long as I can have Christmas Day and Boxing Day which is the same for most professions – unless you are a doctor on call,” he said.
“Long term agents know that is just pretty much the deal. People come and go through sales and think you can pick and choose when you work but that’s not it.”
Mr Newley, who is a member of the REINSW said the break between Christmas and New Year gives people time to browse online and make future decisions.
Most house-hunters are understanding it can take a few days to organise an inspection during the holidays.
“It becomes a bit like a New Year’s Resolution to move to the country or coast and they start making some of those investigations – it is a very busy time for us.”
Switch off if you can
In Dubbo, in the State’s Central West there is an unwritten agreement that most local real estate agencies will close between Christmas and New Year.
Agent Shayna Chapman from Bob Berry Real Estate said it is important to stop and recharge if possible before the hectic January/February selling season commences.
“We will have some staff on call but we don’t open the office doors and if people are looking to relocate all the marketing is online for that period,” said Ms Chapman.
“It gives staff time to unwind and spend quality time with their families – it is good to have a little break.”
Business as unusual
It is not just regional areas working hard over the festive season, with Sydney agents also expecting increasing enquiries.
Agent Mechlenne Douaihy from Merc Real Estate in Sydney’s Hills district will be working over the holiday period. Every year the agency sells property right up to Boxing Day with serious local and overseas buyers remaining active in the market.
“You are kind of away but also on your phone and laptop – you just have to,” said Ms Douaihy, who is also a member of the REINSW’s Residential Sales Chapter.
“We have clients who still want to sell off market, we have properties advertised and Christmas acts as a deadline and even after that you have people wanting to relocate before school goes back and need our assistance.
“We will put deals together so as soon as the solicitors are back, we have the buyers lined up for the property.”