As May comes into view, with the anticipation of the warm summer months ahead of us, with sun-drenched hot beaches and cold ice cream, the thoughts and contemplations of Christmas seem a million miles away.

Yet many people who wish to move would like to be in for Christmas.

If that is you, listen up, as you might be surprised by what I tell you. Lincoln home buyers and sellers dreaming of celebrating Christmas 2024 in a new home, the time to act is running out.

The property landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years, reflecting changes in buyer behaviour and the intricacies of the transaction process itself.

Recent statistics from the UK property market reveal some thought-provoking trends.

From April 2023 to April 2024, UK properties took an average of 69 days from listing their home for sale with an agent to an agreed sale, with a subsequent 112 days to completion (i.e. completion is when the keys and monies change hands). That’s a total of 181 days. This is a shift from the previous year (April 2022 to April 2023), where it took 47 days to secure a buyer and 124 days from agreement to completion.

That means if you placed your property onto the market in the first week of May, looking at the average amount of time to complete, you will be moving in the first or second week of November.

Lincoln’s local figures align closely with national trends but with its unique nuances.

Between April 2022 and April 2023, it typically took 53 days to find a buyer and 123 days for the legal completion in Lincoln.

However, these past 12 months have seen a lengthening in the initial part of the selling process. It now takes about 90 days to find a buyer, though the span from sale agreement to completion has decreased to 107 days.

This means it takes the Lincoln home seller 197 days from listing their Lincoln home to moving out – just over six months.

These numbers paint a clear picture: selling a home and settling into a new one is not as swift as many might hope. Given these timelines, homeowners looking to move home by Christmas should ideally be putting their homes on the market by late May or early June.

This allows ample time for each phase of the selling process, from attracting the right buyer to navigating the legal intricacies with solicitors. It ensures that you can put up your Christmas tree and decorations in your new living room comfortably before Christmas.

That means if you want to move into your new home by Friday, 6th December, you will need to put your home on the market by Thursday, 23rd May.

This is assuming you hit the average times scales mentioned above for Lincoln.

Why the urgency? The current market conditions suggest a slower pace in securing buyers, which can be attributed to various factors, including economic uncertainties, changes in mortgage rates, and a more discerning buyer pool. The national reduced time from sale agreement to completion, however, indicates that once a buyer is secured, the process is becoming more streamlined – a positive sign for sellers.

Prospective Lincoln sellers should also consider the advantages of the current property market.

With the extended time to attract buyers, presenting your property at its best has never been more crucial. This means addressing any maintenance issues, considering upgrades that increase property appeal, and staging your home to capture the imagination of potential buyers. Effective marketing through an experienced estate agency can significantly enhance visibility and attract quality offers.

Moreover, engaging with a knowledgeable Lincoln estate agent early in the process can provide crucial guidance. They can help navigate the complexities of the Lincoln market, advise on realistic pricing strategies, and manage the sale process to avoid common pitfalls that could delay proceedings.

For those contemplating a move, the message is clear: acting sooner rather than later is prudent. The market’s current pace means that starting the process in the next couple of weeks is essential to ensure you are settled in your new home in time for the festive season.

This isn’t just about moving house; it’s about moving home. It’s about ensuring that by the time December’s frost dusts the streets of Lincoln, you are warm and settled, with the comforting scent of mulled wine wafting through your new home.

While the Lincoln property market may present challenges, thorough preparation and timely action can pave the way for a smooth transition to your new home by Christmas. Remember, the perfect moment to put up your property for sale is now. Let’s make your festive dreams a reality – speak to your local estate agency today and take that first, decisive step towards your new beginning.

If you would like a chat about where you sit in the current market, do not hesitate to give me a call on 01522 512 513 or drop me a message on social media.

To ensure ALL our clients get the very best experience, and a total marketing strategy as unique as their homes, we only list twenty properties per month, our May & June slots are now available to book, you are always a name and not just a number, with Walters.