Moving to a new house is a stressful time for anyone but doing it over the festive period adds an extra layer of stress to the whole process. You may think that it’s impossible to sell at this time of year – with less than 2 months before Christmas – considering that the average time to sell a home can take between 5 to 6 months from start to finish, but it is still possible.
For those who dream of starting the New Year in a new home, time is running out to get everything completed in time. So, here are some tips for preparing for that big move right before Christmas:
Declutter and Prepare
To entice a sale, you’ll need to make your property look as appealing as possible. Despite the rain, cold and lack of sunshine and blooming flowers, there’s no reason why you can’t make your home look amazing in the run up to Christmas.
People need to buy houses all year round, so don’t automatically assume that the poor weather will put them off. To give yourself the best chance of selling, you need to set your home up to its best potential. Brighten it up with decorating touch-ups and fully declutter and fix any small, niggling DIY jobs that you’ve been putting off for months.
Why not try the surprisingly effective (yet very morbid-sounding) Swedish death cleaning? This is the art of decluttering with the mindset of only keeping items that you think someone would want as a keepsake after you die. Creepy yes, but certain to finally get you to chuck out that broken DVD player.
Get Your Property Valued
Once you get an estate agent involved, you’ve started the house-selling process. Make sure you get your property valued by a few different estate agents, so you can get some comparable valuations, selling strategies and fees. Most agents will list your property online, and surprisingly a lot of property websites report very high traffic for searches around the Christmas period. So, make sure you’re happy with the listing, the photos and the description of your house.
Make sure you price your home realistically, especially if you’re looking for a quick sale. Estate agents may encourage you to sell at a much higher price than you might expect to ‘test’ the market. After all, if someone is keen to move quickly, you could end up selling for that price. This is unlikely, however, so if you want to sell soon, you’re better off asking for a more realistic price, based on the evaluation.
Buying Your New Home
Once you’ve secured a sale you’ll need to get your finances in order before buying a new house. Decide on what kind of mortgage you’re going to take out or get a mortgage in principle if you can’t secure one before you buy; this will put you in a much stronger position.
The best place to start looking for homes is online; plenty of estate agent websites have all their listed properties available to view. You can register your interest with some estate agents before the sale has gone through to get ahead of the game.
Once you receive an offer for your home you need to get a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal work, which will speed up the house sale process. Remain in constant contact with your solicitor to ensure your case is being handled swiftly; this will also allow you to handle any issues as soon as they arise.
By following these steps, you should be in a good position to secure a house sale before Christmas. And, with the sale going through, here are some tips to help you with your move.
- Get an Essentials Box Ready
When moving, you’ll have packed so much of your life away that you may not get around to unpacking everything for days or even weeks. Everyone in your family should prepare with an ‘essentials box’ full of everything they’ll need to have to hand for the coming days of unpacking chaos. Things like toiletries, teabags, a kettle, phone chargers and water bottles are great to have on hand during the move. And don’t forget to make a Christmas box – so you can put up a few festive decorations and be sure you know where all the carefully wrapped gifts your bought are stored.
- Prepare for Cold Weather
It will be cold when you move. Depending on the weather, it may also be icy or even snowing. Get a head start by preparing for any and all types of weather by gritting steps and paths outside your house, keeping warm clothing within easy reach (not tucked at the bottom of a moving box) and hanging onto some old newspapers to lay down inside your new home to prevent slips and muddy footprints.
- Early Starts
It gets much darker much earlier in winter, so make sure you schedule your moving times for early in the day. If it’s not possible to move before darkness hits, make sure you have some spare lightbulbs lying around in case you need to change any.
- Book Your Removal Company Early
Christmas time is a busy period for all businesses. You should bear in mind that removal companies may be in short supply during Christmas time as their workers take time off. So, make sure you book your removal company early to secure a moving-in date.
If your selling and moving dates don’t line up, or you aren’t able to secure removal services when you need them, consider storage. You can easily store your belongings by hiring a storage unit for the period of time that you need. Perhaps you don’t want to face a mountain of unpacking whilst the family is all at home over Christmas. Instead, take only necessities and enjoy the festivities and store your belongings until you have time to upack.
At Smart Storage, we can provide you with the following:
- Flexible terms from two weeks, with the option to extend your stay as needed.
- 24-hour security system, including individually-alarmed units, to keep your most important possessions safe.
- Exclusive access to your unit, meaning only you will have the key and access code to your belongings.
- No reservation fee and a lowest price match guarantee.
- A personal and friendly on-site team to answer all of your questions.
For those living in the North West, Smart Storage offers storage in Liverpool, storage in Preston, storage in Wirral, storage in Warrington, storage in Widnes and storage in Altrincham. This means we can probably offer a storage unit near you. Just click on your chosen location for more information.