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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What our clients say

Amazing service from start to finish

We had a fantastic experience with Sims Williams when we purchased our new home, the staff were personable, helpful and professional throughout the entire process. Would certainly recommend!
Chris Hicks - Buyer - Jul 6th, 2021

The Service Is Always First Class

From initial discussions on suggested property types and values to eventual marketing and sales progression, the service is always first class. Their local knowledge means their valuations are always realistic, well researched and achievable.
Simon Arch – Owner S A Construction Ltd -

Thank you for a great service!

I have recently let two properties through Sims Williams and have found the level of service to be excellent. Both properties achieved a high level of rent and the professionalism of the team at Sims Williams I found to be first class! I would thoroughly recommend landlords to use Sims Williams as their letting agent.
Michael - Landlord - Feb 1st, 2022

One Word - Fantastic.

We don’t normally write reviews, but on this occasion we had too. In life you get what you pay for, whilst I’m sure that there are cheaper agents out there; if you want a stress free move with knowledgeable, friendly and dedicated agents, that give excellent communication, then look no further than Sims Williams. We dealt with John, Annie and Vanessa, we sold and purchased through them. The Team in the Bognor Branch is fantastic, we couldn’t of hoped for better agents to support us through the journey which wasn’t always the easiest but they communicated to either side of the chain fantastically, keeping stress to a minimum and helped us through the bumps to complete in 11 weeks. A big thank you to you all, and in the future we wouldn’t look anywhere else. Sam and Lisa.
Mr & Mrs Poston - Dec 7th, 2021

Brilliant service

David is fantastic! Super helpful and friendly! Made a stressful time alot easier. Thank you David.
Rachel - Tenant - Mar 31st, 2024

Smooth Sale

Sims Williams recently sold My late mothers house. We found it was all dealt with very smoothly, and all the staff were very friendly and helpful.
Patsy - Vendor - Jan 12th, 2023

Jo and the Team

We have been delighted with the professional and helpful service that we have received. Jo and the team went above and beyond in solving the problem, which they inherited, when we asked them to take on our property.
Richard & Sue - Landlord - Apr 8th, 2023

Flat Rental - Great Assistance

Jo from SW was a pleasure to work with. She made the whole process of letting a property effortless. Especially for someone who was new to the country. I would definitely recommend Sims Williams to anyone in the Chichester area who was looking to rent/buy/sell. Their team is very professional and will definitely help you with all your concerns/ questions. Thanks again!
Arjun - Tenant - Aug 24th, 2023

Excellent Service

The whole team and Karen and Calum in particular are very professional and kept me informed throughout a difficult purchase, don’t go anywhere else!
Dave - Buyer - Mar 6th, 2021

Excellent Service

We have rented three properties with Sims Williams and each time they have gone above and beyond to sort things out for us. Jo Mallett and David Vawdrey are both extremely professional and helpful and we cannot thank you both enough for all your help and making our move easier. Thank you.
Bethan - Tenant - Nov 10th, 2021