BOXING Day is looking like a great time to get your home ready for a sale in the New Year, as online searches for a new home traditionally spikes on this festive occasion.
More and more people are using online estate agents to kickstart the selling process on 26 December, which is also aptly sometimes called “offering day” in countries outside the UK.
The reasons for the peak can be partly explained by people realising the scale of their spending in the run-up to Christmas and wanting to re-set their finances.
Sometimes it is because people realise that they need a bigger home as they’ve acquired a mountain of stuff, other times it makes people think they may want to move closer to friends or relatives.
The property portal Rightmove claims that the number of houses coming on to the market on this day was up by 173% last year compared to the previous year.
Most people are unaware that there is a Christmas rush on property searches, so now is the time to get a head start on selling your home and planning your own move into your dream home in time for the next festive season.
Here property expert Jonathan Rolande, founder of House Buy Fast, offers his advice.
“By being prepared, you can maximise your chances of getting to the top of online listings during this high demand period.
“Get your home online and get ready to attract eyeballs during the Christmas period, as there are literally millions of people looking around for a possible move between Boxing Day and the first working day of the New Year.
“If you have photos of your home taken before Christmas, use these to avoid your listing looking dated: you can maximise your exposure by ensuring that the property can be seen to be in a reasonable condition – and priced reasonably. Make sure your Christmas decorations do not not dominate your home, if they are already up and a photographer has already been booked.
“A complete makeover is not required but you might want to give a lick of neural paint to areas that may look a bit tired. Don’t forget to give the garden a quick tidy and remove unnecessary items from the kitchen.
“Be sure to declutter and make the place look like somewhere you yourself would like to move into – open the curtains and make spaces as bright as possible.
“Also, in your listing, be sure to outline the extra details and unique aspects of your home to impress potential buyers, as they will already know the very basics, such as the number of bedrooms.
“Perhaps your home has original unique features, or maybe there are some lovely walks nearby: be enthusiastic about your lovely home!
“Get a valuation now, instruct an estate agent and finalise your listing ahead of Boxing Day but arrange viewings to start in the first few weeks of January, to give you time to tidy up and your estate agent time to build interest from buyers.
“If you can secure a sale of your own home early in the New Year, subject to contract, that puts you in a great position to become a “power buyer” and could put you ahead of the pack when looking to move into your next home.
SIX MUST DO’S:
1. Home improvements – fix, replace and tidy
Preparing your home for sale is the first step in selling your home. Make a list of what needs fixing, replacing or tidying and begin to work through the curated list.
Tackling an area at a time will make the process easier and less time consuming, such as solely focusing on the garden before working on the kitchen.
Simple and inexpensive home improvements can increase your property’s value and make it more appealing to buyers, helping it sell faster and for a better price.
2. Find a good estate agent
Selling your home can be a stressful process, and having an estate agent will help streamline the process for yourself.
They play a significant role in selling your home smoothly for the right price by providing advice, valuing your home, advertising it effectively and negotiating on your behalf.
3. Get a valuation
Arranging a property valuation is next on your to-do list. The person carrying out the valuation will inspect the property based on size and number of rooms, fixtures and fittings, and both the condition and age of the property.
Your agent will then be able to tell you how much your home is worth and help scope the budget for your new home.
4. Set the right asking price
To successfully sell your property, one of the most significant factors is the asking price. If the price is too high, you may struggle to attract buyers. In contrast, if the price is set too low, you will not receive the best value for your home.
Finding the right price ensures that your home is competitive in the market, attracts serious buyers, and increases the chances of a successful and profitable sale.
5. Find a good solicitor
By having a conveyancing solicitor, you will not need to worry about the legal side of selling your home as they ensure everything is correct and that nothing goes wrong. A good solicitor can save you from problems such as hidden issues with the property or paperwork mistakes. Your conveyancer can also run property searches for your new home to confirm you receive no surprises, such as being in a high flood risk area.
6. Stage your house for photos and viewings
Staging your house when you’re selling is advisable because it ensures your home looks its absolute best. It gives the viewer the best first impression of the property, whether that viewing is online or in person, and can sell a lifestyle to the viewers.
Staging can often lead to quicker sales and potentially higher offers, so it’s a valuable strategy.