Planning to sell up before Christmas? Research shows you’ll need to get going in October

There are less than 100 days to go until Christmas, which is plenty if you haven’t given a second thought to buying presents, but could prove a problem if you’re planning to move home.

Rightmove research shows the average time to secure a buyer is 65 days, although you could have more or less time depending on where you live. Sellers in London tend to have less time, as it takes just 41 days to secure a buyer in the capital. Sales in the North East take longer as the average move time is 88 days.

Find out if you live in a selling hotspot.

In any case, it makes sense to start as early as possible. Here are seven tips for making your move smooth:

1. Work out your budget
Take time to review your finances so you know how much you can afford to spend on your move. Don’t forget to include ongoing costs, such as insurances, food and utilities.

2. Get valuations
Get valuations from several estate agents, to ensure you get a feel of the right price for your home. While you’re doing this ask about similar properties they have sold in your area, find out how they’ll market your home and take on board any tips for how to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Use a free online tool to search for up-to-date house prices in the areas you’re looking at.

3. Pick a way to sell
Having got some valuations, you can decide who to sell through. This could be a high-street agent or an online agent.

4. Make a good impression
First impressions last, so weed your front garden, clean windows and doors, trim any hedges and get rid of any rubbish so your home is more attractive to prospective buyers. Some DIY tasks may also help you to get the right price and don’t forget to declutter your home so it looks more spacious.

5. Organise your paperwork
Put together a folder containing documents your estate agent or solicitor will need to see. This will include your Council Tax statements and property deeds; a mortgage comparison checklist could help here.

6. You need an Energy Performance Certificate
You’re required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate to potential buyers. This certificate must be available within seven days of the property going on the market, so make sure you or your estate agent has this in hand.

7. Choose a lawyer
You’ll need a solicitor or conveyancer to carry out the necessary legal work once you’ve agreed a sale. Ask friends and relatives for recommendations, and get quotes so you know what the costs will be.

Want more information?
If you want more information on selling up, take a look at our quick guide to all the major considerations to bear in mind when preparing to sell your home.

House selling timeline infographic

All information accurate at time of publication

Money Advice Service

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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