Thu 28 Jan 2021
During my 35 years career as an estate agent I am often asked the question by potential sellers if it is best that they search and find a new home to buy and then market their existing home or market their existing home, find a buyer for it and then go searching for their next property.
In truth both approaches have their merits and it often depends on the circumstances that lead to a desire to sell up and move on.
Let me explain. Some homeowners plan their move, maybe they have outgrown their existing dwelling or their household income has increased and this has opened the door to moving home. This type of move is consciously made. The alternative circumstance that leads to a move is the unconscious move, whereby perhaps interest in another property is prompted by the sight of a for sale board at a property that has always appealed or the email notification from a property portal that brings one's attention to a desirable property.
Let's now consider the benefits and considerations of what we will now call the ‘planned conscious house sale’ and the ‘opportunistic unconscious move’.
The benefits of the consciously planned house sale its that the seller has the opportunity to prepare their property for sale, gathering relevant documentation together, such as invoices, guarantees etc, time to work through the moving budget, time to shop for a mortgage (if required) and even get a mortgage agreement in principle for any next property and time to consider the type and location of the property sort. Also importantly time to research and choose the right estate agent whose services are to be engaged to market the house sale and handle the sale transaction.
The unconscious opportunistic move often finds the seller on the back foot as they have fallen in love with the property of their dreams and buying decisions are often rushed and made with the ‘heart’ not the ‘head’. An example might be that the seller who needs mortgage finance for their next home (and most do) will not have sat down with a mortgage broker, bank or building society to establish if they can get a mortgage they need. As mortgage lending has tightened greatly over the last 5 - 10 years it often comes with great disappointment to homeowners who are rejected by lenders for another mortgage even though they have an existing mortgage on their current home. The other big area of risk is that a seller setting their heart on a property and agreeing a price on such property, even with best intentions, such commitment is usually made on the assumption that an existing home will achieve the sales price that the owner believes it to be worth. Sadly many a seller's view on the value of their home is aspirational or at least ambitious. The problem arises when having marked the property potential buyers offers are below a sellers expectations, often leading to a funding gap that can only be closed by additional financing by the seller or renegotiation with the vendor of the desired purchase. One quick point to add, the unconscious opportunistic seller often engages the services of the estate agent they are wanting to buy their purchase through. This is normally justified in the mind of the seller thinking that the agent dealing with their house sale will favour them, perhaps even hold the property they wish to buy, as its via the same agent…..WRONG estate agents work on behalf of the seller. If an agent is selling a property and they have buyers who are dependent upon selling their existing homes, the agent will continue to actively promote the property. A recipe for massive disappointment when the agent finds a ready willing and able buyer that ‘pips’ the dependent buyers to the proverbial post. In short there is minimal if any benefit in engaging the services of the estate agent a seller wishes to buy through.
In summary, sellers that approach a house move consciously often benefit from less stress going through the moving process and importantly the move has much more certainty in successfully concluding.
Director - Living Property Sales & Lettings
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