Want to move house before Christmas?

With many prospective buyers taking a summer break from house-hunting, autumn represents a time of fresh hope for house-sellers everywhere.  No sooner has the school bell sounded to mark the start of a new year, prospective buyers are on the phone arranging viewings and making offers.  The incentive being a new home in time for Christmas. 

With an average house sale taking anything from eight to 10 weeks to complete, October is the month for buyers to secure their new home in time for the festive season.  Here’s five tips to help make the process as smooth as possible:

1.       Prepare for the costs of selling your house

·         Factor in agents and solicitors fees, which may double if you are buying another home.  Also bear in mind you may not get the asking price you are expecting, particularly if you are looking for a quick sale

2.       Prepare your home for the buyers

·         Redecorate, repair and declutter.  The smell of fresh paint and new carpet will provide a welcoming interior for viewers.  Outside, lawns should be mowed, pathways weeded and any repairs required should be completed before the house goes on the market

·         Use a professional photographer to make sure your house stands out from the crowd

·         Get an Energy Performance Certificate – you must order one before you market your property

·         Gather relevant paperwork, such as gas safety certificate and guarantees for building work, new windows and doors

3.       Set a price

·         Compare your property with similar ones for sale in your area

·         Get a valuation from your local estate agent

·         Agree price and fees with agent

·         Have a price that you’d accept clear in your mind, so that when you do receive an offer you can respond quickly to secure the deal

4.       Contact a solicitor

·         Select the solicitor you want to use for the sale and contact them in advance to let them know once your house has gone on the market

5.       Keep it moving

·         Once a sale is agreed your estate agent will contact your solicitor for you with the details of the sale

·         Reply to your solicitor’s queries quickly

·         Agree on a date of exchange of contracts and completion date with your solicitor and your purchaser through the agent.