Houses for sale: How to get your home on the property market before the Boxing Day boom

Martin Roberts offers his 'top tips' for buying a property

Selling your property on Boxing Day might sound like a crazy idea, but it could be your best bet when it comes to selling your home. As the Christmas rush comes to an end and more people look to their New Year plans, buying a property or a significant change are usually at the top of the list. Figures from Rightmove suggest a 231 percent increase in traffic between December 26 and New Year’s Eve.

This year, experts are predicting property portals to be even busier than usual as news of the coronavirus vaccine sparks confidence in potential buyers.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant Britons are now being forced to re-evaluate what they want from their homes with office and garden space taking precedence.

CEO of online estate agent Strike, Sam Mitchell, has shared his tips for those looking to take advantage of the “Boxing Day bounce” and sell their property online.

1. Make sure your home is property ready

It’s just over a week until Boxing Day but you can make some small changes to your home to make sure it’s appealing to potential buyers.

Mr Mitchell said making sure your home is sale-ready is as simple as fixing a leaky tap, replacing blown light bulbs or re-painting any visible cracks on the walls.

The expert also suggests cleaning up the garden by removing dead leaves and weeds.

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2. Use an agent with a digital edge

With the coronavirus pandemic still proving to be a major obstacle, finding an estate agent who is digitally savvy can be really helpful, especially with the latest tier system in place.

An online estate agent could mean your property will be uploaded to the market within hours.

You also won’t have to worry about office hours – which can be tricky around the Christmas period.

Online estate agents also mean you can access property experts more easily who can offer virtual viewings and valuations.

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3. Get online

You need to make your home standout online which means using good quality photographs with a high resolution.

Mr Mitchell said even if your description is in-depth, an image is what will grab buyers’ attention.

He said the first image on the listing needs to be “perfect” and show why people should visit.

Sellers should aim to showcase the best parts of their homes in five to nine photos.

However, more photos gives buyers more detail.

4. Price realistically

The price of a property is often the biggest factor in how quickly a home can sell, according to Mr Mitchell.

He said sellers need to do their research and price competitively.

If you price too high, it could put buyers off while a competitive price can trigger buyers to offer above the asking price.

On property portals, buyers will often search in price bands e.g. between £150,000 and £200,000.

If you price your property at the top of a price band, you could appear at the top of people’s searches.

5. Maximise your search potential

The property expert said sellers need to use keywords in their listing to attract buyers.

As more people look for outside space and offices for working at home, using words such as “garden” or “office” could help you gain clicks.

Recent research by Strike found that four in 10 home movers now want a bigger garden or outdoor space, while a quarter say not having a home office is now a deal breaker.

Mr Mitchell said sellers need to make sure that if sellers have a garden or office, they need to make it clear in the description and images.

He also said referring to a room used for multiple purposes is a good way to appeal to what people are looking for e.g. “playroom/office area”.

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