Why you should be thinking about selling your home over Christmas

Why you should be thinking about selling your home over Christmas

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The following recommendation may come as a surprise, but now really is the time to be thinking ofselling if you intend to buy a new home in 2024.

What I hear you say, talk of moving house when it’s

only two weeks from Christmas and you still have lots to organise heading into the festive season.

And anyway, the weather of late has been awful.

Tim WaringTim Waring
Tim Waring

All understandable sentiments after the snow earlier this week. You might even be forgiven for thinking I am trying to drum up business when our industry is perceived as quiet at this time of year.

But what is often overlooked by many is that six months in the context of a residential property transaction is not a long time. Fast forward to that point, and it will be close to the longest day of the year, not the shortest.

Gardens will be in full leaf, complete with stripes on lawns, the cricket season

will be in full swing, and you could well be preparing for a Sunday BBQ at that new home. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it?

So if this is your goal, perhaps it is worth working the timeline back to realise why my recommendation is not as outlandish as it may first seem. Allowing say a month to settle in and personalise things as you want before asking family and friends around, this means you need the keys to your new home by mid- May. And when most homeowners allow a month between exchange of contracts and completion to pack up their worldly possessions, you are then back to Mid-April. Prior to that, it will take at least four-six weeks to sort the legal formalities after your offer has been accepted.

Plus, for many it can be a lot longer especially if you get tied into a chain of associated sales. Taking an optimistic view on legals, this means by early March, you need to have found your new home, and possibly even earlier if you are fixed on hosting the mid-summer BBQ.

Continuing to work the timeline back, there is probably the added complication that you need to find a buyer for your current home. You allow four weeks for enquiries, a good level of viewings and negotiation before agreeing on a price.

So, this means you need to be on the market by mid-February. And if you allow a week or so for your estate agent to prepare everything, you need to have instructed said agent by the end of January and don’t forget good photography is weather permitting.

There are of course many variables to this broad yet realistic timescale and you may well take the view Spring is the best time to sell when your home looks its best. If so, I do still urge you to at least start the process by talking to estate agents sooner rather than later.

Otherwise, it could well be the backend of next year before you physically move, long after the leaves have fallen in autumn. Food for thought over the festive season perhaps.

My best wishes to all for 2024, when my regular thoughts on the housing market will continue. In the meantime, the predictions of the Yorkshire residential property fraternity will be in Property Post early in the Ne w Ye a r .

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