The dreaded property ‘chain’ can cause chaos – putting you in the land of the unknown. In some case you might have to wait for upwards of twelve properties to exchange and complete at the same time!
Our experienced team at Dack have valuable experience of progressing a number of complicated chains and this article looks at some of the steps you, as a buyer or seller, can take to make things run more smoothly, if you have to buy and sell at the same time.
In an ideal world, you would sell your home the minute you put it on the market and then have all the time you need to find your next dream home while your buyers wait patiently until you’re ready to move. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world and in most cases you’ll find yourself in a chain. While not uncommon, property chains can cause significant headaches, so if you’re planning to buy and sell at the same time, here is how to make sure you’re prepared.
Stage 1 – Get your property valued
Before you start making plans to buy your new home, you need to get a clear understanding of how much your current home is worth. We would be more than happy to offer a free valuation and provided you with evidence to support our value.
Stage 2 – Work out your finances
What is your budget? It is important to get your head around your finances early on in the process; How much equity do you have in your current home? Do you need a mortgage? If so, what are your repayments going to be and can you afford them.
Our advice would be to have an initial conversation with an independent mortgage broker. These initial chats are normally conducted over the phone with a follow up meeting in person.
That conversation may lead to re-mortgaging or porting your mortgage over to the new property. Either way, if you would like our adviser to give you a call please let us know. Alternatively you can see more details on our Financial Services page.
You should also bear in mind additional costs such as stamp duty and estimate the utilities for the new property, such as the council tax band. You will also need to work out your legal costs.
Stage 3 – Find a good solicitor
A good solicitor is integral to a smooth house sale and/or purchase. This is another cost which will need to be taken into account. We work closely with Independent Solicitors who have serviced a number of our clients and had nothing but positive feedback. If you would like a free, no obligation quote, please contact us. For more information please see our conveyancing page.
Stage 4 – Find a property
Once you’ve found a property you like and worked out the sums you can book a viewing. For more information see our article “What should I be asking on my viewing?”.
Consider what works, if any, you’d need to do on the property and the associated costs, consult your mortgage broker again if need be. Perhaps you have identified an issue or want to rip out that dark orange 1970s bathroom suite as soon as you move in. Once you’ve done the maths, if you’re happy it works out, you can make an offer.
Stage 5 – Maximise your negotiating power
Agents love an informed and prepared buyer or seller. While you’re perfectly entitled to put in an offer on a property when your own home is still up for sale or not even on the market, you will be in a stronger position if your property is under offer.
Coming to an agent with a property already under offer with an understanding of exactly what is going on in the chain, solicitor’s details and an Agreement In Principle (AIP) in hand will always put you in good stead. With that being said all sellers and buyers have different needs and all offers are handled on a case by case basis.
Stage 6 – Be prepared to wait
Buying and selling a property is, unfortunately, not a quick process. At Dack we focus on managing everyone’s expectations once a buyer is found. Granted we want your sale to go through as quickly as possible, but not by cutting corners.
We expect between 8 – 10 weeks for the average completion, however with a number of variables in the equation, such as the number of properties in the chain or number of potential enquiries to be raised during conveyancing, it’s not an exact science.
Our job is not over by any means once we have found a buyer; an agent proves their worth when it comes to progressing the sale, overcoming obstacles and getting you through to completion. We have a heavy focus on offer validation at the very beginning, making sure your buyer is committed and can afford your property and ensure clear communication throughout the sales process.
In the UK 1 in 3 sales fall through. This is a scary statistic and we aim to reduce this figure dramatically for our customers.
Stage 7 – Set a date
Once the conveyancing process is nearing conclusion, we can start to work towards exchange and completion dates. Exchange is the date the transaction becomes legally binding with completion being the date upon which the funds will be transferred and the keys released to the new owner. It’s important that all parties co-ordinate a completion date both up and down the chain that works for everyone. This will take some negotiation. More often than not you will need to be prepared to compromise.
In summary when buying and selling, you should:
- Get your property valued.
- Work out your finances
- Find a good solicitor
- Find a property
- Maximise your negotiating power
- Be prepared to wait
- Set a date
Don’t be put off by how complicated the process sounds, it’s not a scary as it seems. It’s the role of us, the estate agent, to make your life easier and take charge of the process.
Give us a call or pop into the office for some advice and a chat if you are thinking of buying or selling.