Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plan Now If You Want to Move in the New Year, Say Agents; Anne Southby-Fletcher

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plan Now If You Want to Move in the New Year, Say Agents; Anne Southby-Fletcher

Article excerpt

IF you think Christmas is the time to pull crackers and not removal boxes, then perhaps it's time to think again. Ensuring your home is "oven ready" for the New Year housing market could give you the edge over other sellers - especially amid possible signs of increased activity in the housing market.

National estate agent Strutt & Parker has reported an unusually high large number of buyers registering with them, with the quantity of viewings higher than expected for the time of year. They report that property at all price levels is going under offer - clear evidence that quality buyers are out there and that they want to buy.

Samuel Gibson, partner at Strutt & Parker in Morpeth said: "During October we agreed more sales than in any of the previous six months. The quality of buyers is good, and we are talking to them in steadily increasing numbers. Buyers have put off their buying decisions, often for several months and in many cases for a year or more. But ultimately, they still do want to buy. And they will buy."

Getting the leg-work done on mortgage deals, solicitors, estates agents and so on before the Chrismas break will help to put you in a strong position.

Indeed, according to Neil Foster, of Foster Maddison Property Consultants Limited, Hexham, it's best not to write off the Christmas period as one of inactivity.

"Boxing Day has become the busiest day of the year for activity on the main internet portals such as On The Market and Rightmove so it is worth talking to your agent about premium listing to put your property at the top of the search results," Mr Foster pointed out.

"This surge of activity can lead to unexpected viewing appointments and offers in the New Year so make sure the decorations are tidied away and the Christmas tree recycled and not abandoned by the back door.

"Solicitors and conveyancers often take a lengthy break over the festive season so make sure you have some instructed well ahead of the holidays.

"They can agree terms of business and carry out identity checks in readiness for a sale, even if you don't yet have an offer for your property. …

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