The truth about moving before Christmas

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The big C is creeping closer and closer. Now, at the end of October, many agents may be pushing marketing campaigns promoting getting moved before Christmas; but the reality is, for most, that’s just not possible.

The number of weeks the average property transaction is taking in 2022 is 20 weeks. Conveyancers are still fighting a backlog of transactions, searches are taking longer and, unfortunately, the time just isn’t there before the big day. Don’t forget that many solicitors close over the Christmas period too!

However, there are plenty of things you can do before Christmas to ensure a property sale or purchase as smooth as possible, and enjoy Christmas at the same time.

1.Get your finances in order

From budgets to mortgages, it’s a good idea to get your finances in order as early as possible when you’re looking to move home. Fees that you’ll need to budget for include:

  • Solicitors fees
  • Stamp duty
  • Mortgage application and advisor fees
  • Removal costs

Whether you are planning to stick with your existing lender or want to search the market for the best mortgage deal, you should try and secure an “Agreement in Principle,” so that you can understand your budget.

Sims Williams can recommend trusted local Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs), who are legally obliged to provide the most suitable advice for you. They can provide “Whole of Market” mortgage advice, including some exclusive mortgage deals not available on the High Street. They can also obtain quotes for various insurance products from the entire market and are not affiliated with any particular company. Contact us for more information.

2.List your property at one of the best times of year

Whilst you may not be moving in to your new home before Christmas, the season certainly gets people thinking about a change in living quarters – which means there are more buyers looking for property.

The November property market has proven to be as busy as other months over the past few years, and we expect no less in 2022. But if you’re considering waiting until January to list your home, you would be missing out on one of the best opportunities to market your home.

Rightmove calls it, ‘The Boxing Day Boom’, as the property portal has enjoyed over 51 million visits to the site between Boxing Day and the first working day of the new year, in previous years. If Rightmove is experiencing this substantial jump in website visits, you can be sure that the other portals, agents websites and social media platforms are getting the same level of interest.

This huge increase in buyer intent has the potential to find your prospective buyer, without having to disturb your Christmas with viewings; so whether you’re already on the market or considering doing so, be sure your agent is digitally marketing your home before Christmas

3.Deal with the boring stuff

Very few people enjoy doing paperwork…but the sooner you get it done, the smoother your transaction will be once you’re under offer and/or have found somewhere to buy.

Where mortgages are concerned, get the following ready:

Proof of Income

  • Last three months’ bank statements
  • If Self-Employed, SA302’s for the last three years
  • Most recent P60
  • Last three month’s bank statements


  • Two forms of ID
  • Existing Mortgage Statement (if appropriate)
  • Proof of Deposit

You can also get as prepared as possible by choosing your solicitor and completing as much of the required paperwork as possible, including:

  • The Fixtures and Fittings form outlines what is and is not included in the sale.
  • The Property Information form covers issues such as boundaries, guarantees and warranties etc.
  • If your property is Leasehold, you will need to complete a Leasehold Information form which provides details on the lease, maintenance charges, the landlord etc.

The forms can appear quite daunting but the sooner you complete them, the sooner your solicitor can issue a contract to your potential buyer’s solicitor which gets the ball rolling.

4.Settle on dates early

 Having a date in mind to work towards can be comforting for everyone involved, so with the 20 week average timescale that transactions are taking in mind, propose some dates in the new year for all solicitors and parties in your chain to work towards.

Sims Williams are independent estate agents in Chichester, Bognor Regis, Arundel and the Six Villages. For advice on achieving the best possible price for your property in a timescale that works for you, book an appraisal with your local branch.

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Richard was completely professional yet friendly and kept us informed every step of the way. Nothing was ever too much trouble and he made a protracted transaction far less stressful than it could have been. Thoroughly recommend him and the company.
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The team at Sims Williams, Chichester afforded me a very professional service. I was looking for tenants at a difficult time of the year, but the team found and offered numerous applicants and never rushed me to choose. They thought of everything I needed including the gas and electrical safety certification. The team made the whole process as easy as it could be. I wholeheartedly recommend Sims Williams Lettings. They are very approachable, thorough professionals dedicated to providing the best service.
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As first time sellers we had a lot of questions and Sims Williams were happy to help. They were easy to contact throughout, kept us up to date on viewings and feedback. They even found our perfect home, which we got to see before it went on the market. Karen & the team were fantastic at keeping everyone in the chain informed & keeping the sale & purchase moving forward. We would highly recommend them & will use them again in future if we ever move. Thanks so much from happy house sellers & buyers.
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