We have debated on several occasions when the best time to sell your home is. Indeed, many argue that winter is an increasingly rewarding time to list your property on the market, as lower competition from fellow sellers means that your home is more likely to stand out to any buyers house-hunting in the hope of securing of new abode in time for the holidays.

However, others may suggest that Christmas is the worst time to advertise a home for sale. Circumstances will vary, depending on conditions in both the local housing market and the climate, but to help you make the right decision for yourself, here are five reasons not to sell your home at Christmas.

1. You appear desperate

Why do fewer people put their home on the market in the winter? Because it is perceived to be a quieter time for buying activity. Those who go against the grain do so because they feel they have a higher likelihood of catching a buyer's eye. In some of those eyes, though, sellers bothering to advertise during the festive season may merely appear desperate to get any attention where possible.

2. You're targeting a niche of buyers

While there are fewer sellers to battle, there are fewer buyers too, which means that those who are still house-hunting will be seeking something specific: you will be targeting a smaller niche of buyers. Your home may be more likely to find a buyer, but that buyer is also less likely to be right for you. They are also more likely to take advantage of the conditions to offer below your asking price.

3. You're busy

Family. Food. Presents. Office parties. Church. Christmas is a busy time, not just for sellers but for buyers too. If you can secure a property viewing, it is likely to be at short notice, which could interrupt any other festive activities you have planned with friends and family.

4. Your solicitor is busy

If you are busy, imagine how busy your solicitor or estate agent is likely to be trying to close other deals before they sign off for the year. They might already be on holiday. If you receive an offer, the chances of closing a transaction in December are therefore lower, especially with January's busier period looming on the horizon.

5. Your decorations

Trees, tinsel, presents... In the run-up to Christmas, your home will most likely be decorated for the season. When trying to show someone around your home, though, such decorations will only get in the way, reducing the apparent space available to live in, as well as potentially blocking access to corridors, cupboards or fireplaces. Picturing a home as your own with your own furniture is a lot harder with someone else's stockings everywhere. Very unlikely, but also possible, is that your decorations - Christian? Jewish for Hanukkah? - could potentially offend or deter buyers who have another religious belief.

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    Carol McDonald