THE lights, tinsel and baubles decorating our local retail stores are a daily reminder that Christmas is just around the corner.
That said, there is still a short window of opportunity for property buyers bidding to be in a new home before Santa and his reindeer arrive in around 60 days, according to James Pratt, Director Auction Services, Raine & Horne.
“The standard settlement on a property contract is 42 days, which does mean buyers need to make a move in the next fortnight to ensure they move in before Christmas,” said Mr Pratt.
“But that’s not to say buyers should rush into the property buying process – it’s important they still take the time to read the contract carefully, or with the assistance of a lawyer.
“For example, some vendors selling at this time of year may write an extended settlement into the contract, so they can spend one last Christmas in the property. This is more common if the property for sale is a family home.”
For buyers seeking to settle into a new home before Christmas, it’s possible to negotiate a shorter settlement period.
“If you’re attempting to purchase a property, and the settlement date is after Christmas, you can ask for a shorter period, as long as the request is made before auction day,” says Mr Pratt.
“This request is more likely to be approved if the property is vacant or the vendors are eager to move on as fast as possible.”
Securing a property closer to Christmas has benefits for buyers too, according to Pratt.
“You may be able to pick up a better deal, with many vendors often more motivated to sell to enable them to enjoy the festivities of Christmas and the New Year,” he says.
“Therefore, if you’re looking to buy a property but are not worried about moving into the property before Christmas, waiting to pounce in December could prove a financially savvy strategy.
“Once we hit the middle of the December, many buyers drop out of the market, which benefits the committed buyer.
“With some of the competition out of the way for the Christmas break, motivated buyers and investors will have a better chance of negotiating with vendors.”