There’s still time to be in your new home by Christmas, just follow our ten golden rules

13 November 2009, The Daily Mail

By Graham Norwood

Most people want the dust to have settled on their new home by Christmas. And this year there’s even more incentive to complete a move before December 25.

The Government’s move to scrap the 1per cent stamp duty on homes between £125,000 and £175,000, introduced to boost the market last September, ends on New Year’s Eve.

With average house moves taking 12 weeks and with only six weeks to go before Christmas, time is of the essence. If you want to avoid stamp duty, or are buying in a higher price range and wish to complete in time for the turkey, what should you do now?

EXPERTS SAY THERE ARE TEN GOLDEN RULES:

1. INSTRUCT MULTIPLE AGENTS TO SELL

‘Don’t be tempted by a cheap fee from one agent,’ says Ed Mead, of London agency Douglas & Gordon. ‘What’s the point of saving £2,000 if the property isn’t selling?

Pay a multi-agency fee to have two or three agents competing. They’ll be more urgent.’

2. PRICE REALISTICALLY

‘A too-ambitious asking price will put buyers off,’ says Camilla Dell, of Black Brick buying advisers. ‘Put it on at a competitive price. You may get buyers competing.’

3. ORGANISE THE PAPERWORK

‘Get your Home Information Pack (HIP) ordered several weeks before you want to launch. It’s now a legal requirement,’ says John Keeble, of John D Wood estate agency.

A HIP consists of a questionnaire about fixtures and fittings being left behind, plus an Energy Performance Certificate based on an inspection b energy efficiency experts, as well as title deeds and search information from the council and utilities.

4. APPOINT A SOLICITOR QUICKLY

‘This is essential; a slow solicitor will frustrate the buyer and seller,’ says Jo Eccles, of relocation firm Sourcing Property. ‘This could cost you your purchaser or new home, so don’t scrimp on legal fees.’

5. MAKE OVER YOUR HOME

London house doctor firm The Final Touch gives the example of a flat valued at £450,000 that had no buyer. It recently sold for £512,000 after being spruced up at a cost of £2,500

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