Place your home on the market by 22nd October to agree a sale before Christmas
With this in mind, Fenn Wright have prepared top festive tips to help you agree a sale before Christmas and what to think about before you move, to make the process as less stressful as possible yet allow you to enjoy the holiday season at the same time.
Despite Christmas being just three months away, Rightmove’s latest house price index has found that it takes on average 65 days for a property to sell – from putting it on the market through to accepting an offer. Fenn Wright adds that sellers will then need to add another two-three months after an offer has been made before they can move home, whilst they exchange and complete. Although this gives you plenty of time to buy presents and organise your diary to attend all of the festive parties, if you want to move as early as possible in the New Year – new year, new home – you need to start preparing your home for sale now. The last thing you want to be stressing about is moving house over the festive season!
1. Act fast
The 22nd October is not too far away when you bear in mind that you need to prepare your home for sale before you launch it to market. There are lots of things to think about first, as presentation of your home is vital to secure plenty of viewings and achieve the best price. Things to consider include your home’s kerb appeal, cleaning thoroughly inside, tidying up, de-cluttering and fixing broking items. Photographs are key to gaining that all important first impression, whether it be on your agent’s website, property portal or brochure, so make sure you cover everything on that to-do list.
2. Pick a good estate agent
Choose an estate agent with a good reputation and track record in your area who will correctly value your home and market it to the best of their ability. Look for membership of a recognised industry body like the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which will demonstrate that your agent has a professional approach and signs up to a code of practice.
3. Choose your removal company as early as possible
Picking up your entire house and moving it can be a very stressful process, which is why removal companies are a life saver when it comes to moving home. Choose a company well in advance to book your place, and ensure they are associated with the British Association of Removers (BAR).
4. Organise your packing
If you choose to pack your house up yourself (removal firms usually charge extra to do this for you) don’t leave it to the last minute either. Allow a few weeks. Wrap precious items up very careful to avoid breakages and label clearly on the box that its contents are fragile. Name your boxes by content and room to make unpacking as easy as possible. If you’ve sold your house quickly and able to move before Christmas, make sure you label a box with your Christmas presents too so you can find it quickly and pop under the Christmas tree of your new home.
6. Empty loft space
Many removal companies don’t allow their staff to go into lofts due to health and safety reasons so it’s best you move everything downstairs yourselves. Again, if you’re able to move before Christmas, this exercise is a great excuse to find your Christmas decorations for your new home. Be careful though!
7. Let your utility companies know you are moving
Read all of your meters so that you can tell your utility companies.
8. Cancel registrations of local amenities
If you are moving out of your local area don’t forget to cancel your registration at the doctor, vets, dentist, gym etc. You might wish to consider registering in your new area, especially if you are moving this side of Christmas, just in case you lose a tooth in an overcooked turkey!
9. Redirect your post
Don’t forget to organise to have post re-directed to your new address – best to do in between exchange and completion. You can do this via Royal Mail’s website or at your local post office.
10. Christmas cards
How better to tell friends and family your new address than via Christmas cards. This will keep you in the festive spirit as you frantically fill all of your boxes.
11. Keep your valuables safe
Be sure to keep your valuables such as jewellery, passport, documents etc safe, ideally on your person as you drive to your new home.
12. Leave some information for the new owners
It’s quite nice as a new homeowner to have a few simple instructions left behind by the previous owners. These might include days the rubbish and recycling are collected or instructions to get the boiler or fire working – it’s going to be very cold in December! A ‘welcome to your new home card’ is always a nice touch too.