Christmas is coming, and although the property market usually slows down over the festive period, savvy buyers can take the initiative and find themselves a real bargain during late November and December. However, buying at Christmas presents its own challenges, which you should be aware of before you starting looking. So, here’s four tips for buying property this Christmas, starting with working out what you want.
1. Know what you want
Buying in a quiet time has its limitations. You probably won’t be viewing lots of different properties, so it’s important to know what you want before you start looking. You should set your requirements and priorities at the outset, but also remember to be flexible, as you may not find exactly what you’re looking for.
2. Make sure you’re prepared
Buying to a deadline is all about being prepared. When you’re buying a home at Christmas, you may only have a few days to complete the sale, especially as we get closer to the big day and banks and solicitors start closing for the holidays. It’s therefore a good idea to start your preparations as early as possible. You can do this by appointing a solicitor or conveyancer as soon as you can, as well as agreeing a mortgage in principle with a lender before you start looking. This will mean you can make an offer on a house you like without worrying about whether or not you can get a mortgage agreed in time. You should also get all your bank details in order, as well as any legal documents you may need during the buying process, and you can start arranging your insurance. This kind of preparation will really make a difference to whether or not you can complete your sale before Christmas.
3. Find the right agent
The property industry usually slows down around the festive season, which means that many estate agents will use this time to take time off from work. So, before you even start looking for a property, you need to find an agent that is willing and ready to work with you right up until the deadline on the 23rd or 24th of December. This will avoid any issues in contacting them, and will mean they can accompany you on any viewing to ensure you make the right decisions.
4. Be prepared to wait
The property market is always quieter at Christmas, so be prepared to wait for the right property to come along. You may find that there aren’t many properties on the market in your area, and so it may take some time and lots of searching to find something for you. However, this does also have its benefits. When you’re only viewing one or two properties, you’ll be certain whether or not they are right for you, and you can make your move as soon as one feels right, without the confusion of wondering whether something else is out there for you.