If you’re waiting out the Christmas period before putting your home on the market, then don’t wait until the festivities are completely over to start preparing your home to sell – winter can still be a desirable time to buy or sell a house. If you're considering it, then here are our 5 top tips for moving house in the New Year...
1. De-clutter: This is a tough one over the Christmas period, granted – at this time of year you’ll be busy filling your home with decorations, presents, festive food, extra furniture and lots of other bits and pieces. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start working on rooms that aren’t at the forefront of your festivities. Perhaps you have family coming to stay with you in the next couple of weeks? Start by de-cluttering the bedrooms they’ll be staying in; not only will it refresh them and make them welcoming for your guests, but it gives you a head start when it comes to actually moving house in the New Year.
After that, work your way through any other rooms where possible – pack up any china and ornaments you won’t be using, get rid of any clothes or toys that aren’t needed any more and box up any decorations that you don’t need – not only does it make space for the new things you’ll acquire this year, but it also ticks one of the biggest jobs off of your moving checklist for next year. If you don’t have space to store the packed boxes at home consider removals and storage services to get things out of the way while you handle viewings. For tips on packing china and ornaments away correctly, you can view our how-to videos here.
2. Spring (winter!) clean: We know its winter, but is there ever really an excuse not to give your home a good clean?!
If you’re playing host to family and friends this Christmas then this is the perfect excuse. Shampoo carpets, scrub bathrooms, remove any cobwebs that have gathered over autumn and make sure your fridge, oven and kitchen surfaces are sparkling. Then keep it that way – once the hard work has been done initially it should just be a case of keeping everything topped up and ready for your viewings come January. And don’t forget the garden – sweep up any leaves, clean windows and doors and prune back any dead plants and trees to make a lasting first impression.
3. Lighting: In winter months, lighting the house correctly is crucial. It’s likely that a good proportion of your viewings will be held as light falls (when people have finished work for the day) or on a cold, dark day. Make sure you spend some time over Christmas fixing any light fittings that have broken or replacing bulbs that have blown – perhaps you can even source a few nice new lamps in the sales to brighten up any particularly dark corners. The key is to make your home look cosy and inviting – even on the darkest and coldest of days.
4. Staging: This is all about the finishing touches. Even if your home isn’t due to go on the market until the New Year, you should be thinking about how to stage it for viewings now. Things like matching fresh towels for the bathroom, arranging cushions or throws for your sofa, smart bedding for each bedroom and fresh tea towels for your kitchen are good places to start (and a great excuse to hit the January sales!).
Once you’ve de-cluttered, make sure each room is accessorised immaculately – one of the best ways to get into the right frame of mind is to imagine how the room will look once photographed for brochures. There should be no toys out, personal photographs on display or pet food/toys adorning floor space. Place bunches of fresh flowers around to brighten bare surfaces and perhaps bake a cake to display in the kitchen, or set your dining table as if you were having people over for a meal – really think about the little details. And don’t forget the smell – the pictures will draw people in, but once they’re there make sure your house smells as good as it looks!
On viewing days, make sure all the bins are emptied, pets and their trays are removed and you haven’t cooked a particularly strong meal the night before. If in doubt, freshly baked bread or brewing coffee are always welcoming smells!
5. And once you’ve secured the sale? Book your professional removal company as early as possible! Don’t worry if you don’t have a moving date yet, but getting quotes and making provisional arrangements early for moving house in the New Year saves a lot of stress as you move toward completion date.
Don’t forget it’s likely you’ll be moving in bad weather come January or February, making it harder to manoeuvre heavy or awkward items safely, so it’s definitely worth using the professionals. On moving day, remember to pack your essentials box with a few key items to help beat the cold, as well as making sure your car and driveway are prepared in case of heavy ice or snow.