Are you worried about selling and not being able to find your next home?

- Tue 11 May 2021

With the property market on fire and homes selling in record time, there is a big concern for many and that is; what happens if I cannot find a home to buy after having agreed to sell mine to someone? Well, there are a number of ways this can be addressed as different sellers and different Estate Agents will approach this differently, although I want to suggest three key points that should happen to help all involved gain the best chance of a successful move and not incur unwanted costs and heartache, not to mention stress!

The first thing is to spend time prior to marketing your home explaining to your Estate Agent exactly what it is you are aiming to achieve from your move so they have a very clear picture of why you are looking to employ them. This can often be glossed over too quickly amid either the excitement or increased compliance required, and then you have an Estate Agent not focused on what really matters to you. If you feel that is the case, perhaps look at an alternative agent or at the very least address your concerns with them immediately.

Once you feel happy with your chosen agent (hopefully Bradleys), we would suggest you consider instructing a solicitor to prepare your legal paperwork ahead of finding a buyer. This may sound premature however, the main reason for this is that you will save 2-3 weeks of administration time later in the process, which is taking a lot longer than at any time previously. It helps if you can instruct a law firm on a no sale, no fee basis to have the added comfort of not incurring unnecessary costs should the worst happen.

Secondly, at the point you receive an offer it is imperative that your agent explains to the person making the offer that you have yet to find somewhere suitable and request details of the timescale that the offeree is seeking for their move. Clearly, if the timescales are wildly different, the offer should be dismissed. If you have multiple offers the flexibility of different parties making the offer may influence your decision as to which offer may be more attractive.

Assuming that you have agreed on an amount for your home and that the buyers are happy to wait for you to find somewhere suitable for the foreseeable future, you should have a discussion and possibly request that solicitors do not progress with your sale until you have found somewhere to buy. This way your sale and purchase can move along at a similar pace. Should both parties solicitors proceed with the conveyance, you may find that the buyers get a little impatient as they are not only progressing but also spending money and will naturally seek further assurance that you are indeed going to move, which in turn will increase the pressure for you to find somewhere.

The third point is solely about communication. At the point you have a buyer in place and you are actively seeking a property to buy, it is essential to have regular communication to update your agent with the progress of your search, so they can in turn communicate regularly with your buyer to inform them of the same. This should be at least a weekly discussion, perhaps even more frequently.

Should the situation arise that your buyers aren’t able to wait for you any longer, then you could choose to proceed with your sale regardless and possibly move into temporary accommodation, although the more common result and one we would support, is that your buyers move on to find an alternative property and you re-market your home and seek a new buyer whilst still actively seeking that next home.

There will be people that read this article and have differing views or experiences. In my 23 years of property, alternative options usually result in one party involved losing out in one way or another. If handled correctly with clear and frequent communication with all involved, this is the simplest, easiest, and most effective way of ensuring you achieve your goal.

There have never been more ways to keep informed of properties being put up for sale which include the traditional methods of registering on our mailing list and contacting our branch or branches in the area you are looking to move to. We advertise on the main portal websites Zoopla, Primelocation and Rightmove, as well as the exciting new platform Boomin. We will feature properties on our own website before the portal websites, so be sure to keep an eye on that. Finally, we utilise our social media channels to promote properties that are ‘coming soon’ or ‘just launched’, and it’s these that may help you get a step ahead of the many buyers seeking something similar!