Published: 29/07/2021Most moves have a lot riding on them, and, if you're thinking of selling your home, there's probably a good reason behind it.
Perhaps you're moving in with a partner, expanding your family, relocating for work, thinking about schools, considering downsizing, or simply moving to your ultimate dream location.
None of these are small events. They're pivotal life moments filled with anticipation, and when the next chapter of your life depends on the sale of your home, it can be an emotional time.
We believe that estate agents have a unique role to play in making your move an enjoyable and exciting experience. Because moving is exciting, and it can absolutely be enjoyable.
In that spirit, let's look at what you can plan for and what to be prepared for so you can keep a level head at every stage of selling your home.
PUT TIME ON YOUR SIDE
Far and away, the biggest source of anxiety when selling your home is feeling that your move may not happen when you need it to.
The speed of buying and selling is far from an exact science, so allow yourself enough time and flexibility to meet your ideal dates. Having plenty of breathing space will make it easier to make decisions calmly and to carry on with your work and home life as usual.
Just like everywhere else, the property market in and around Berkhamsted and Tring is prone to contradictions. Some homes fly off the shelves in days, but you'll feel a whole lot more at ease if your plans don't hinge entirely on that kind of good fortune.
A general guideline is to be ready to hit the market about six months before you want to move. For some tailored advice on getting the presentation and timing just right for your home though, the first thing is to book a market appraisal with one of our valuers.
TAKE IT STEP BY STEP
Just like a house, moves are built from the bottom up. Nothing can happen without the foundations in place, and buyers are the building blocks of your plans.
So, if there's only one piece of advice you follow, make it this: find a buyer for your current home before committing to your next one.
It's completely understandable to feel so confident when estate agents are telling you they can sell your home quickly, and with all those beautiful listings staring out seductively from the portals, the temptation to view can be hard to resist.
But you'll face stiff competition from buyers in stronger positions, and the fear of losing the home you've set your heart on can leave you desperate to sell, even in a fast market. Feeling compelled to accept the first offer you get is not only stressful; it could also mean taking thousands less than your home is truly worth.
Unfortunately, too many sellers find this out the hard way, so give yourself a break and get that buyer first.
PICK AN AGENT WITH A PLAN
Imagine your sale as a series of time bubbles. With each subsequent one becoming less effective, your agent needs a plan to maximise response early on and then maintain momentum.
Your first two weeks on the market are often the most active. Your home appears online, portals give you a shiny New Listing label and send out alerts, your agent calls their registered buyers, and new enquiries come in. You've also decluttered to perfection, and you tidy up enthusiastically to prepare for a flurry of viewings. You might even have a launch day.
The following two weeks are also busy. Response is still coming in from the people who couldn't get round before – maybe they were away, or tied up with life, or holding off till they got a buyer of their own – and anyone who liked your home on their first viewing has arranged to come back for a second look.
At this point, after about a month on the market, you'll have hopefully found a buyer or have offers coming in. If not, you'll at least have enough feedback to know whether a sale is likely, or if you need to change tack.
Here's where a plan becomes really important. Before choosing who to entrust with the sale of your home, ask each agent what they'll do after those first four weeks if you haven't got a buyer. How will they keep you on track to sell?
ACCEPT THE RIGHT OFFER
Getting an offer is exciting, and you might even be lucky enough to have multiple buyers competing against each other, so let's explore what makes a good one.
There's much more to an offer than money, and your buyer's position is every bit as important as the price they put forward.
Everyone who makes an offer on your home should be able to confirm:
- whether they need to sell another property;
- if they have a buyer yet;
- full details of any chain involved;
- proof of funds (mortgage, cash or both);
- that their deposit is readily available;
- if any money is coming from somebody else who also needs to see your home;
- when they want to move.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
If we had a penny for every sale that hit a hitch, we'd need a huge bottle to store them!
Bumps in the road can come from survey results, mortgage valuations and the conveyancing process. They can happen to any home in a chain, but they don't automatically mean the end of your move.
You can't plan for everything, but instructing a solicitor as soon as your home goes on the market can reveal and resolve any potential legal issues, giving you a draft contract ready to go the moment you accept an offer.
And getting timeframes confirmed for every link in the chain when your sale is agreed, along with any booked holidays that might affect your moving date, can avoid fraught conversations as you approach exchanging contracts.
It's also worth remembering that, despite the ups and downs, things generally work out.
By following these tips, you can minimise the potential for stress by the time you put your home on the market, which is a pretty good start.
If you're thinking of selling your property and you're beginning the search for an estate agent, we'd love to show you how we can help you sell your home.
Tring office: 01442 820420
Berkhamsted office: 01442 863000