ASK THE EXPERT

A. As a general rule, there is nothing to be gained by waiting before putting your home on the market. Assuming that you are looking to sell in order to buy somewhere else, the swings and roundabouts principle always applies – whatever the state of the market.

That said, Christmas is the one real exception. Quite frankly, there is no point rushing to market this close to the start of the festive season. Right now, just about everybody has other things on their minds than looking at properties – properties which, with even the best will in the world, they won’t be able to move into before the New Year.

However…far from just sitting on your hands until the turkey carcass finally bites the dust, you can always turn this enforced lull to your advantage by putting everything in place, so that you can hit the ground running immediately the festive season is over. In fact, this is just plain common sense – but it’s particularly true in the current climate. With buyers so few and far between, you need to take advantage of anything that could give you even the slightest edge.

The key thing, of course, is to do your research, select your estate agent carefully and instruct them. Most agents are going to have quite a lot of time to spare over the next two or three weeks, so your chosen firm should be perfectly able to get everything ready for a New Year marketing blitz – from commissioning your Energy Performance Certificate, taking good-quality photographs and preparing marketing materials, to advising you on any little things you can do to improve the buyer-appeal of your home.

The net result of all this is that you will be ideally placed to take the fullest possible advantage of the increase in market activity which invariably follows the Christmas lull. And don’t forget, the further you are down the road to selling your current home, the stronger position you’ll be in when it comes to striking a deal on the next one.

All in all then, a little preparation now - and you could be in line for a very happy New Year indeed!