1. Avoid missing out on viewing your dream home
While getting your property on the market before you buy may feel like a leap of faith, it makes sense. If you like a property you’ve seen advertised, it’s likely in this market that another buyer in a position to move forward with the sale will also like it.
Many sellers in a busy market like today will instruct their agent not to complete viewings with buyers who have a property to sell but are yet to begin marketing themselves, says Louis Harding, Head of London Residential at Strutt & Parker.
Cory Askew, Head of Sales at Chestertons, agrees: “In some of the hotter house markets in south-west London, Surrey and Hampshire, it has been known that agents won’t even allow you a viewing unless you’re in a position to buy.”
2. Sellers will take your offer seriously
In a market where there’s a shortage of stock, it’s important to show sellers that you are committed and motivated to move.
“Competition to secure the perfect property is fierce,” says Polly Ogden Duffy, Managing Director at John D Wood & Co. “To be considered as a buyer when you finally find your perfect home, you need to be able to proceed. Ideally having your own property under offer, for a bid to even be considered as a potential buyer by many sellers. It’s no good making an offer you can’t deliver on.”
Having your existing property “in play” (e.g. at least on the market) will frame your offer on an onward property in the best possible light, and give you the best chance of securing it. “Even with a turn-around time of 48 hours from valuation to online, this hurdle might make the difference between your offer and a competing bid,” says Cory Askew, Head of Sales at Chestertons.
3. Avoid rushing to sell and having to accept a lower offer
If you do find your dream home in a market as competitive as this, you might be tempted to submit a high offer in order to secure it. This is a stressful scenario Tim Pepper, Director of CJ Hole, says his agents are seeing often.
“When the right property does become available, the clients that have not got prepared for marketing are often the clients that end up offering a very generous price trying to secure the house of their dreams – and then end up rushing into preparing their property as they don’t have time on their hands. This also tends to result in them accepting a lower offer on theirs – and end up back to square one.”
4. Get an accurate budget for your next purchase
With properties achieving record values at the moment, Nick Menzies, Area Partner for The Robinson Jackson Group, says that selling first not only puts you in the strongest position to buy, but will also provide you with an accurate budget for what you can afford to buy next.
“If our customer sets out with £350,000 in their mind and achieves £375,000 for their property, they now have £25,000 more to spend. The extra money can really open up more property for them to look at which they wouldn’t have considered affordable if they hadn’t gone to market and sold.”
5. There’s everything to gain
If the scenario arises where you have an acceptable offer on your sale, but are yet to find a property yourself, your estate agent can help. “It is your agent’s task to manage your buyers’ expectations around timings, reassure on your seriousness, begin the conveyancing process and encourage patience; which in a market where good quality housing is at a premium, should not be too challenging,” says Louis Harding, head of London residential at Strutt & Parker.
Steve Brown, manager of Winkworth’s Blackheath village office in south-east London, agrees: “Vendors have nothing to lose to have their properties on the market and under offer, and everything to gain. They can be honest with their buyers about the sale being subject to them finding the home they desire. They can then accept an offer on this basis, and not start the legal or mortgage processes until they find the property they want. This way, there is no expense incurred by either the vendor nor buyer and it gives them every chance of having an offer accepted at their end by having a buyer in tow.”