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Get ahead of the New Year property market

Winkworth share our top tips for buyers on how best to get ahead on the New Year Property Market and help ensure a smoother sales process

The weeks after New Year are traditionally the busiest for home sales until the next burst of activity in the spring. And this year, the weeks after New Year are likely to be even busier. New Year’s Day is a Monday, and therefore 2018 is unlikely to get started in earnest until the 8th January as everyone trickles back to work. Consequently, the post-festive rush is likely to be even more intense than usual.

To avoid it, we recommend getting an offer in before everyone shuts up shop for Christmas, because vendors are more likely to do a deal to secure a sale.

It’s going to require some planning; there are only four weeks until the shutdown. The average time from offer to exchange is approximately ten weeks so even if you have an offer accepted the day before Christmas, you’ll be doing better than average to move in before Easter.

Put your own home on the market

Many vendors won’t take offers seriously if the prospective buyers don’t have their existing home on the market, so this is a priority – it can take a week to find an agent, instruct them, have pictures taken and property details drawn up.

Start viewings now

We find that house hunters need to visit eight homes on average before they find their ideal property, so it’s a good idea to start the viewings as soon as possible.

Make an offer as soon as you can

If you make an offer in January instead of December then you’ll be jostling with a lot more buyers for each property – last year house prices in the UK rose by £500 a day during January as the market heated up, official house price index figures show.

Nail down a mortgage agreement in principle

For a speedy transaction, if your offer is accepted, then it’s vital that your mortgage company is ready to pounce and begins the admin including local authority searches and flood risk checks as soon as possible.

To help make this process quicker, it’s a good idea to get a mortgage ‘agreement in principle’ sorted out. This is the bank agreeing with you how much you can borrow, at what rate and what the loan to value of the mortgage can be.

Anthony Emmerson, Director of Trinity Financial explains further about the importance of having your mortgage in place:

“Today’s market is almost unrecognisable against previous years - having the right advice will mean the difference between success or failure in your mortgage application, as there are so many trip hazards to look out for.

“This all starts with talking to a mortgage broker and obtaining an accurate agreement in principle after a thorough analysis of your income and expenditure. It’s important to know your limits before you go house hunting, so an agreement in principle for the highest possible loan amount is always recommended before you start your search. It’s as important for vendors to know their limits for the onward purchase as it is for the buyers of your house to know theirs. Getting this wrong can cause the whole chain to fail.”

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