Real Estate

Is Christmas a Good Time for Buying or Selling a Home in the Cayman Islands?

October 7, 2020
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Let’s look at the possible advantages and disadvantages of trying to buy or sell the property during the holiday period.

Common sense tells us that looking to buy or sell a property during the run-up to Christmas and New Year is a bad idea, especially in a place with such a strong Christian tradition as the Cayman Islands. People are too busy and distracted, holiday plans are being made, and many offices and businesses will be closed or working restricted hours.

The truth is, with a pandemic still restricting trade and movement, and remote viewing of properties and online video meetings with real estate brokers and their clients becoming commonplace, the process of putting a buyer and seller together to make a deal is now a 24/7 opportunity, from anywhere in the world.

So, let’s look at the dynamics at play and the possible advantages and disadvantages of trying to buy or sell the property during the holiday period:

For Buyers

The Good News

  • People who follow the common-sense model will not be actively pursuing a property deal during this period, meaning potential buyers have less competition.
  • There may be bargains and generous discounts available if a seller is nervous about not getting any offers for their residential property for sale in the Cayman Islands during the holiday season and adjusts the asking price downwards as an incentive.
  • Fast closing of a deal is more likely, as the psychological pressure to tie up all loose ends in a quick settlement will be greater as the year comes to an end when the human instinct for change and a fresh start always peaks.
  • The seller may be very motivated and need a quick sale, but is not confident that the holiday season is a good time to sell – resulting in a greater possibility for discounts.

The Bad News 

  • What works to make sellers nervous at this time of the year also works for buyers: With so much business on hold over Christmas and so many people on holiday, things can potentially take a lot longer to finalize, and the settlement process can become drawn out.
  • Moving house over the Christmas holidays? It’s not a thrilling idea, what with everything else going on.
  • As already noted, this is not seen as a traditional time of year to buy or sell properties, so sellers may have temporarily taken a property off the market, or could delay listing it until the new year, making the right property at the right price harder to find.

For Sellers

The Good News

  • With fewer people thinking this is the ideal time to sell, there are fewer properties on the market and less competition for buyers – possibly resulting in more interest and a potentially bigger sale price.
  • Christmas is a traditional visitor season in the Cayman Islands, and some of those visitors could be looking to buy a second or investment home or be planning to relocate. This is the perfect time to attract their attention.
  • A buyer actively looking to buy over the Christmas period is likely to be a motivated buyer and has a tight schedule in mind for completing a purchase and moving quickly in the new year, resulting in a quick settlement without protracted price negotiations.
  • People like to think about a fresh start at the beginning of a new year. By listing Cayman Islands real estate for sale by owner in advance, a seller beats the competition to the market.

The Bad News

  • People are distracted by the holidays, and potential buyers can be either fewer in number or trying to do too much with too little time, resulting in fewer offers or drawn-out negotiations.
  • Real estate agents, lawyers, and mortgage brokers are human too (yes, really) and enjoy holidays as much as the rest of us. If one link in your selling chain fails because someone is unavailable over the festive season, there will be repercussions and possible delays in reaching a settlement.
  • Listing and organizing viewings (even by remote videoconferencing) over the festive season means the property must be ready to view at any time. Remember the mess and chaos of Christmases past in your home? Good luck having a merry Christmas atmosphere while trying to keep a crowded party house in show-home condition for a potential buyer to view at any time.