How to increase your chances of selling your home by Christmas

The additional stress of Christmas is enough to deter all but the most determined prospective homeowners from moving house over the festive period. However, for those who do wish to move ahead of the big day this year, a solid plan is essential.

Related topics:  Property,  Sellers,  Moving Home,  Christmas
Property | Reporter
17th October 2023
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"Since the pandemic, the average time it takes to buy and sell a property has been coming down rapidly. And it now takes just 60 days to finalise a deal"
- Klara Painter - House Buy Fast

According to a new study by the HomeOwner's Alliance, it now takes just 60 days to sell a property. This compares to a staggering 295 days two years ago.

However, with the clock ticking, this means that those wishing to wrap up a sale by December 25 should be looking to get their home on the market no later than October 27.

Klara Painter of House Buy Fast, says: “Despite the volatility of the current property market one thing is becoming more and more common - speedier sales.

“Since the pandemic, the average time it takes to buy and sell a property has been coming down rapidly. And it now takes just 60 days to finalise a deal.

“It means the race is really on once the For Sale sign goes up and what's more, there are a number of things you can do to boost your chances of a quick sale.

And the best news of all is it hardly costs you any money to put the measures in place.”

Klara says the key to success lies in following the steps below:

Find the right estate agent

If you want to sell your house before Christmas, finding the estate agent you connect with is key. They will be the proxy between you and the potential buyers. Speak to a few agencies and apart from their sales pitch focus on basic things - do they answer the phone quickly? Do they respond to emails? Are they easy to talk to?

Get your paperwork in order

First off, you'll need to prove who you are - you will have to present a valid passport and/or full driving licence, and a proof of address which usually has to be a paper version, awkward for many now so much is online only.

You can also ask your bank for your latest statement printout. On top of that gather all the certificates, if you have any: FENSA (window certificate), gas checks, The EPC, electricity checks and any warranties for work carried out in your house.

Get the house sale ready

Let's start with decluttering and hiding personal belongings – photos and valuables are best out of sight. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living there, not visiting somebody else's house. Autumnal soft light is forgiving and hides many interior imperfections. Use it to your advantage. Open all the curtains, put shoes away, and clear the countertops. Bake a cake before the viewings - is there anything more inviting and cosy than the smell of a warm cake on a chilly day?

Find motivated buyers

The right buyers will speed up the sale massively. First-time buyers have the great advantage of being chain-free but they may be held up by mortgage issues so make sure the agent checks them out.

Ask questions: is the buyers' house on the market already? Has it sold? Have the buyers' been issued section 21 if they're renting? Gather all the data and make informed decisions. Sometimes accepting a lower offer may be the way to go if you want to sell your house before Christmas.

Choose and instruct solicitors quickly

Don't leave choosing your solicitors to the last minute. Follow word of mouth, and ask around if someone completed the sale quickly. Remember that your solicitors do not need to have an office in your town. It helps though, you can sign and return documents fast instead of relying on the postal service.

What if it hasn't happened?

Do not worry, on Boxing Day, when all the gifts are open, people sit on the sofa eating a leftover turkey sandwich and start dreaming of a new home. The leading property portal, Rightmove, recorded a big spike in website visits on Boxing Day last year. Who knows, yours could just be the home of their dreams!

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