“Tanked and cactus” in the silly season.
Article originally published DECEMBER 7, 2004 –Reviewed and approved.
By Neil Jenman
“We’re interested in the property advertised for $1.5 million,” said the buyer, “Can we look at it tomorrow?”
“Sorry, mate,” replied the agent, “It’s our Christmas party tonight and I’m getting tanked.”
“But we want to see it tomorrow, not tonight,” said the buyer.
“Nah, mate, I’ll be cactus tomorrow,” said the agent.
Well, how about the day after tomorrow? Ah well, yea, okay, but not too early.
This is the property world today. It’s December and “the real estate season is over”. The silly season has started.
Almost everyone seems to be in on it. Newspapers are reporting “the end of the residential auction season”. Sellers are being told to “hold off” until February and March.
The property sections of the newspapers are slimming down as agents prepare to fatten up over the holiday season. One newspaper closed its property section on November 26 and announced, “We won’t have the real estate feature in December, but it will be back on January 29 2005. We wish all our readers a Merry Christmas.”
So, what’s the logic behind this real estate shut-down? There isn’t any. It’s a gigantic wag.
The only reason real estate slows down in the holiday season is because the industry wants it that way.
People don’t stop wanting shelter at Christmas, anymore than they want to stop eating. Housing, like food, is an essential human need. Consumers who need to buy or sell a home don’t lose their desire just because agents want to get tanked. Sure, they might have to wait around or put their plans on hold. But their desire is still there.
And that’s why the holiday season – especially the Christmas period – can be a great time to sell. Agents are scarce because, they say, buyers are also scare. That’s not true. Buyers are still there, they just find it hard to get service, that’s all.
If restaurants decided to close, it wouldn’t mean people would lose their appetites. The same applies with buyers. It’s the attitude of the industry that causes the so-called slow down.
So, here’s a Christmas tip for sellers. Don’t give up on selling your home in the next few weeks, just find an agent who is open.
Year after year, the figures prove it. Agents who stay open over the holiday season often do more business. December and January are the best months of the year. For agents who work, that is.
Oh sure, it may seem as if there are less buyers around. But, in reality, it’s only the sticky-beaks (or tyre-kickers, as salespeople call them) who disappear.
Any person who wants to look at property in the holiday season is probably a serious buyer.
If sellers wait until February or March to sell a home, yes there will be more people around, but most will be less serious. There will also be more properties for sale once the holiday season is over, which means more competition. And that’s worse for sellers.
For agents, here’s a tip for you. If you keep your offices open in the silly season – and you make some effort – you’ll be busier than ever. You know why? Because your competitors will be closed. You’ll get all the business – serious business, too. There are plenty of serious buyers around in the silly season.
Tanked and cactus – it might apply to some agents, but it doesn’t have to apply to consumers.
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But one thing will never vary: We will never stop doing what we love most – helping polite and honest consumers get the best deal possible in real estate. And, of course, if any agents are serious about taking care of consumers, we’ll help you too. Thank you.