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Christmas rush in house sales expected

While Christmas is often seen to be a quieter time of year for moving home, new research shows the likelihood of completing on a sale in the last three months of the year is greater than any other quarter.

We’re struggling to write the Christmas cards and buy those remaining presents. So the thought of trying to get a house sale over the line at this busy time of year sends a shiver down our spines.

But property experts say that’s exactly what is happening.

Research by online estate agent, Housesimple, reveals October is the peak time of year for completions, with an average of 81,974 home sales being tied up in this month.

But according to average sale completion figures from the Land Registry over the past 5 years this peak continues to hold through November and December, with the numbers of completions averaging at 79,266 and 79,873 respectively.

This distinct end-of-year uplift is no surprise when you think how nice it would be to be in your new home before Christmas, or if not then, then before the new year.

And while a “spring bounce” in completions is regularly seen in March – January, February and April are distinct low points for sales being tied up.

Sam Mitchell, CEO at Housesimple, said: “There is no denying that timing plays a key role in selling a home and an uplift towards the end of the year is a clear sign of people looking to complete on their property before Christmas comes and a New Year begins.

“Expect to see a sudden rush in social media posts over the next couple of weeks as lots of people share photos of their new homes and the ‘key in the front door’ shot, moving in with just enough time to get the decorations up for Christmas.”

If you’re trying to tie up those loose ends, sell and get into your new home, here’s some advice:

  1. Be as responsive as possible – The key to moving the transaction along as quickly as possible is for all parties to respond to requests for information or action right away. Keep an eye on those emails.
  2. Have your estate agent on speed dial – The estate agent is critical. While a good estate agent will come to you with regular updates, stay in constant communication with them and be sure to ask who to follow up with if they are going to be off for Christmas. Check out our guide: how long does it take to buy and sell a house for tips.
  3. Get to exchange as quickly as possible – Keep in touch with your solicitor about any blockages, whether it’s about the survey, searches or paperwork that is still outstanding. Every time you speak ask specifically what still needs to happen and what you can do to get to the point of exchanging contracts and then setting a date for completion.

Good luck and Merry Christmas!

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