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Carly O’Brien
Written by Carly O’Brien 4th November 2015

Is there time to move before Christmas?

Top tips to ensuring your homes sells in just a few weeks.

With the summer holidays out the way, you may be thinking about moving in time to celebrate the festive season in your new home. But with just under two months to go, is there time to complete a move before Christmas and what can you do to speed up the process?

“The key thing if you are working to a moving-day deadline is to get organised and think about how to best present your home to a buyer,” said Gareth Paul from Michael Graham.

“A ‘priced to sell’ home – at market value – would generally be expected to sell well within 12 weeks but there are things you can do to speed up the process, for example, using recommended local solicitors.

“For buyers or vendors in a position to move and in an uncomplicated chain, sales can be completed within six to eight weeks, providing that in week one a conveyancer is instructed and by week three a mortgage is agreed and in place.”

Timeline of a sale

Week one – Instruct a conveyancer right at the start of the process to avoid unnecessary delays. You will also need a clear idea of your mortgage options, so speak to a financial advisor at the start of the process to confirm how much you can borrow on your new home.

Week three – Organise either a homebuyer’s survey or full building survey to confirm that the property you hope to buy is in good condition, and to decide how much you want to offer on your new home.

Weeks four to six – If there are no issues raised during the conveyancing or from the survey and there is not an extensive chain, by weeks four to six you could well be looking at exchanging contracts.

Week six onwards – Typically buyers and sellers like to have up to two weeks between exchange and completion to allow all parties to organise themselves once they are legally bound by their deposit.

Week eight – Complete and move into your new home in time to host your friends and family for Christmas.

Top tips for a quick sale

  • Using a recommended local solicitor can often speed up the process. Use of online or long-distance solicitors can cause delays.
  • Speak to your agent to discuss the marketing of your home. It might be appropriate to request additional advertising, new photographs or amendments to the sales brochure.
  • Think about how your home looks to outsiders. Remember, your taste might not be to the taste of potential buyers. Try to remove any clutter before photographs are taken and use strategic lighting and centrepieces to draw attention to your home’s best features.
  • Ensure all grounds and entrances to the property are in top condition – first impressions count.
  • Be proactive rather than waiting for people to contact you. Remember your conveyancer is likely to be handling several properties at once so if you haven’t heard from them take the initiative and get in touch.

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