Get ahead of the housing game and prepare for the January sales now!

We may still be counting down to Christmas – but don’t wait until the last of the turkey has been eaten or the festive trimmings recycled before you start to think about a move in January.

This is the advice from independent estate agents and valuers Harrison Murray, who are encouraging sellers to get ahead of the game if they want to secure a sale in early 2012.

Christmas is seen by some as a quiet time when it comes to the housing market – but as January kicks in and buyers look to the start of a New Year to move, acting now could secure that all important sale.

Harrison Murray managing director Nick Salmon said: “I can assure sellers and buyers that we do not stop working during the Christmas period. This is a time when as well as our usual valuations and sales, we receive a lot of enquiries from potential buyers who have highlighted the New Year as a time to move. If sellers are serious, it is imperative that they get ahead of the game and put their home on the market before Christmas to attract interest from potential buyers searching the market between Christmas and New Year.”

There are plenty of ways to dress your home to impress if you are putting it on the market:

–          Bedrooms add value. If there is a room that you use for storage, or a playroom that could be used as a bedroom, clear it out and put a bed in. If you want to demonstrate dual usage, put in a sofa bed to show how easily it could be converted.

–          The fabric of the home. Not everyone shares the same taste in interior design or soft furnishings. Disguising patterned carpets or sofas with plain rugs or throws will add a new dimension and a fresh look.

–          De-clutter. It may not be easy at this time of year, with a new batch of Christmas toys taking up space or family staying over – but de-clutter where you can. Draw up a room by room list and work through methodically.

–          Make your home welcoming - Fresh flowers always make a lovely touch and show you care about the home.

–          Kerb appeal. First impressions count. Make sure the front of your home looks appealing. Some planted up containers add a splash of much-needed colour during the winter months.

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