Happy New Year! (how's the head?)

Welcome to 2018.  At this time of year we find ourselves filled with optimism for the future, and full of good intentions with resolutions made for a healthier lifestyle, or goals and ambitions we would like to achieve over the next twelve months.

Yet today, many of us are returning to work and feeling a little deflated as the party is well and truly over and we need to ensure we stick to our new year resolutions to make 2018 a year to remember.

First time buyers

For those wanting to move house it can seem a daunting task, often it’s hard to work out where to start.  For first time buyers it’s a little simpler, with the changes to stamp duty that were announced in the 2017 budget, and still low interest rates, there has never been a better time to take your first step onto the housing ladder.

Don’t be tempted to rush out and view houses though. The very first thing you should do, is seek the advice of an independent financial advisor, who can find you the very best mortgage deals and help you to get a mortgage offer in principle.  Once you have this you are in an excellent position to view potential future homes, and should you find a home you wish to make an offer on, you will find yourself in a much stronger position than other potential buyers that have a home to sell that forms part of a chain.

I need to sell my house

So, what if you have a home to sell in order to move?  Again, the very first thing to do is to get your finances in order, seek the advice of an independent financial advisor and get your mortgage offer agreed in principle. 

Next, you will want to get your current home valued.  We would recommend you have at least two valuations as expected prices can vary considerably.  Choose agents that you feel have a good grasp on the local market and who have a proven track record for selling homes in your area (remember listing homes is not the same as selling them, so do your research).

Prepare a list of questions….should you do any decoration to your home or how can you prepare your home for sale?  Ask for a realistic view of the local property market and how likely you are to receive a realistic offer…and within what time frame? Ask how they market homes and where? They shouldn’t be solely relying on Rightmove.

It can be tempting to go with the agent that suggests the highest valuation price, but always keep in mind the lowest valuation as this will avoid future disappointments and overstretching your finances, particularly if you want a quick sale.

When it comes to selecting an estate agent to market your property, go with your gut.  Choose an agent that offered the best advice, that understands the local market and you feel you can approach with questions or problems rather than the agent that had the best sales pitch. 

Traditionally houses achieve the best prices when marketed between January and July, so instructing the wrong agent can not only be frustrating it can be costly.

Once you have settled on your agent, you can now begin the process of getting your home ready for the market, so follow the advice given by your agent.  Vendors are often tempted to decorate throughout or put in a new kitchen etc. but this is often not necessary as buyers like to make their own mark on their new homes.  Instead, put your efforts into clearing away clutter or giving your property a little kerb appeal by having a tidy up out front.

The biggest temptation when you are thinking of moving is to rush out and view lots of properties before you have put your home on the market.   Our advice on this is “DON’T!”

There is nothing more heart-breaking than finding the home of your dreams only to miss out on it because you are not in a position to proceed with the sale.  Once you have instructed an agent, you should expect to wait at least two to three weeks whilst they prepare to market your home in the very best light.

Keep an eye on properties you are interested in and make a shortlist so that once you have an offer on your own property you have a good idea where you would like to go.

If you are thinking of moving in 2018 why not call Saxon Shore on 01795 533577 for a free, no obligation market appraisal today?