In the aftermath of the stamp duty frenzy last summer, the number of properties coming onto the market remains low, but demand remains high. To make the most out of current market conditions preparation is key.
If you are thinking of selling your property or about to go on the market, instruct solicitors early. There will be lots of Property Information forms to fill out and lots of paperwork to collate so, the sooner you make a start on these the better. If you have extended or altered your property, dig out copies of the relevant consents, if you have installed new windows, boilers, wood burners or electrics you may have installation certificates and guarantees that a buyer’s solicitor will want to see.
This will also give your solicitor time to review the Title Deeds and iron out anything that could potentially cause a problem or delay in the transaction. If you know the paperwork is in order, you can confidently set a timetable for exchange and completion with the agents when accepting an offer.
Set expectations early. You may find yourselves with an offer very quickly. If you have an onward purchase, the agents need to make buyers aware that the sale is dependent on you finding your next property. Alternatively, you may consider breaking the chain, but only if you have the appetite for moving twice and can afford associated rental and storage costs.
In a seller’s market you need to be able to proceed quickly. There are likely to be multiple offers on any one property, so give the seller every reason to accept yours.
Get to know local agents: make sure all the agents in your target area know who you are and what you are looking for so that when the ideal property comes to the market you are the first person they think of.
If you need a mortgage, get an offer ‘Agreed in Principle’. Demonstrate to the seller that you have the funds readily available, subject to valuation.
Instruct solicitors early and ideally before you make any offers. This avoids any unnecessary delays at the early stages dealing with onboarding and identification processes. You can also equip your solicitor with money on account for searches so that these can be requested immediately on receipt of draft papers.
Put a surveyor on ‘stand-by’ and know what type of survey you want so that this can be arranged quickly. This will show the seller that you are committed to the purchase.
Be clear on affordability. Factor in future costs, such as energy and tax bills. Be prepared for sealed bids but don’t get caught out by paying over the odds for a property driven by competition.
How Moore Barlow can help
If you selling your existing property to buy your dream home or to invest in property you will want the assurance that all aspects of your matter is dealt with quickly and efficiently. Local knowledge and connections within the community are crucial to ensuring a smooth transaction.
Please contact Clare Andrews or the residential property team, if you any further questions.
This information is for guidance and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking full legal advice.