Written by Lisa Proffitt | 14th September 2021

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Why time is running out to sell your home by Christmas – and what to do

Propertymark, the leading industry body for estate agents, put their Christmas hat on this week. They revealed that the average time taken from offer to exchange has increased from 6-8 weeks to 13-16 weeks. Conveyancers, mortgage brokers and moving companies are still as overstretched as they have been all year, so ‘getting in by Christmas’ is only possible if the right plans are put in place now.

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2021 has been an exceptional year for town and country homes and the housing market still strongly benefits country house owners looking to sell. Propertymark’s data shows that 31% of houses sold for over the asking price in July 2021. Low interest rates, lockdown savings and shifting demand have been more important factors than Britain’s stamp duty holiday in pushing up prices and the end of the tax break is not expected to burst the bubble. If you would like to sell your home by Christmas it is still possible, but only if you get the ball rolling now:

 

Choose the right estate agent

That means someone with a track record of selling homes in the area just like yours. Whoever you choose, make sure that they have an extensive database of active buyers, that you’re happy with their local knowledge, and that they can tell you about the marketing strategy they have in mind for your home.

 

Set a realistic asking price

Given the current shortage of housing stock, if a house sits on the market for any length of time, the likelihood is that the asking price is too high. Contact several local estate agents to get a range of prices and resist the urge to go with the highest one.

 

Ensure the property is sale ready

Once we’ve lived in a house long-term it’s easy to become forgiving of or even oblivious to its flaws. Try to look at it objectively. Declutter and freshen up paintwork as a priority and ask for advice from friends and your estate agent. If they point out something that may put off potential buyers, take action before any viewings. 

 

Prepare paperwork

Contact a solicitor and ask them to prepare a draft contract so that when you accept a buyer’s offer you can immediately send one out. Dig out your property title deeds and the certificates for any work you’ve had done. Solicitors will also need to see ID so make sure everything is up to date. 

 

Plan ahead for removals and storage

Every aspect of the housing market has seen unprecedented demand. Calling van hire, removals, or storage companies to gauge their availability might save stress later down the line when you discover that they’re all booked up. There is no harm in optimistically booking ahead. You can always change the date if necessary nearer the time.

 

Choose the right buyer

When you get an offer, make sure the buyer is qualified. In other words, that they can make good on their offer. Your estate agent should immediately ask to see a letter from a mortgage lender confirming that the necessary finance is agreed.

 

Local authority searches

Local authority searches are a renowned cause of delays and glitches in the selling process. Insist that your buyer contacts the local council as soon as you accept their offer.

 

Keep in touch

Have a daily call and/or email with everyone involved in the sale, from the estate agents to the solicitor, to keep up momentum and get the deal over the line.

 

To see a selection of some of the finiest town and country properties that Michael Graham have sold this year, click here.

To view the current homes available for sale or to let, click the Property Search button.

If you are thinking of selling, you can easily book a free online valuation of your home now, or contact your local Michael Graham office and chat to one of our helpful team for some no obligation professional advice. Trust Michael Graham to sell your home and Christmas could look very different this year.

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