This is the question that we are asked all the time, and one which is very valid.
There is no doubt that deciding to move is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a decision that is going to play a big part in your life for a number of weeks, even months.
So you’ve decided to move…..now what?
Some may say the wisest way to buy and sell a property is to find a house you love, and then take the necessary steps to get your property on the market. There’s sound reasoning to it as well. Quite often, people may have concerns about being made homeless due to not being able to find anything in time.
Plus, never mind “in time”, what if you can’t find anything you like at all? And then there’s the fact that even if you do find something you like, it won’t be a problem because houses on your street always sell really fast…..
However, ask any estate agent and they will recommend the opposite. Believe it or not, this isn’t because we’re looking out for our own best interests, it’s because we deal with literally thousands of buyers and sellers annually and we know which method is going to most likely going to result in a positive outcome for you.
Let’s go through the concerns raised to us, and give our advice:
“What if you find a buyer for mine but I can’t find anywhere in time?”:
If you found the property of your dreams, would you be prepared to wait for a few weeks for the vendor to find somewhere for themselves? The answer is most likely a “yes”, and it wouldn’t be any different if someone wanted to buy yours.
A few weeks is nothing compared to the years of happiness to follow that are going to be spent living in that property.
Yes, it’s certainly in your favour if you have other options such as moving into rented for a few weeks, moving in with family or some sort of alternative accommodation but it is by no means essential.
The bottom line is that if a buyer really wants your property, they’ll wait.
“What if I simply can’t find anything that I like?”
We hear this on a daily basis and believe it or not, 70-80% of our customers who put their house on the market all have the same concerns, and that’s a lot of customers.
However, the amount of properties that fall through due to the seller not being able to find a property that they like is an absolutely miniscule percentage, if any at all. All of these vendors find a property – it just works out that way.
Also, I would always advise going to view properties that don’t tick all the boxes from the first impression, but they could potentially be suitable.
“Houses on my street always sell really fast?”:
If only I had a pound for every time I heard this….
However, this is what we tend to find happens with most sellers who choose to try and find somewhere before they market their own property.
First, you’ll find somewhere that you like. Now the market is already very active with plenty of buyers in a good position. Some vendors simply won’t allow viewings to take place with buyers who don’t have their property on the market. Straight away you’re at a disadvantage because you might not be able to even view the property.
Alternatively, if you do get a viewing and the property is everything you though it would be, you might want to put forward an offer – which might be acceptable to the vendor. However, very few vendors are going to take their property off the market and wait for you to sell yours – would you be prepared to do that if a potential buyer came to you in a similar situation?
Then there’s the added fact that if you like the property, there is a high probability that somebody else does too – and that somebody else is likely to be in a better position than you. Even if they don’t offer as high as you did, the fact that they’re potentially in a position to proceed adds a lot of weight to the offer.
So the likelihood is, you lose out on you dream property because somebody in a better position came along and snapped it up. This happens all the time and the only way to avoid it is to get on the market!
If you’ve decided that you’re going to move, it simply doesn’t make sense not to get your property on the market – for a variety of reasons:
1) The cost to actually put your property on the market is minimal. You only pay our commission if we sell your property. So you’re not going to be out of pocket.
2) Even if you haven’t found somewhere, you’re not going to be forced into taking an offer that you don’t want to accept. As an estate agent, we act in our vendor’s best interests and as long as you make your agent aware of your situation at the beginning, they will work with you to make sure you don’t lose out.
3) Just by having your property on the market will give you much better negotiation power and it means you can be actively generating interest on your own property whilst searching for your ideal home.
Finally, and this is an important point to consider, if everybody who told us they wanted to wait until they’ve found somewhere before they put their property on the market, actually put their property on the market, there would be a lot more properties on the market!
It sounds obvious but think about it. There might be somebody out there right now looking for your property, and the only way they’re going to know about it is by having it on the market. If you apply that to all of the above who say the same thing, there are so many sales and chains being missed out on. It kick starts the chain for everything else to happen – because without a buyer, you’re not going anywhere!
So, here’s my final words of advice. If you’ve made the decision that you want to move, firstly, find out about your finances and get a rough idea of what your budget would be. Then, get your property on the market and get out there viewing properties. If you do it this way, there’s a high probability that everything will work in your favour. There’s no written rule, it just happens this way.
However, if you wait to find somewhere first, you may find yourself missing out on being able to secure your dream home.
Our advice is always make yourself the best possible buyer, especially when you are looking in a popular area where properties sell fast.