Want to move by Christmas? You should put your home up for sale in July, according to new research. A study by Move with Us found that it takes an average of 83 days in the UK to sell a property, from first listing it on the market through to the final stages of accepting an offer. Conveyancing takes an average of 12 weeks, which means that the overall process spans 167 days: more than five months.
For many sellers, July will seem like an odd time to be thinking about Christmas, but the market in the winter is often slower than spring and summer. In some regions of the country, where buying and selling can take even longer than the national average, listing sooner gives a home the maximum possible chance of selling in time for the end of the year.
What can you do to ensure you move out by Christmas? Follow these five simple steps to help prepare yourself.
1. Have a fair price
Pricing your property is one of the the most important factors in successfully selling your home: too expensive and it will sit on the market for months, but not enough and you will not receive its full worth. During these busier months, it is imperative that you do not deter buyers with an unfair price: compare your property to the local market and contact several agents to obtain a realistic valuation.
2. Sort your paperwork
Nothing can slow conveyancing down more than disorganised paperwork. Ensure that the overall process runs as smoothly as possible by sorting your legal documentation is in order now, from contacting a solicitor so they are ready to perform the required checks to arranging your Energy Performance Certificate. This will also save you a headache further down the line, when you are rushing to get your transaction completed before it is too late.
3. Take care of repairs
Unnoticed property damage can also throw up an expected obstacle during the surveying stages - inspect your home now and fix the roof while the sun is shining. It will be far less stressful than trying to do the same repairs during the cold, wintery months.
4. Create a good first impression
You may be tired of hearing about first impressions, but if someone looks at your home and immediately wants to run in the opposite direction, you will struggle to sell your home by Christmas next year, let alone this year. Impress now and you will benefit later.
5. Take lots of photos
Good-looking photos are key to making your home attractive but after several months on the market, even the best pictures can begin to seem tired and old. Take lots of photos now, while the blue skies will present your property in the best light, so that you can replace any unwanted images when autumn arrives: cycling through pictures will keep your listing look fresh.