Is all you want for Christmas a new home?

Flip-flops are still gracing your feet, your T-shirts are at the top of your drawer, and you’re still trying to make the most of any sunny weather before the temperature starts to drop.  Yet all around us are signs that the next season is upon us; whether it’s those less than subtle products displayed on the shop shelves, or the endless toy adverts that seem to scream at us – Christmas!  As normality returns to our days, many start to make decisions about the future, and for some that could mean a new home.

Although Christmas may still seem a long way away, if you’re hoping to be in a new home for the festive season, you need to act now.  It takes on average 13 weeks from sale to move-in; therefore, if you’re not actively looking and selling your December may not signify a season of cheer.

To make a Christmas move successful you need to make sure you are prepared.  This is about more than making sure your home is on the market; it’s everything from putting in the work to ensuring your property is looking like the best version of itself to attract and win over buyers, to being paperwork ready.

What most people don’t realise is that selling your home can often be the easy part; the hardest and most unstable stage is what we call the sales process.  This is the time between an offer being accepted and moving day.  With so many parties involved - and not only people in your chain, but also their solicitors, mortgage lenders and other estate agents - it takes an on-the-ball agent to keep everything moving forward and everyone happy.

Delays can happen so easily, from someone in the chain not having the correct paperwork when required, lack of communication, or finances not being in order.  These delays can create niggles in buyers’ minds, and the last thing you want is a buyer with a head full of niggles, as they may begin to change their mind.

“Lack of up-front preparation leads to mortgage or cash availability hold-ups, and failure to get legally required documents ready in anticipation of a sale can add weeks. Sale-ready sellers and the correct choice of a well-prepared buyer with a short or sound chain can still bring the turkey to the table in your new home in time for Christmas,” said Miles Shipside, Rightmove Director and housing market analyst.

Therefore, if all you want for Christmas is a new home, it’s time to get organised.  Ensure your home is presented for sale and your finances are in order.  We would also advise that you have a mortgage agreed in principle, this way you know exactly what you can afford – and you may be surprised.

As you are organising your home, start gathering all the papers you need, including those that confirm your identity, the deeds to your home, and certificates for servicing, repairs and building work undertaken.  The more organised you are at the beginning, the easier and less stressful the sales process will be.

If your Christmas wish is a new home, come and speak to a member of sales team at your local Bidmead Cook branch.