>Moving house, christmas moving

If you had to guess the busiest day of the year for online property searches what would you say?

Boxing Day? you'd be correct, it is recorded to be the busiest day of the year for online property searches.

People often think December’s a quiet time in the property market calendar and hold off selling until January, stats show that putting your house up for sale ahead of the festivities can pay dividends.

So why should you put your house on the market before Christmas? here are four reasons to get your home ready to sell before Christmas:

1. Be ready for the ‘Boxing Day boom’ in buyer demand

Boxing Day marks the start of the home-buying season. Every year we see more and more people browsing properties on Rightmove during the post-Christmas Day festive period.

There were also more than 51 million visits to Rightmove between Boxing Day and the first working day of the new year, so it’s a hugely valuable time if you want to make sure your home is going to be seen by lots of potential buyers.

Property expert Tim Bannister says: “We see a surge in the number of people searching for property from Boxing Day onwards, perhaps with a resolve to enjoy their next Christmas in new surroundings. Some of those additional buyers will also be new sellers who have held back until this period, judging it to be a good time to sell and to move"

2. Get your photographs taken now

You might decide you want your property advert to go live a few weeks into the new year, by which time a Christmas tree can make your listing look dated. Ask your estate agent to take photos of your home before you put your festive decorations up.

Agents are also likely to have much more time to prepare the marketing of your home, now, and over the next few weeks, than during the traditional holiday season between Christmas and the New Year.

3. Do the prep now, sell when you’re ready

Getting your home ready to sell doesn’t need to mean viewings will start next week. It’s kind of like getting your Christmas shopping done early — a big tick off the list. You can arrange your property valuation, instruct an estate agent and finalise the details of your property listing, so whenever you’re ready, you can ask your agent to put your home on the market.

If you’re worried about having time to tidy up after Christmas, you could put your home on the market on Boxing Day, but arrange for viewings to start sometime in the first few weeks of January. This will also give your agent time to generate interest in your home.

4. Become a ‘power-buyer’ so you’re in a strong position when you do find ‘the one’

If you decide to put your home on the market before Christmas – and you’re able to secure a buyer early in the New Year – you’ll be putting yourself in a great position when you find your next home.

“In the current market, it’s a real advantage to be a 'Power-buyer' and have already sold your current home, subject to contract, when looking for somewhere to buy. This could put you ahead if there are other offers already on the table,” says Tim Bannister.

Credit: Rightmove.co.uk