It takes an average of 64 days to sell a property if you list it in October, according to analysis by EstateAgent4Me, the estate agent comparison site from the HomeOwners Alliance. This means anyone wanting to sell their home before December 25th should ideally have put their property on the market this week at the latest.
The average time to sell a property has remained relatively stable over the past six years, typically ranging between 58 to 73 days. The length of time it took to sell slowed during the pandemic before speeding up again once the stamp duty holiday was announced.
Paula Higgins, chief executive of HomeOwners Alliance, said: “2021 has been a chaotic year for buying and selling homes. The rush to buy before the end of the stamp duty holiday deadline in June congested and slowed the home buying process. This wasn’t helped by the “pingdemic” which caused further disruption across the sector. Thankfully, this Autumn will see things return to normal for home movers.”
Homes listed in January sell the fastest, the research found, but there are ways to speed up the selling process regardless of which month you decide to list your property for sale. Here are our top tips:
1) Get your finances sorted
If you’re selling your home to purchase another property elsewhere, you’ll need to make sure you have a clear idea of how much you can borrow. It’s a good idea to get a ‘mortgage in principle’ from a lender which shows how much they might be prepared to lend you, although this won’t be a guarantee as to how much you’ll get. If you have an existing mortgage you should also read the small print to check whether any Early Redemption Charges apply, or whether you can move your deal across to your new property.
2) Choose the right estate agent
The best agent for you won’t necessarily be the one that comes in with the highest valuation. You should check their knowledge of the local area, and also reviews from customers who have used them. Compare their charges too – even a seemingly minor difference in fees can add hundreds or even thousands of pounds to your moving costs. Make sure you find out what their tie-in period is as well, in case you want to switch to an alternative agent if your home isn’t selling.
3) Boost your property’s appeal
Once you’ve chosen an agent, make sure your property looks as good as it possibly can so it will appeal to potential buyers. Start by clearing up outside so that your property makes a good first impression. De-clutter if you can, as that will enable buyers to visualise themselves in your home more easily and make sure your property is well lit for viewings.
4) Arrange your conveyancer
If you want to sell by Christmas, it’s a good idea to have a conveyancer lined up so that they can start all the legal work as soon as you’ve accepted an offer. Again, check reviews from other people who have used them so you can get a sense of how efficient they are, and remember to factor conveyancing fees into your moving costs.
5) Start looking for your next home
Even if you haven’t got an offer on your home yet, it’s worth starting your property search once your home goes up for sale. Although vendors are unlikely to consider accepting an offer from you if your home isn’t under offer, it’s still worth scoping out what’s available so that you can act quickly if someone wants to buy your property.