It’s an age old, chicken and egg problem and one which we hear about all the time. You want to sell your house but you haven’t yet found a house you want to buy.
Many of us spend a lot of time thinking about property, as a nation we are obsessed with buying and selling houses, the fact that you can still watch years old episodes of Location, Location, Location is testament to that! Programmes about property seem to have a wide appeal, perhaps it’s the low level, will they, won’t they drama of waiting for an offer to be accepted, perhaps it’s just because we all like to have a good nose around other people’s homes – whatever the appeal, programmes like this show us that finding ‘the one’ can be hard work…
So, is it best to find a property you want to buy before you put your house on the market? Or secure a buyer before you start looking?
On the one hand, if you find a property you want to buy and you have not sold your house yet, you will not be ready to move quickly. In a market where under supply has been a problem, this approach may well leave you disappointed. Properties which are new to the market always generate a fair bit of interest early on and can get snapped up pretty quickly.
On the other hand, if you sell your property and you have not found a property to buy, you may end up not being able to find anything or having to find a rental property – a prospect which can be unappealing.
Our best advice would be to make a start. If you are thinking of selling your house it is a good idea to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later. Even if you don’t want to start actively marketing your property until you have another in your sights, here are some things you can do to make sure you are as ready as possible.
Do your initial homework and start to build a relationship with an estate agent. Get your home valued and appoint an agent you think will be a good fit.
Make sure your chosen agent knows what you are planning. Let them know what you are looking for and where and the timescales you are working towards. Making sure that everyone is on the same page at the beginning of the process can save any misunderstandings down the line. They may even be able to help you find a suitable property
The time when a property is first introduced to the market is the optimum marketing time so you do not want to rush this step. Taking the time to get property details right, getting some great photos which show your property to its best advantage, creating floor-plans and getting an EPC all take time. If your agent has all this ready when you find a house you want to buy they will be able to start marketing your property right away.
Another advantage of instructing an agent before you are ready to market is that they will be able to let potential buyers know that your property is coming soon and generate some early interest – perhaps even to someone else in the same position for whom your house is ‘the one’.
If you follow these steps and get as much of the leg work as you can, done, before you want to start actively marketing your property, you will be ready to start quickly when the time comes. Hopefully this will mean that you end up securing ‘the one’ rather than lamenting the one that got away!