When Christmas is just around the corner, it's hard to find time to focus on anything else.
But if you're planning on selling your house in the new year, December really is the time to start preparing your property for market.
According to statistics from property portal Rightmove more than 25,147,701 property listings were visited on their site during last year's Boxing Day. That's a staggering amount with high visitor numbers being reported by all the property portals, making it the busiest day of the year for people looking for new places to call home.
Preparing your house for sale
So, if you're looking to sell your property in January, the weeks leading up to Christmas is crucial preparation time.
The new year is full of pledges and resolutions and, for many people, that could include setting out on a journey to buy a new home.
So, if you're selling, you want to be ready and waiting for those eager buyers when they appear.
Here are eight top tips for preparing your house for sale...
1. Have a big clear out
They say spring is the time for a clean, but clearing away junk and clutter is a good idea at any time of year when you're selling your home.
Perform an audit of all your things and be prepared to make tough decisions where needed.
And remember: Christmas often brings with it even more 'things' than you had before, so bear that in mind when trying to convince yourself that an old, dusty and scratched cabinet is worth keeping.
2. Take a look at your decor
If you're absolutely set on selling your property in the new year, it could be time to be honest about your decor.
While brightly-painted walls and flamboyant wallpaper might be very much to your taste, buyers can be easily put off by overly-personal decoration.
If you have some time off from work in and around Christmas, why not pick up a paint brush and give your property a lick of neutral paint.
Yes, you might see that as dull, but a blank canvas is far more likely to appeal to potential buyers.
3. Maximise space and light
While spending big on renovations to improve your property's chance of selling is an option, major work is probably a bad idea when Christmas is on the horizon.
Focus, instead, on making the best of what you have - and that means maximising the feelings of light and space.
You could consider replacing heavy curtains with shutters or blinds, while good quality lights should be used to highlight your property's best rooms.
4. Stage your home
When buyers search for homes online, more often than not they'll do so by filtering out the number of bedrooms.
So, if one of your bedrooms is being used as an office or as a dumping ground, some buyers could see your house as a two or three-bedroom property when, actually, it is a three or four-bedroom house.
If you can, move everything out and stage that room as it's intended.
5. The scent of a sale
The end of the year can be a great time to give your property a thorough clean.
And by 'thorough', we mean by using a professional.
Professional cleaning companies can see work dry up around the Christmas period, so many will have offers on - take advantage of this.
Not only will a deep clean make your property more liveable for Christmas, but it will mean it's all spick and span ready for all those new year buyers.
6. Kerb appeal is everything
When autumn is turning into winter, property exteriors can take a bit of a battering.
Rain, wind and general detritus from trees can make homes look untidy.
And if buyers turn up outside your home and it's unkempt, that could be a sale gone before they even step inside.
With most of the leaves having fallen by December, it can be a great time to wrap up warm and get outside for a bit of a tidy-up.
Trim hedges, clear away leaves and moss and make sure your bins are neatly stashed away.
You could even give your front door a fresh coat of paint or varnish and place some winter-hardy plant pots either side of your door for a warm welcome.
7. Clean your windows
Like all other aspects of a property's exterior, windows can become mucky and marked during the colder autumn and winter months.
Bring in a window cleaner and get everything gleaming nicely - and don't forget the inside of windows, too.
When the wintry sun shines through, buyers will see every finger mark...
8. Do your marketing photos now
Now you've put all that effort into getting your property ready for the sales market, it's time to get it photographed.
Don't wait until January when your house hits the market to do this - speak to your chosen estate agent and ask if they can arrange photographs of your property now - ready for the boxing day rush.
Is January a good time to sell a house?
January is a great time to sell your house.
Much of the January sales market is dependent on the weather, with buyers less likely to venture out on house viewings in dark, cold or wet afternoons.
But putting your property up for sale early in the new year can give you a great head start on properties that come to market in the usually busy spring period.
Thinking of selling your home? CJ Hole has branches all over the South West and South Wales. Contact your local branch
and one of our sales experts will be happy to help.