Deciding to sell your home and buy another one can be daunting – and if you are relocating, it comes with even more potential stress. Most agents will recommend that you try to both sell and buy simultaneously, unless you are in a position to be able to invest in a second property without having to sell an existing one. Here are some step by step guidelines to buying and selling a home
1. Work Out Your Finances
Take advice from an independent financial advisor as to what price you need to sell at and at what level you can buy. If you need to take out a mortgage then get one agreed in principle. Find out how much of a deposit you will need to buy a new house at a certain price. Remember to budget for all the costs of moving including your agent’s fees, stamp duty, mortgage arrangement fees, legal fees, your move itself and other potential hidden costs.
2. Put Your Home on the Market
Find an agent you are happy with and place your property on the market at a price that is realistic. Arrange for your agent to sort out a Home Information Pack (HIP). Find a solicitor who will do your conveyancing for a reasonable fee and ask for paperwork to be sent through. Don’t worry about finding a buyer before you have found your next home. If you can’t move into rented accommodation temporarily then your buyer will just have to wait. If he or she can’t, then they will simply have to withdraw. Don’t let yourself feel pressured - but the last thing you want is to find the home you want to buy and then to be unable to move because you don’t have a purchaser for your existing home.
3. Search for Your Next Home
Start looking for your next home. Arrange for local papers from the area to be sent to you and scour the web. Set up viewings on days when you can travel to the new location. Once you have found homes you like then create a short-list and arrange second viewings. Draw up a list of questions you would like to ask the vendor before making that visit.
4. Finding the Home You Like
Once you have found the home you want to buy then make an offer. Negotiate hard until you can agree on a price. Inform your solicitor and mortgage company and they will set the wheels in motion towards exchange and then completion. If you haven’t sold yet, you are unlikely to have your offer finally accepted. Once you have accepted an offer on your own home, your solicitor should work with you and your mortgage company, as well as the agents and those in the buying and selling chain, to ensure everything comes together smoothly and at the same time.
5. Arrange a Survey
Arrange a survey on the home you are buying. If you are not happy with the condition of the property but still wish to buy it, then go back to the vendor and try to renegotiate on the price. At the same time your buyers will probably be doing the same thing on your home and your mortgage company will be valuing the home you wish to buy.
6. Book Dates
By now, if everything has gone to plan, you should have an idea of the exchange and completion dates on both properties. Keep in regular contact with your solicitor to make sure all is going well and the searches etc that he or she is doing on your behalf are all OK. Start booking dates with removal firms and utility companies. Talk to schools and employers about when you will arrive and be ready to join them.
7. Don’t Be Complacent
Remember there can be last minute hitches and delays. In worst case scenarios you could also be subject to “gazumping” (where someone may pull out of selling you a property because they have had a better offer) or “gazundering” (where your buyer tries to drive your price down at the last minute). Check with your solicitor about the movement of finances between accounts and keep on top of what is happening.
On the day of completion you should be ready to move into your new home. Pick up the keys, let the removal men in with the boxes and get ready to enjoy your new home.