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99 Days Til Christmas – Can You Move Home Before The Holidays?

  1. 18 September 2017
  2. By Andi Michael

It might feel like an impossible task, trying to sell your home before Christmas is upon us, but at reallymoving we know that being in your new home for the holidays can be important. We have a collection of tips and tricks to get you eating mince pies in your new property quicker than Santa wriggles down a chimney.



It might not be easy, but it’s entirely possible, so whether you’re moving to a bigger home and hoping to have everyone around the table for Christmas dinner, or you’re moving to be nearer to family, reallymoving can help you feel festive whilst moving house.

Are you sure?

Money and time are inverse and one is usually chosen over the other – if you’re looking to move quickly, it’s likely there will be some monetary sacrifices. That might mean paying more in moving fees, if you’re moving right before Christmas, or it might mean accepting a lower offer on your home, just to make sure you can move as quickly as possible. Assess what matters most to you. Residential property specialists HomeTrack noted that it takes an average of 6 weeks to sell a house, varying by location (only 4 weeks in Greater London, but up to 10 weeks in the North East). You can make this quicker by lowering expectations, and working as quickly as possible.
So, it’s a race against time - are you ready?

Prepping your Home

You’re much more likely to sell your home more quickly if you put the effort into making it look great. You may not have the time to do everything you want, but identify the problem areas, fix what you can, and give the property a good, deep clean. Selling, donating or recycling as much as you can will not only make your property look better, but will make it easier for you when packing to move. Get your family and friends in to help, get out the bin bags and make sure you don’t spend too long wondering if you’re ever going to use that spare waffle maker – you’re on a deadline. If you haven’t used it/worn it/thought about it for 6 months, let it go.

When it comes to making sure your property looks as appealing as possible, small details make a big difference – let as much natural light into the property as you can, ensure windows are thoroughly cleaned, and keep any pets out of the way. Even if you don’t have the time or energy to repaint, make the effort with small things – fixing that broken door handle, or finally fixing the angle on that wonky picture frame.

Pricing Your Property

Do your research and be realistic. If you want an excellent price for your property, you’ll be waiting those full 6 weeks, if not more. Look at what else has sold nearby recently, consider the price and what your property has to offer in comparison. Price yourself fairly, or at least, work out what the lowest offer you’ll be happy with is, and get that property on the market. You want a buyer who is thrilled at what a good deal they’re getting, and can move quickly. This might mean favouring cash buyers, or being clear to your estate agent that you don’t want anyone in a chain. You might promote the features of your home as advantageous to a first time buyer, who will not have the issue of selling their home, and could move forward more quickly. Be clear with your estate agent about your timeline and what you want.

Know where, what, why

It’s likely that If you’re eager to move before Christmas, you know where you want to go. Do your research, adapt your expectations and know exactly what you’re likely to get for your money. It’s a game of compromise – do you need a fully furnished home, over a fixer upper? Are there elements that aren’t as important, like having a garden, a drive, or being near a station? Work out what your absolute necessities are, and what you’re willing to be flexible on. Having too clear an idea of what you want will have you searching for properties for months. For every sticking point, have a flexible element – if you need to be in a certain area, but those houses don’t seem to have a second bathroom, decide which one is more important.

If time is limited, and you’re moving quite far away, ensure you book as many viewings as you can on the same day, and blitz your buying opportunities. Take pictures, keep lists and assess at the end of the day.

If you’re going to need a mortgage, do your research and find a good deal as soon as possible.

Find a trusted conveyancing solicitor

Even when you’re against the clock, you’re going to need a highly qualified conveyancing solicitor to make sure everything is above board, and the paperwork and payments go through smoothly. Pick trusted companies with great reviews and make it clear from the beginning that your main priority is to move in by Christmas. Ask them when their offices close for the holidays, how many people are working in the office, and if they can work to your deadline.

Get a survey 

You like the property, it seems great, and you’re in a rush – it would be easy to just leave the survey, it looks fine, right? No! A survey is an absolutely necessary part of the process, they can often be quick and easy, and if the property seems to be generally in good condition, get a HomeBuyer’s Report, so you can get an overall assessment, highlight any issues and get a valuation. It won’t take up much time and you’ll feel much better eating that turkey dinner in your new home without fear of the roof caving in. Surveys can ensure you make the right decision in buying a property, and equip you with the information you need. Pick a RICS registered surveyor, and again, be clear that you’re on a deadline.

Paperwork

Right, you’ve got a buyer, you’re happy with the offer, you’ve got a new property, you’re happy with the price…the survey says it’s in good condition, your conveyancing solicitor has all your details and either your mortgage is set up, or you’re buying outright – time to get that money moving and sign that paperwork! Remember that even whilst you’re in a hurry, ensure payments are made to the correct bank accounts, don’t use bank details changed or supplied by email, even if it’s from your solicitor. Friday Afternoon Fraud is more of a danger at the end of the week, and so hackers will benefit from you rushing through if you don’t take the time to double check where your money is going, and talk to your solicitor directly when you’re about to make a payment.

Move, move, move!

Hopefully, the minute you get an offer on your home you’ll get started packing those boxes. Or perhaps it makes more sense to get your movers to do it for you. They’ll be efficient, ensure everything is packed carefully and quickly, will bring their materials and will even take the boxes away for you after. Assess how many items need transportation, and make note of which things need to be dismantled before they can be moved. Book a reputable moving company as soon as you know the sale has gone through, because it’s likely the holiday period will either be very busy, or people will want to be off with their families, rather than moving the entire contents of your home! List everything you need moving, be clear about access, give yourselves enough time, and check the traffic, as well as parking near your new home. 

And maybe wait to buy the Christmas tree until after you’ve moved into your new home.

So, there are our top tips for a Christmas move. You’ll be hanging your stockings before you know it. Just remember to send Santa a ‘change of address’ card.
 
 

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