You could be forgiven for thinking that this time of year is maybe not the best time to be putting your house on the market. The nights are drawing in, the temperatures are beginning to fall and everyone is more interested in shopping for presents than houses, right? Not necessarily. According to Rightmove, last year the most active days for property searches were between Christmas Day and the New Year.
There is seasonality when it comes to house sales and despite perceptions that the market goes dead in the run up to Christmas there is buyer interest up to early December. People viewing properties at this time of year tend to be serious buyers with looking to move sooner rather than later. Often they have specific reasons for their search such as starting a new job in January.
Although the run-up to Christmas is a busy time of year, there are a few things you can do to ensure a pre-Christmas sale, even with just a few weeks to go.
Choose The Right Agent – This really is crucial. The best agents will have a database of registered buyers who are actively looking. They should be able to quickly identify potential buyers and contact them with the details of your property to gauge interest and follow up with viewings. A great agent will have good line of communication with you throughout the whole process, regardless of whether it’s a busy time of year or not – keeping things moving and will have a proactive approach to marketing your property.
Choose a Good Conveyancer – the wrong choice of solicitor can really slow things down when it comes to a house sale. Choose a solicitor that has a great reputation for being organised and keeping you informed. Which? recommends hiring solicitors offering fixed-price “no sale, no fee” conveyancing which ensures they will be just as invested as you are in handling the whole process as efficiently as possible.
First Impressions Count – Amazingly reports suggest that a buyer can make up their minds within the first 5 minutes of a house viewing, so that first impression really is all important. Touch up any paintwork, finish off any unfinished DIY and de-clutter. It may even be worth getting in a professional cleaning company for a deep clean so you only have to keep on top of things between viewings. When it comes to Christmas decorations, less is most definitely more! You’ll want to create a lovely, warm festive atmosphere, but at the same time you don’t want to detract from the property. It may be hard for prospective buyers to picture themselves living in your home if they can’t see past 10 Santa’s and are blinded by twinkling fairy lights!
Get it Right from the Start – Marketing your property starts way before anyone sets foot through the front door. When a buyer starts looking for a house, they generally start online. This means your property must stand out from the rest. Make sure there are good quality photos of every room as well as the garden. Lots of agents will now send a professional photographer to ensure your property photos are the best they can be.
One of the great things about selling your property this time of year is that you can make the most of the festive season to create a lovely, warm, cosy atmosphere that’ll have prospective buyers seeing themselves living in your home. Don’t forget the mince pies!
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