Moving House In 2022

Published: 23/08/2022

It’s the height of Summer and we are presently enjoying some incredible weather. This time of year often encourages people to reconsider their property plans and many decide that they’d like to be in a new place by the start of a new year. Indeed, it’s fair to say that not only does Christmas feel far away, but also hard to picture given the current temperatures.

Whether you’re contemplating a new move, or are tempted to get on the ladder for the first time, the reality is that you need to pick up the pace if a new property is on your Christmas list. There are an estimated 500,000 people in the process of buying/selling a property in the UK right now and this pressure is affecting solicitors, lenders and local authorities to push transactions through at the normal rate.
“London has seen a real property drive over the past few months, as people want to take full advantage of London being back to normal as well as improving their live/work balance now that they’re in the office a lot more and have an increased commute. Pre-pandemic, the average house move in the UK took around 90-100 days but this has now been stretched to above 150days. Whilst it seems crazy to speak about Christmas now, anyone desperately wanting to move by then really needs to commit to something soon”, advises Caroline Offergelt, Head of Sales for Right Now Residential.

Our Key Advice for Buyers

Before you start shopping for properties, you need to be 100% clued up about your finances, as you don’t want to view things outside of your range.
“Mortgage products are changing rapidly,” Offergelt points out, “A good deal today could easily be gone tomorrow. This can quickly change affordability and affect your maximum budget. Even if you spoke with a broker 1 month ago, you’re most likely out of date. Keep in regular contact with your broker about the rates available to ensure you communicate this honestly to the agents you look through. Get an AIP from your broker before you kick off your search, especially as some agents will not let you view properties unless you can show evidence of this. Being upfront about your finances with an agent means they can help present suitable properties for consideration so long as you provide accurate data for them to work with, as they will know what offer their client is likely to accept.”

It's also advisable to have a solicitor in mind to work with. It can save you several days of paperwork to have someone already onboarded to begin work as quickly as possible, once you have an offer accepted.
\”Buying a property requires compromise, especially in London” explains Offergelt, “Sometimes a wish list simply isn’t feasible for your budget, or may require you to consider a slightly different location. Agents know the market best and can honestly advise you as to how realistic your expectations are. We encourage buyers to be flexible and to listen to the advice we give them; it’s only ever to help them. It’s not unusual for a wild card property which doesn’t tick all the boxes, to end up being the one.”

Key Advice for Sellers

We understand that no one decides to sell their property overnight and that it can take a few weeks to take the plunge. Before selling, it’s best to step back and critique your home; are there things which are shabby and run down or not helping to present the property to its optimum potential?

“Properties sell better when there are fewer flaws. Buyers tend to want to be able to move into something which requires little to no cosmetic work, so presenting your home in this manner will work in your favour,” explains Offergelt. “A repaint can provide a new lease of life, covering up scuff marks and essentially making a room feel cleaner. Neutral shades are best as it allows a purchaser to imagine how they can adapt the room to their liking. Ensure all light bulbs work, remove mould and mildew build up around windows and bathrooms and clean up grouting and mastic around tiles and joins. Fill holes in the wall, fix cracked tiles or broken floorboards and replace threadbare carpets or rugs. Make sure door handles are firmly fixed in place so nothing falls off if an inquisitive buyer touches it and keep your home clean and tidy! These snags will take some time but honestly will make a much better first impression.”

A good agent will also give you advice on things you can do to help improve presentation which can not only result in a finding a buyer sooner, but also to add value. “We offer additional services to our clients to help enhance their property’s chances of selling. From decluttering to professional staging, we have all of these tips for a homeowner to utilise and discuss these at the point of valuation. We often find spending a little money to revamp certain elements pays off in the long run.”

It's also important to get your documentation ready. “Our clients complete a buyer information pack prior to coming to the market which is more detailed than what other agents request but allows us to have detailed knowledge of the property to then pass on to buyers. We believe agency relies on transparency to ensure better results.”

What if You’re Selling to Buy?

Many homeowners start looking for their next purchase and fall in love with something before they’re even on the market. By the time they’ve got themselves listed, their dream home has been sold to someone else, which is very disheartening!

It’s advisable to list your home before you start offering on the next property; this puts you in a stronger position as it demonstrates that you’re serious about moving. Better yet, being under offer and having a completed lower chain can make you attractive to a seller. Offergelt points out “at Right Now Residential, we use reservation agreements to legally commit buyers and sellers which prevents fall throughs, giving everyone peace of mind that your transaction is secure. This puts our clients in very strong positions when they’re making an offer on an onward purchase.”

It's so important to ensure you’re completely ready to buy and sell. Taking time to prepare will pay off later and can be the difference in securing an offer. If a new home has been on your Christmas list, speak with us today and we can guide you through the next processes.