For would-be buyers who have spent months saving for a deposit, or sellers holding fire when it comes to putting their property on the market, 2017 is the time to get moving.
While Spring is traditionally a busy time when it comes to moving house, the start of a new year can prompt people to think about taking action early to stay one step ahead of the crowd.
With a few simple tips and words of advice, particularly with so much to think about during the buying and selling process, Harrison Murray Estate Agency and Nottingham Estate Agency (both part of the Nottingham Building Society) have a checklist to help people along the way.
Tips for sellers
1. Set a realistic asking price based on the valuation given by your agent. If your price is too high potential buyers won't come and view it.
2. Keep your home clean and clutter free - and that includes the garden. It may seem like a chore but a tidy home and outdoor space will make a good impression on buyers.
3. Take viewings at any time. Buyers can sometimes request a viewing at short notice. Unless you have a really good reason for saying 'no', don't! Be prepared to allow them to come at any reasonable time and don't miss an opportunity.
4. Get your finances sorted from the outset and be clear on how much you can afford to take on your existing home and how much you can spend on your next property.
5. Start the search for your new home by looking around and comparing what's on the market and stick to something in your price range.
Tips for buyers
1. Do your homework. Check out the location you want to move to and tell your agent which area you really like to narrow the search and timescale. Be specific about your needs - do you want a garage/would you be happy with a smaller garden/do you want to be within walking distance of local amenities?
2. Get financially prepared and be sure of how much you can afford to spend before putting in an offer. Think about any budget needed for alterations.
3. Don't view too many properties or you may forget what you have seen at the outset. Try and have a shortlist based on your requirements.
4. Don't dither making an offer if you've found the property of your dreams. If it's right for you then go for it and don't run the risk of losing out to another buyer.
5. Make an offer. Don't be afraid to make a reasonable offer. Your agent should be able to guide you on what the seller might accept, but the level of the offer remains the decision of the potential buyer.