One of the biggest concerns for anyone looking to sell their home is being unable to find one to buy. Although the issue is getting a lot of press right now, it's always been at the front of people's minds when considering a move.
If you've been thinking of selling your home, the idea that you won't have somewhere to go could mean you've put your moving plans on ice. And if you've already found a buyer, but you're having little or no luck finding a place to buy, you might be wondering if your move will fall apart.
The good news is that all is very far from lost! There are more options than you might think for finding your perfect home, and this week's blog is packed with tips on making the move you want to make, even when it seems that nothing is for sale.
KEEP YOUR COOL
You might feel that staying calm is easier said than done, particularly if you're worried about ending up homeless or not moving at all.
Perhaps it will put your mind at rest to know that it's perfectly normal to have nowhere in mind at the point you accept an offer. More than that, very few people have to cancel their move because a suitable home fails to materialise.
Instead of seeing it as a negative situation, remind yourself that you've done everything in the right order to be at the top of estate agents' lists of serious buyers when a potential property comes up for sale.
And while it can take longer for homes further up the chain to hit the market, accepting an offer on your home puts you in pole position to move quickly when the moment arrives.
There's a wonderful quote from the film Shakespeare in Love: "It all turns out well. Nobody knows how. It's a mystery."
While it certainly wasn't written about the property market, it's a friendly reminder to have faith in the process, because it usually works.
BE OPEN WITH YOUR BUYER
When homes are in short supply, no-one will understand your position more perfectly than your buyer because they'll be having the same experience.
They'll be delighted to have found somewhere when so little was available, and they're unlikely to walk away from their dream home simply because you haven't yet found yours.
It's perfectly possible to agree an anticipated completion date many months into the future, and by having a buyer in place who knows and accepts your situation, you'll have the time and peace of mind to find the right home without feeling pressured into making a snap decision.
By being completely open from the start, you can focus on finding a buyer who is happy and able to work with your timescale, while giving your sale one of the most valuable and solid foundations of all: trust.
STAYING CLOSE TO HOME
As well as selling your current home, your agent can be extremely useful in helping you find your next one.
We all see homes that don't immediately go on the market for any number of reasons. Perhaps the owners are finishing some odd jobs to prepare for photographs, or maybe they're waiting to see how the market above them looks for their next purchase.
Some people invite us in simply out of curiosity or to get an idea of value many months before they intend to sell. Either way, a phone call about a ready and waiting local buyer could open them up to a one-off viewing.
On top of those existing leads, your agent can canvass the streets, neighbourhoods and properties you'd like to live in with a specific explanation of your requirements and buying position. These letters can catch a seller at the perfect moment with an unexpected opportunity, and the responses they generate are often surprising.
Your selling agent can also see if other local agents have seen anything suitable. Despite competing with each other, our only job is to get people moved: we can and do work together to make that happen!
MOVING FURTHER AWAY
Every estate agent has more buyers registered than they have homes available, but many buyers wait on email alerts or phone calls to hear about the latest properties.
You can get ahead of them by befriending the best agents, enlisting their help and calling them every week to show how committed you are.
As well as asking if anything new is coming up for sale before it hits the market, ask about any previous homes they've seen that might be right for you. If nothing comes to mind, see if they'll canvass the area to find you something.
The agents most associated with the type of home you want are the ones most likely to get a response, and it's worth reminding them to be specific about your requirements, budget and buying position to give their letters credibility.
Your selling agent can also help your chances by putting in a good word for you. Give them the details of the best agents you're dealing with so they can explain what a great, willing and able buyer you are.
INCREASE YOUR OPTIONS
Size, style and location are the main qualities that most of us search by, often out of habit. While everyone has a list of non-negotiables, it's worth exploring where you're flexible.
Consider homes that don't yet offer everything you need but have the potential for modernising, reworking or extending. You could end up with somewhere that's truly tailored to your life.
Unless you have controversial plans, obtaining building regulations or planning permission doesn't have to be a hassle, particularly if similar homes nearby have already been successfully extended.
Countless people spend many happy years in a place they never expected to buy, so if your search has focused on a particular period or style, try viewing by space and design: an unexpected gem could be just around the corner.
If you're not strictly bound to a particular location to move to, ask local agents about alternatives that fit the lifestyle you desire.
We often move within locations we already know, but looking at what we truly want for ourselves can open many new doors to the perfect home.
Despite the uncertainty of having a buyer, but not yet finding your next home, there are plenty of options to explore, even if, on the surface, it seems like there are none.
If you've put your move on hold, or you're having trouble finding a property in Southampton, why not get in touch to see if we know about any homes that might be perfect for you. Call us on 02380 987610 or drop us a line at email@example.com to chat about your plans.