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Let’s talk about the C word. No, not Covid for a change but Christmas. We may still be eking out the warmer months and keeping everything crossed for an Indian summer but in the property world, the end of August is the start of the big ‘run in’ to Christmas.


The Christmas countdown begins now

While families were sunning themselves on staycations and parents buying up new school uniform, the estate agency’s leading association, Propertymark, issued a warning to would-be movers that now is the time to go on the market if you want to be sold and moved into a new home by Christmas.


Weeks between exchange and completion increase

While it may sound absurd to be thinking about a new place to hang your holly wreath while you’re still (hopefully) applying sun cream, it’s actually sensible idea. The latest research from Propertymark shows that the average time taken from exchange to completion has increased.


The duration is now between 13-16 weeks and that doesn’t take into account the precursors of valuing, marketing, offers and initial conveyancing. So when counting back from 25th December, sellers should be instructing an estate agent now to ensure they have an accepted offer on their property in September, with a realistic exchange in November and completion in December.


Factor in the backlog

The traditional summer lull in property transactions failed to materialise in 2021, thanks to the stamp duty holiday, the post-lockdown ‘race for space’ and the growing number of new 5% mortgages. As well as keeping estate agents on their toes, associated sectors have also been deluged.


Conveyancing solicitors, mortgage lenders and removal companies are all working through a backlog of business, with a danger that those coming to market later in the autumn may find they join a long queue of people hoping for a speedy completion. If the festive season is your moving deadline, we recommend getting a ‘for sale’ board up as soon as possible.


Don’t delay if you want Christmas in new home

We agree with Propertymark’s advice to plan ahead. That should start with a valuation and one of Behr & Butchoff’s experienced sales agents can visit your property to provide a free, no obligation appraisal. Once a figure has been agreed, we can start the marketing of your property almost immediately, with online listings, digital marketing and calls out to our waiting list of buyers.


There are other steps you can take to ensure your sale is as speedy and as smooth running as possible. We recommend:-


  • Asking our agents to flag up anything they think would put buyers off, and taking immediate action to address the points

  • Pricing realistically with your completion date in mind

  • Completing outstanding DIY, decorating and decluttering before photographs are taken and viewings start

  • Getting a mortgage agreement in principle early if your onwards purchase needs funding

  • Appointing a conveyancing solicitor as soon as your home is on the market

  • Gathering necessary paperwork at the start of the sales process, including warranties, certificates, bank statements and photo ID

  • Being flexible when it comes to accommodating viewings and completion dates

  • Signing and returning any forms to solicitors, mortgage lenders and estate agents as quickly as possible

  • Calling removal and storage companies for their latest availability


Start your sale today

The Behr & Butchoff team is ready to help you complete on a sale and purchase before Christmas. Talk to us about your future moving plans and we can get the wheels in motion.