Going to sell your house in the new year? Here’s why you need to act now and what you need to do.
Christmas is a time for big decisions. Getting married, having a baby, changing career – all of these things are triggered during those long, slow days between Christmas and New Year, when there’s time to reflect on living your best life in the year to come. And the same goes for moving house, because everyone knows that January is the time to sell property. New year, new home. Maybe next year you’ll move out of town, or move to be near a school, or finally get that extra bedroom. But moving house differs from those other life-changing intentions in its timing, because while January is very much the time to sell (or let) your property, the time to act is in fact right now.
Rightmove’s statistics show a huge rise in property searches over the Christmas period. In 2018, the site had 10 million visitors on Christmas Day, rising to 30 million on 29 December. By 3 Jan there were 40 million. People looking at properties online over the break will be ready to view them in early January – so if you’re looking to sell or let your property then, the wisdom is that you need to be ready before Christmas. Which means starting now.
New year, new home
Tom Foreman-Browne, lettings manager at KFH Bayswater, says: “We always get back to the office after the new year to bundles of enquiries from corporate clients with new jobs starting in London and they need to move fast. Often they want to experience period homes overlooking garden squares – when one of those comes up for rent we’ve always got lots of families waiting.”
At the Hammersmith branch, sales manager Hannah Hewett advises: “Lots of people wait until the tree’s down and then call the agent in January. But if you do that, you’ll come on the market when all your neighbours are on – so buyers will have more choice and take longer to decide.” She advises being ready to launch just before Christmas, not because you’ll get any viewings then, but so that you’ll be seen online by the Boxing Day browsers. At the moment, she says: “we’re riding a wave of high demand and low supply; vendors are scared and risk averse. Buyers are returning, but they’re complaining of not enough stock. Last year we had a lettings boom and a lot of those tenants are now looking to buy.” So if you’re planning on selling up in 2020, now’s the time to get your valuation. And get those pictures taken before the tree goes up. The KFH team can help you navigate the process.
The first step is to get a property valuation where everything from your home’s unique features to the area and the market conditions will be assessed. This doesn’t take long, all it involves is one visit from your local agent. It’s worth getting it booked in ahead of the frantic festive period, before your home gets crowded with Christmas guests.
Staging your home correctly is crucial as the photos in your listing determine how many buyers you’ll get through the door. Obviously you’ll want to do this before you’ve got your tree and decorations up for a more accurate and appropriate representation. It’s a good idea to get your property looking its best. Maximising interest from buyers online will give you the best chance of a quick sale at a good price.
On the market
With everything set in motion, it’s time to get your property listed. As Hewitt says, by getting your home on the market before the festive period, you’ll take advantage of buyers browsing over the post-Christmas lull. As well, you’ll appreciate having everything done and dusted in good time for your own piece of mind.
For more information and to find your local branch, visit kfh.co.uk