With just weeks’ to go until Christmas, if you’d like to stand the best chance of being settled in a new home then now is the time to pull your socks up and follow these steps to help the house buying process move along as quickly as possible.

Review your finances

Your top priority should be reviewing your finances and getting everything in order. Remember to take into account the price of the new property, plus the utility bills, insurances and food. This will give you an accurate overall cost for your new property so you don’t have any nasty surprises over Christmas.

Spruce it up

First impressions are everything so it’s time to make your house look its best. Mow the lawns and weed the garden. Give any rooms that need brightening up a fresh lick of paint and get rid of anything you no longer use. Decluttering the house will create more space and help rooms seem larger and more spacious to prospective buyers. Read our blog on the art of decluttering for top tips!

Think about where to advertise

The majority of all property searches are now made online. With this in mind, consider your estate agent carefully. Going with an agent who advertise properties on websites like Rightmove will increase its visibility to potential buyers and could help you find a buyer quicker.

Set the price right

Don’t just put your house up with the estate agent who prices it the highest, as this might not be a true reflection of what it’s worth. Make sure you set some time aside to do your own research. Look at how much other properties of the same size are going for in the area. This will be a good indicator to judge the estate agent’s valuation by.

Get to know your buyer

Find out a little bit about your buyer. Are they part of a chain or are they first time buyers? Do they have a mortgage in principle confirming the lender will borrow them the money, or are they cash buyers? This will help you determine how attractive your potential buyers are, as a first time buyer who can move fast could be a wiser option than someone stuck in a chain.

Get all documentation in order

If you need to apply for a new mortgage, or even if you have to reapply for your existing mortgage, you’ll need to have your documentation ready to show your mortgage adviser. This includes the last three months of bank statements, pay slips, checking your credit score etc.

Keep in touch with your solicitor

Solicitors are notorious for being slow and virtually impossible to get in touch with when you need them. In light of this, it’s best to go with one who comes recommended to you and it’s important to ask the right questions upfront, i.e. can you work within my time limits? This way, you’re setting expectations from the offset.

Completion date

Be honest with your buyers and tell them when you want to complete by, so you are all working from the same page and can hopefully exchange keys around your chosen time.

So you better start planning where your Christmas tree can go, and fingers crossed you’ll be settled in just in time to enjoy the comforts of your new home over the festive season!

Important information

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend on your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.