Do you have your heart set on celebrating Christmas day in your new home? Realistically, unless you have secured a buyer by mid September, you may struggle to be in your new home before Christmas due to the lengthy timescales associated with the open property market.
When you consider the time it takes to achieve an offer, go through the conveyancing process and complete on the sale of your property; Selling in time for Christmas is already looking like a demanding and not very achievable task!
I want to be in my new home before Christmas!
In short, the average time it takes to a sell a house on the open property market is currently 5-6 months from start to finish.
You’ll need to allow around 90 days to achieve an offer and then you’ll need to allow an additional 2-3 months from the point of accepting your offer to completion.
There are of course instances where sellers are able to achieve a house sale in much shorter timescales, however, there are also instances where is takes far longer than the averages stated!
Even if you do secure an offer from a buyer, there’s no guarantee that your house sale will be successful. 26% of all house sales are reported to fall through before completing, that more than 1 in 4 house sales!
What if I haven’t asked for an offer by September?
In essence yes, it is still possible to achieve a house sale this side of Christmas. However, to do so you will need to be super organised and work everyone hard that’s involved in the sale to make sure you hit your deadlines!
Selling a house can be an emotional rollercoaster at the best of times, but trying to secure a house sale in under 3 months can be especially nail biting!
Follow these steps for the best chance of achieving a house sale
Step one: Declutter & Fix
It’s easy to see that making your house look lovely on a bright sunny day, when the flowers are in bloom, may be child’s play. But making it a cosy, inviting, festive haven in the run up to Christmas can be just as easy.
For some people a move at Christmas would be too stressful. Keeping the house clear of the detritus that follows days of festive entertaining in the wet and windy months is enough to send some people over the edge. But don’t forget – people need to buy and sell houses at all times of the year.
To give yourself the best chance of selling your property quickly on the open market, you should stage your home to show its full potential. Ensure your property is looking at it’s best: brighten up the property by carrying out any decorating touch-ups required and make sure you fully declutter and fix any of those small DIY snags you’ve been meaning to do!
Step two: Instruct an Estate Agent
Instructing an estate agent triggers the beginning of the house selling process. Make sure you invite at least three estate agents to value your property. This will allow you to compare valuations, selling strategies and fees. You may want to opt for an online estate agent because of the cheaper fees, but you must be aware by going down this route you will be responsible for directly handling all viewings and negotiations with any potential buyers. It’s also important to understand the different contract terms offered by estate agents to make sure you’re not signing a contract that will unfairly tie you in!
Step three: Make sure you are happy with your Property Listing
Most estate agents will list properties for sale on Rightmove. Believe it or not, Rightmove gets millions of visits a month so ensuring your property stands out against the crowd is really important, especially if you are fighting against time! Look over the listing and make sure you are happy with the photos and description. If you’re not happy, ask your estate agent to do it again. You should never feel nervous about approaching your estate agent and questioning what they have done. At the end of the day, you’re paying your estate agent, therefore they should be acting in your best interest.
It’s important that you price your property realistically, especially if you are looking to secure quick house sale. Estate agents will often suggest going with an asking price that’s significantly higher than the price they would expect you to achieve, in order to ‘test’ the market – you never know, you might happen to stumble across a buyer who is keen to move very quickly and prepared to pay a premium to ensure they secure the property before any other buyers have the opportunity to view, but the chances of that happening are very slim, so if you motivation is to sell your house and move before Christmas, you’d definitely be best advised to be realistic on valuation.
Step four: Secure a new Mortgage
There’s little doubt that the new mortgage lending criteria has had a massive effect on the number of people being approved for lending. Therefore, it’s vital to get your finances in order before you start looking for houses. If you can get a mortgage agreed in principal, you’ll be in an advantageous position compared to other buyers.
Step four: Buying your new home
So you’ve listed your property, you’ve got your mortgage sorted, now you all need to worry about is finding your new dream home! The best place to start your search is probably Rightmove as nearly all listed properties will be available to view! If you have a particular type of property you’d like to buy, why not register your interest with some local estate agents to get ahead of the game.
Step five: Choosing a Conveyancer
Do as much preparation as you can! Even before you have secured a buyer you could consider choosing a good conveyancer, which will speed up the house sale process once you’ve accepted an offer for the sale of your house.
Although conveyancing is a legal process when buying or selling a house, failing to research and find a good conveyancer can make your house move far more stressful than it needs to be!
Once you have received an offer for the sale of your property, don’t be afraid to chase the solicitors who are handling the buying and selling legalities. Most solicitors deal with a vast amount of cases as any one time, so it’s worth taking the time to ensure your property sale is high on their list of priority cases, especially if you’re keen to get a quick house sale before Christmas.
Remaining in constant contact with your conveyancer / solicitor will achieve a couple of things; firstly; it ensures your case is constantly at the forefront of their mind and secondly, and perhaps more importantly if you’re keen to secure a house sale before Christmas, it means you will be aware of any potential issues or hold-ups as soon as they arise, giving you the opportunity to resolve things before they hold the sale up too much!
Step six: While you’re Waiting for Buyer
As long as your property is valued correctly, the Rightmove listing shows it at its best and the supply and demand levels are working in your favour; there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get some good interest in your property.
Stay in regular contact with your estate agent and ask for updates on how many enquiries they have received and what the viewer feedback has been. Act on any feedback you can; for example, if viewers are feeding back that the living room is too small, why not temporarily put any large furniture into storage to increase the perception of space.
By following theses simple steps, you are putting yourself in the best possible position to secure a house sale before Christmas, however, there are never any guarantees when selling on the open market! Realistically, if you haven’t had received an offer for your property by the end of September, selling and moving house before Christmas is starting to look like a very unachievable task!!
How can I guarantee a house sale before Christmas 2017?
If you have already found your dream onward home and are having no luck selling on the open market. You may want to see how much a cash home buying company like Quick Move Now pay to directly buy your home.
If you need to achieve the full asking price, a cash home buyer might not be the best option for you, as they pay below market value in exchange for a quick, hassle free house sale. But there’s no harm in asking for an offer to at least consider your options.
What’s more, if you choose to sell to a cash home buyer, you are in complete control of your completion date. Quick Move Now can buy any house in as little as 7 days, meaning moving into your new home this side of Christmas is a definite reality!
It’s important to make sure you are using a genuine cash home buyer, as there are a lot of companies claiming to be able to directly buy your property when it actual fact, they rely on mortgages or investors to purchase the property on their behalf, leaving you no further forward then when selling on the open market.
Quick Move Now are one of the largest and original cash home buyers in the UK. We currently have over £6 million to directly purchase properties across England and Wales. There are no fees or obligations as any point of the sale process, so obtaining an offer is as easy! Simple complete our short online form.
Selling your house between Christmas and the New Year…
You may think it’s impossible to sell a house within the festive period, but that’s simply not the case!
As long as you plan carefully and follow a few simple tips, you should be able to sell a house at Christmas without too much difficulty at all. In fact, with a little bit of Christmas sparkle and festive staging, selling a house between Christmas and the New Year could be a breeze!
Don’t clutter with the Christmas decorations
Viewers want to be able see the property they’re considering buying, so it’s important not to over-clutter! Too many festive ornaments or tinsel will make your rooms look and feel smaller.
Keep your marketing photos Christmas free
Anything Christmas related in your marketing photography is going to date your listing very quickly. I’ts always advisable to keep your property photographs neutral and timeless.
Don’t be a scrooge
There’s no need to completely ignore the festive season in your bid to sell a house at Christmas, but it’s important to keep your decorations tasteful and make sure they don’t distract from everything your property has to offer.
Selling a house on the open market is as much about selling a lifestyle as it is the property itself. You want to help potential buyers picture themselves living in the property next Christmas. Definitely embrace the festive season, but keep it simple.
Go for a cosy feel
Following tips we included in our recent article ‘Hygge: the latest trend in home comfort’ will help your home achieve the cosy and festive feel without being overly Christmassy!
Remember, a large Christmas tree is going to make your living space feel smaller, which is the last thing you want when trying to sell your property. Going for a more subtle decorations will make your home feel festive without distracting from what you’re trying to sell.
Make sure your property listing is working, even when your estate agent isn’t
There may be less property visit happening over the Christmas period, but that doesn’t mean that people stop their property hunt. In fact, the ‘time-off’ many people have between Christmas and New Year provides the perfect opportunity to start a property search.
Rightmove has claimed that there are as many as 25 million visits to their website on Boxing Day and over 18 million on New Years Day, so it’s important that your online property listing is working for you, even when your estate agent might not be in the office.
If your property is is presented well and priced right in your online listing, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have potential buyers lining up for viewings by the start of January.
If you’re keen to sell a house at Christmas without the stress and hassle of property viewings and estate agent negotiations, Quick Move Now could buy your house in as little as 7 days. Timed to fit with your onward move, Quick Move Now can provide a guaranteed sale that will free you up to start the New Year in your home. Get a free, no obligation cash offer today!