If all you want for Christmas is to sell your home, then you should get cracking now.
There are now 71 days until to Christmas. It may sound like a long time, but it is closer than you think. Indeed, new research from Rightmove shows that it takes an average of 65 days to secure a buyer for a home in the UK, which means that a typical home should, at the very latest, be on the market within the next six days. Average selling time varies depending on where your home is: in London, it takes just 41 days to find a buyer, while those in the North East typically take 88 days.
How can you sell your home in time for Christmas? These 9 tips should help to make sure you have a buyer's cheque in your stocking on Christmas Eve.
1. Pick a sales method
There are lots of options available for selling your home, from online estate agencies to high street agents to FSBO services on online portals. The important thing is to pick one - or several - and get moving.
2. Take lots of photos
Photographs are key to making a good first impression: in an online age, they matter more than ever to make your listing stand out from portal crowds. But the Internet also means that you have unlimited space to make the best impression possible: do not be afraid to take lots of photos and make the most of that storage.
3. Price realistically
After the photos, the price is the most important factor in your property's appeal. Too expensive and no one will pay attention; too cheap and you will fail to get a good deal. Get valuations from as many estate agents as you can and research the average property prices in your area - there are many online tools available - so that you know you will not be overpriced.
4. Consider a "For Sale" sign
According to research from iProperty, a "For Sale" sign can increase your chances of attracting a buyer's attention by 60 per cent. Hiring one from an online estate agency, or making one yourself, can be an effective way to drive up awareness of your listing.
5. Use social media
Social media is an increasingly popular method of communication, so be sure to harness it. Whether that is creating a Twitter account just for your property, or simply asking friends to share your listing on Facebook, a little "like" can go a long way.
6. Sort your paperwork
One of the biggest slowdowns for a property sale is dealing with the legal side of the deal, from conveyancing to contracts. Sort your paperwork as far in advance as possible, grouping your property deeds and Council Tax statements together in an accessible folder. Get quotes from solicitors so that you are ready to hire someone as soon as they are need.
7. Provide an Energy Performance Certificate
You are legally required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate to a potential buyer of your home, so ensure you - or your estate agent - has one to hand within a week of your property going on the market.
8. Tidy up
Whether it is your mother coming round for tea or a potential buyer eyeing up the kitchen, a clean home is more likely to impress than a messy home. Keep your home tidy so that you can arrange property viewings at short notice and even consider a lick of paint to help fetch a higher price. Indeed, Big Yellow research recently discovered that a fifth of buyers (22 per cent) wouldnít make an offer on a property because it was too cluttered, while 95 per cent of estate agents say de-cluttering leads to homes selling for more money.
9. Break the chain
The buying and selling chain is perhaps the most perilous part of your property transaction: waiting for someone to sell their home so they can in turn buy yours. Do not be afraid to break the chain if necessary and sell your home first. Even it means having to crash at a relative's home for the holidays, or stay in rental accommodation at the start of December, it can help you sell sooner, freeing up more time to find somewhere to buy.
Photo: jojo 77