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How to sell your home and buy a new one before Christmas

Dreaming of moving into a new home before Christmas? It CAN still be done… We show you how with nine top tips from property experts

  • Although we are well into October, it is still possible to move by December 25
  • However, sellers will have to get their homes listed within the next few days 
  • They will also need to be ‘realistic’ about the price they can expect 
  • We explain how to speedily sell your home and buy a new one 


There’s more to Christmas than ensuring there are enough turkeys to go round — and plenty of petrol to get you where you want to be.

Ambitious house-movers are now in a race to make sure they get in their new home by December 25. And even though we’re well into October, it can be done.

But you have to be quick, with just days to get your home with an estate agent and listed on the big portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket. 

Ambitious house-movers are now in a race to make sure they get in their new home by December 25. And even though we’re well into October, it can be done

Analysis by the consumer group HomeOwners Alliance (HOA) shows that homes have taken an average of 58 to 73 days to sell over the past six years.

‘The rush to buy before the end of the stamp duty holiday slowed the buying process. 

This wasn’t helped by the pingdemic,’ says HOA chief executive Paula Higgins, who says her analysis has provided a deadline for sellers to put their home on the market — October 20 — to complete the deal before the festivities.

Here are our top tips to get your home sold and a new one bought in record time.

1. Instruct an agent

Check out at least three local agents, but don’t just choose the one suggesting the highest asking price. Instead, compare marketing proposals and speak to people who have used them. Online agents have cheaper fees, but can have fewer successful sales.

2. Be realistic

The market’s strong — many places up 10 per cent in the past year — but it’s slowing. Average prices grew just 0.1 per cent in September, says Nationwide, so set a sensible asking price. Check recent sale prices on websites such as mouseprice.com.

3. Prepare to sell

We all know to de-clutter, but try not to de-personalise — agents report people like a ‘homely’ look. Clean thoroughly and use lighting and mirrors to maximise size.

4. Sort paperwork

Having an agreement in principle from a mortgage lender and collating details, such as building consents for work done during your ownership, give you a head start. Hire a good conveyancer.

5. Go offline too…

Most homes are found online, but register with estate agents when you’re looking for your next place. The best have the inside track on homes coming on sale long before they reach the web.

6. Book a survey

Don’t be tempted to miss this step to save time — it could seriously backfire. Surveys cost £250 to £600 plus VAT. 

Find professionals through the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Most Christmas removals will need to be completed by the end of December 23

Most Christmas removals will need to be completed by the end of December 23

7. Keep in contact

TV property expert Phil Spencer says: ‘Stay in touch with everyone in the chain, as well as your solicitor and estate agent. Slow responses cause delays.’

8. Pick the best buyer

If you get more than one offer, don’t just choose the highest one. A third of deals fall through if they have lengthy chains. So choosing a cash or first-time buyer means there’s no chain.

9. Plan your move

Most Christmas removals will have to be completed by the end of December 23.

Visit the British Association of Removers.

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