I want to move but have not seen a house I want to buy yet. Do I put my house on the market first or wait until I see something?
This is a common question we are asked, especially in the current market where there is a shortage of property available to buy. It’s a catch 22 situation; if you put your house up for sale first you may find a buyer for your own property without a new house to buy, however if you find first you may miss out if you have not agreed a sale on your own property.
As with most things in life, preparation is the key and there a few things that need to be addressed before we answer the question. First be clear about why you are moving and what you need from your next home. Set your search criteria by listing the ‘must haves’, those things you will not compromise on, then the ‘like to haves’ (this should be the longer list!). Next take into account all costs involved with moving by arranging a valuation for your own property, taking advice from a mortgage specialist and obtaining costs for a solicitor, legal disbursements, stamp duty and removals. With all this information to hand you can set a budget for the price of property you can afford. Then comes the exciting bit, scouring the internet portals like Rightmove and Zoopla for properties that match your criteria.
If there is a good choice of the sort of property you are looking for then you are probably best putting your own property on the market first. This way you give yourself the time to test the market and achieve the best price without the pressure of trying to sell quickly to secure a house you already want to buy. You may also need to do it this way if you feel your property does not have mass market appeal and may take while to sell. Most buyers will expect a seller to have to find somewhere and will give a reasonable amount of time for you to find a new home to buy.
By contrast, if there is very little choice of property for you to buy and the type of property you are looking for does not come up very often, you would be wise to wait for the right house to come along before putting your own home up for sale. However, you can give yourself a better chance of getting into a proceedable position quickly by getting your house ready for market. Choose your agent and they will have the photographs taken and the brochure prepared ready to click the property live onto the market within minutes once you see a new home to buy. At YOUR MOVE ANSCOMBS we use a professional photographer and accurate floorplans to create a bespoke colour brochure and an eye-catching internet presence for your property. With time on your side you can ensure that the property is presented to look its best for the photos and wait for a sunny day to get the very best external shots. All this can be prepared in advance at no cost to you. This ready position will also give you more credibility with agents and sellers when booking viewings as they are all likely to ask about your ‘buying position’.
Ultimately, if you are 100% sure you want to move, just go for it as we find everything has a funny way of working out in the end.