One of the questions we are always asked is “should I find a suitable property first or put my house on the market and find a buyer first?” It’s a classic chicken and egg scenario, but which is the right option?
As agents, we would always say ‘find a buyer first!’ And there are sound reasons for why we would recommend this approach that benefit you, the seller.
Sure, if you are only at the stage of thinking about moving but are not entirely decided, then it’s a good idea to have a look around at what properties are available and whether they would suit the reason behind your move.
But if you are really ready to move and want to get going, you want to be in the best position possible, both as a seller and as a buyer.
As a buyer, you are always in a stronger position when you already have a buyer in place for your own property. If you don’t, a seller is not likely to take seriously any offer you may make on their property, simply because you are not in a proceedable position, and from the seller’s perspective they do not know how long it will be before you are.
And it is because of your weak buying position that the seller to whom you have made that offer will simply refuse your offer, leaving you in a position where you feel obliged to offer more simply to secure the property, hoping that a raised offer will change their view of you. This rarely happens, instead the seller has driven up the price and may well carry on marketing the property to other buyers in a stronger position. At best, the seller may give you an amount of time, call it a period of grace, within which to find a buyer and during which they will temporarily take their property off the market. During this time, you the seller could feel a great deal of pressure and accept lower offers on your sale that ordinarily you would have.
In short, you could end up paying more than you need to on your purchase and accept less than you need to on your sale, i.e. getting clobbered at both ends!
A seller will be much more successful in securing their dream home having a buyer in place for their property, being able to act quickly and being able to negotiate offers from a position of strength. So sell first, buy second. That is the answer!