ASK THE AGENT - Should I put my current home on the market first – or wait?

"Should I put my current home on the market first – or wait?"

Another question that agents get asked all the time! And the answer we give is always the same: you should definitely put your own property on the market first.

The argument in favour of doing the opposite is, I freely admit, quite seductive – at least, on the surface. After all, no-one wants to be irrevocably committed to moving out of their current home before they find something else that they like.

So, what’s the case for selling first? Well, actually, the logic is the same, whatever the state of the market. So, take the current state of affairs, for example, which is something of a seller’s market – in other words, there is a relative shortage of property for sale, compared to the number of would-be buyers. Here, you are in a far stronger position to beat off the competition and secure your next home, if you are already a long way down the road towards selling your current one. After all, look at it from the perspective of the person you yourself are hoping to buy from. Who’s the better bet: someone who perhaps makes a slightly higher offer, but who hasn’t even put their own home on the market yet - or you?  You see my point!

But what about the opposite situation – where there is a reasonable amount of property on the market, and buyers are a bit more spoilt for choice? Here, the same applies. So, if you wait until you have a firm offer on your current home before seriously looking for something to buy, you will have a much clearer idea of how much you can actually afford to spend. Much better to know this in advance, and remove the uncertainty. This will also remove any worries over whether you’re going to sell in time, or risk losing the property you finally decide upon.

No, the fact is, without exception, it is always better to put your home on the market first, as long as you are honest about your situation with prospective buyers. Better still, if you already have a pretty firm offer – and best of all if you have already exchanged contracts or completed!

If you're looking to buy somewhere and haven't yet put your house on the market, book your free property valuation to see how Shipmans can help.