IF all you want for Christmas is a new home to celebrate the festive season in, you still have time.
Property experts say it is becoming more common for house hunters to buy and then settle nail-bitingly close to December 25.
Many have preparations in place weeks in advance to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.
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Harcourts Coastal managing director Dane Atherton said they were ready for the Christmas rush.
“We’ve got solicitors on standby up until the 23rd,” he said.
“If you (buy at) auction this weekend, we can do a 21-day settlement and they can be in by Christmas.
“Even a 14-day settlement we can do.”
He said there were also many benefits for sellers when it came to offloading properties before Christmas and the New Year.
“The upside in doing it before Christmas is you avoid the potential increase in competition of more listings coming on (the market) in January,” he said.
“These people who will have sold before Christmas, they’re now in a position to buy in January.”
Professionals John Henderson director Luke Henderson said it was important to be organised.
“You just need to have your finance lined up at this stage,” he said.
“If they only need a valuation through the bank and everything else is lined up, they could probably do it as early as 14 days.
“If you don’t, then you’re generally waiting until a month after that.”
He said they already had settlements booked for December 19.
Agents were reporting a steadier market following a tough start to the year and expected it to continue into the new year.
McGrath’s Billy Jaz, who recently became a joint franchise partner of the Palm Beach office with Andy Hogarth and Ian Mills, said buyer sentiment had improved with market conditions in recent months.
“The finality of both the (federal) election and (banking, superannuation and financial services) royal commission are two factors that have positively influenced the marketplace,” he said.
“In addition, the trend of interstate buyers is growing quickly and is supported by all-time low interest rates.”