If you’ve not moved house for a while, you may be under the impression that the sales process can take as little as four weeks and on average around six to eight weeks. But that was then, and now the situation is very different and far slower, when it comes to selling and buying a property.

Average of 13-16 weeks between offer and exchange

Latest research highlights that the time from accepting an offer to exchange of contracts is taking an average of 13 to 16 weeks. Given, that we’ve just entered September, that means if you are thinking of moving home before Christmas, then you need to get your home on the market now, to stand any chance of celebrating Christmas under a new roof.

Mortgage lenders to removal firms all busy with backlogs

The impact of Covid and a very active housing market has certainly put pressure on all the parties involved in property transactions. Conveyancers and solicitors, mortgage brokers and lenders and removal firms have all reported a backlog and unprecedented demand from homebuyers.

Get your house in order to sell

Ask your agent what home repairs and improvements you should do prior to putting your property on the market. An experienced agent will know exactly what can deter a potential buyer and by ensuring you have addressed any issues in advance, viewings are far more likely to go smoothly and attract a strong offer quickly. It really does pay to be realistic about your property – inside and out, especially when you’ve lived there for a while and may not see it quite as a prospective buyer with fresh eyes will.

Good time to sell

The current market is a strong sellers’ market and there’s plenty of data out there currently indicating that at least 31% of houses sold for over the asking price in July. Right now, interest rates are at an historic low and there are some competitive fixed rate deals available, plus the Government’s loan guarantee scheme allows for a 5% deposit; these are all factors making it far more affordable to move house now than for a very long time.

Be prepared with paperwork

Ensuring you have all the relevant paperwork collated and in order for the solicitors is always helpful when selling a property and can really help to quicken up the process. If you find guarantees, certificates and documentation relating to works previously done and annual servicing, it will save any last minute panic. It’s important to make sure you have a current passport and driving licence because solicitors will require proof of identification during the legal process.

Call ahead

Nowadays, given the demand for removal and storage services, it does pay to check availability further in advance than you may once have done. Van hire, removal firms, skip hire and storage facilities have all experienced a surge in customers. These are details that can make the moving experience a lot more stressful, when you cannot book the date you agreed to complete, or you find yourself surrounded by boxes with no storage to go to. We recommend getting several quotes well in advance and provisionally booking in dates sooner rather than later.