Understandably, many people focus on the search. After all, what’s the point of going through the process of putting your house and the market and maybe the “pressure” of having a buyer when you can’t find anything to move to?
Well, in our opinion, it may be better to think about what happens when you do find the house of your dreams?
A good starting point is to put yourself in the shoes of the seller of that house that you want to buy, as we know buyer demand in the EX area is still high right now (40% up year on year) – so let us look at the scenario a little closer.
You’re faced with five buyers – all of whom are keen to buy your home. You’ve had disappointments before with a sale falling-through and you want to be sure you choose the right buyer.
- Buyer number ONE has a house to sell. It’s not on the market but they “know they will sell it easily” They are always getting flyers from agents saying they have buyers looking in their road and even have a couple of buyers who have approached them direct . They absolutely love your home and are offering £10,000 above your asking price.
- Buyer number TWO – A second is equally keen, has their property on the market with a local agent, have agreed a sale but no surveys have been done and their solicitor hasn’t yet sent out a contract. They are happy to pay you your price.
- Buyer number THREE – The third would-be buyer has agreed a sale on their current property, their buyer requires a only small mortgage and they are selling via Purple Bricks to an investment buyer with nothing to sell. They too (buyer number TWO, not Purple Bricks!) are happy to pay your price and have even indicated that they would pay a little more to secure your home
- Buyer number FOUR – is on the market with Wilkinson Grant & Co. They have a number of serious potential buyers but haven’t yet formally agreed which to sell to a sale until they have found their perfect home, in this case – YOURS. You know Wilkinson Grant have a stringent “buyer qualification” process” and a dedicated Sales Progression Manager who keeps everyone up to-date and liaises with solicitors and agents up and down the chain to ensure a smooth transaction. Uniquely they also have an in-house former property lawyer to help trouble-shoot any problems that might arise. This agent has a proven track record of getting sales to exchange almost twice as fast as the national average. This buyer is also happy to pay you your price.
- Buyer number FIVE – is a “cash” buyer in rented accommodation, who can complete quickly but who is happy to exchange contracts with you and delay completion, if you need time to secure your next home. Again, this buyer will pay the asking price.
Remember, in this scenario IF you are the seller of the house Who do you sell to?
As importantly – if you’re linking your sale to the purchase of another property – who do you think is your best bet to make it all happen?
If you are buyer Number ONE and your offer is accepted – Well Done! – You were very convincing but It’s probably because the owners loved you! (Especially given they told their agent that they only wanted viewers who were in a position to proceed!). You may sell quickly and for less money than you might have achieved if you’d given yourself more time. As long as your buyer does what they say they are going to do, when they say they are going to do it (and you can keep the seller happy in the process) you’ve got the house! If they don’t perform, you may have some sweet talking to do with the seller – but they love you! Right?
Estimated chances of success: LOW
You are Buyer Number TWO – let’s see if you fayre any better: The seller recognises you are serious – You’ve told their agent that you have a buyer and invited them to speak to your agent to check out the details. The sellers agent does just that and they get a positive response but not a lot of detail of the buyer’s position with regard to survey , mortgage or timescales –They have tried your buyer’s solicitor for an update and are awaiting a call back.
Estimated chances of success: GOOD
Buyer Number THREE – Now, on the face of it, this looks very promising for you. You have just a short chain with an investment buyer at the bottom. PurpleBricks are handling this sale. The challenge is this agent gets paid up-front, regardless of whether the sale goes through or not ( you can only imagine how much time they will dedicate to keep this sale on track!). Your offer to pay above the asking price is tempting to the seller but they feel a little “uncertain” about your sale progressing to completion without hiccups.
Estimated chances of success: GOOD
Buyer NUMBER FOUR – The sellers agent received a call from Wilkinson Grant within half an hour of you making your offer giving details of each of your potential buyers and the reason why you are favouring one in particular , together with confirmation of your funding arrangements and details of your solicitor. This was all confirmed by them in an email, within an hour. Wilkinson Grant also confirmed detail of the seller’s onward purchase, solicitors and agreed timescales together and an update on the current status of that sale – So that everyone was fully informed form the outset. The seller feels very assured –especially as it seems as if you have more than one buyer!
Estimated chances of success: VERY HIGH
Buyer Number FIVE -You’ve got the cash, you can exchange quickly and the seller likes the idea of some flexibility over completion dates. The seller’s agent is just awaiting your proof and source of funds, ID and details of your solicitor. Could the seller have a better buyer than you?
Estimated chances of success: VERY HIGH
Of course, there are no “hard and fast” rules as to how best to go about finding and securing you next home – but you can be sure that far and away the majority of sellers will only be interested in you as a buyer if you are in a position to proceed. If your offer is dependent upon you selling, then it is best that you can show that you have “all of your ducks in a row” with regard to your finances, you own sale and any chain involved and confirm. Checking all of this is the job of the seller’s agent. So, it’s best that your own agent is part of the process in helping you not only get your offer accepted but also to help steer the deal to exchange and completion – keeping everyone up to date with progress and helping smooth-out any “bumps in the road” if and when they arise.
According to the January 2021 Rightmove House Price Index Report The average time between agreeing a sale and completion is currently running at 126 days – That’s four months of often unnecessary delays , with too much time where things can go wrong – It’s really not a surprise that some agents, without the necessary resources to help manage the process, have as many as 30% – 40% of their sales fall-through. Indeed, national house buying company Quick Move Now reported that in Q3 of 2020 a terrifying 52% of sales across England and Wales fell-through before exchange of contracts – the report is here
With the Rightmove report stating the average time from listing a property for sale to agreeing a sale is 57 days – That’s why, at Wilkinson Grant & Co , not only do we have a plan to agree sales in half of that time, our plan is to Sell in 30 Days but we have a whole team of people working together to get your sale to exchange as quickly as possible. From the moment our agents negotiate a sale –all the necessary due diligence starts and our Sales Progression Manager works with everyone involved in the transaction (buyers, sellers, solicitors and agents up and down the chain) – supported by our in-house former property lawyer to help smooth and speed the process and help reduce the chances of disappointment .
If you have a property to sell and are looking to find and secure your next home – Here’s some more reading that might help with “The Home Mover’s Dilemma” :