Get ahead of the game
With the run-up to Christmas well on the way, it might seem like madness to put your house up for sale in mid-winter.
However, now might just be the right time to get that sale board up, along with the tinsel and fairy lights.
If you are planning to move in the next few months, the festive message from agents is get going to get ahead.
Traditionally December is a slack time for house moves, but a growing glimmer of confidence in the market has kept sales buoyant throughout October and November, indicating a knock-on into December.
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Contrary to popular belief, houses do sell over the Christmas period. For one thing, they are generally looking cosy and warm and the festive decorations with lights and garlands add to a feel of wellbeing when you step over the threshold.
Those people who do want to view are also most likely to be serious buyers who are looking to move quickly, with the least fuss and bother.
Martyn Baum, director at Hartley Estates, said stable price levels reflect a more upbeat picture and growing confidence among vendors that they will gain a successful sale.
"Normally, December is a very quiet month, but this year feels different, as we gained a higher level of sales in October and even better results during November.
"Certainly this year I would advise anyone thinking of moving to make the most of the surge and get their house on the market before Christmas – sooner rather than later.
"There seems to be a certain buzz and impetus about moving. People are fed up with sitting on their hands and are keen to get on with it.
"Prices have stabilized and this is one of the factors that are bringing confidence back. People are not so afraid that prices will fall dramatically and feel that there is less risk of losing out."
Mark Sandall, joint managing partner at Andrew Granger, in Leicester, said putting your home on the market before the new year enables vendors to get a jump-start on the competition.
"A lot of people wait for the new year thinking that will be the time to sell, but by putting the process into action before Christmas they can get ahead of the game.
"The market is looking pretty buoyant, with people still searching for the right property and while they might not now be able to move before Christmas they can get the process underway.
"There is currently an air of optimism about the market, with some people feeling more secure about their job and home life. They are willing to take the next step and are maybe waiting for the right property."
Simon Ristimaa, managing director of Knightsbridge estate agency, said business remains brisk for the start of December.
"People shouldn't be put off because Christmas is on the way. We are still getting genuinely new inquiries and if you have a house to sell there is no reason why you shouldn't get it on the market now.
"The first few weeks always provide good feedback from viewings and at this time of year people who are looking are serious buyers, so vendors will get an honest opinion on their property which could be crucial to their sale."