Last month we talked about staging/preparing your home for sale. It can seem like a lot of effort but the reward is not only in your house selling but realising that you have less to pack and organise due to your prior hard work.

 

Now for the exciting part, finding your new home. As we have discussed before, the first step to home searching is usually initiated on the web.

 

“Before the internet, potential buyers had to put themselves on the books of estate agents in the areas where they might like to live and wait for particulars of homes coming on the market to drop through the letterbox or alternatively scour the advertisements in the local papers. Today, 90% of them begin their search online.” Anthony Hilton London Evening Standard.

 

N.B. There are recent changes to the online property portals that mean you also might want to visit the estate agents in your desired location, the reason will be explained further on in this article.

Using online search will enable you to create a shortlist of homes you would like to view. This will save you time BUT before you start looking get organised with your “wish or must have” list. This, after all, is your reason for moving.

 

Wish List

Do you need more bedrooms, living space or a room for a home office?

Maybe you would like more garden/ outside space or a garage?

Do you need to live in a certain school catchment area?

Are easier transport links necessary for your daily commute?

Your wants and needs should be in your search criteria, not forgetting the wishes of rest of the family.

 

More criteria

Another important consideration is the condition of the house. Do you mind it not being move in ready and needing work or do you want a home where you just have to place the furniture and unpack, where nothing else needs doing? Would you want to move into a new home, are there any disadvantages to a new home? We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of older and newer homes in greater depth in another post.

 

Add flexibility

Once you have considered all these factors and set your search criteria add in a little flexibility, sometimes it is a house that doesn’t fit your criteria that tugs at you emotionally. It seems that you can often overlook some of a properties missing components if the emotional link is strong.

This might sound a bit “wo-wo” but we have seen this happen again and again. We’ve seen estate agents show a house that ticked every wish a buyer requested, looked great, was move in ready, in the right neighbourhood, etc. but it just didn’t “feel” right to the buyer. So be flexible and open to viewing some houses that might not match your short list criteria but connect to you emotionally. After all, you need to love coming home.

 

Look outside the web

We have talked about using online searches for both buying and selling houses. This method is now undergoing change and you might need to adjust your search methods to accommodate this.

Most estate agents use a couple of differing property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, to showcase their listings. As mentioned, it is now a little more complicated as there is a new portal, explained below by the BBC news.

 

A group of estate agents has launched a new property website to rival Rightmove and Zoopla, which dominate the market.

Called Onthemarket.com, it has been set up by a consortium of estate agency firms from around the UK.

All agents that use the new site to advertise their properties for sale will automatically become part owners of the new business.

 

So, with these recent changes to online searches, be aware that not all homes will be on all property portals, which means you might miss a house or two if you are not looking in the right place. With this in mind a bit of research is required and you might want to consider making use of the local estate agents offices.

Local estate agents

Choose a few and get to know the agents, let them know you are a serious buyer and your time constraints. They might just have homes that are coming to the market but are not yet “on” the market, an advantage that you wouldn’t get by searching online.

Local knowledge

If you are moving within your current neighbourhood then use all your connections to help you search for a new home. If you are moving to a new area then take your time looking around. Don’t just visit on a weekend, try to visit on a weekday and get a sense of commute times, where the locals shop and, very importantly, if there any new developments, roads or industrial sites in the planning pipeline.

Final thoughts

The average time spent walking around a potential new home is 10 minutes. Isn’t that amazing, the most expensive item you will probably ever buy and we spend such a small amount of time looking and choosing. Don’t forget to measure your furniture to ensure it will fit comfortably into your potential new home.

Ensure you allow enough time for any second viewings, let the agent know you will need more time to really examine the house you are interested in buying. Don’t be rushed but be aware of local market conditions. Some areas will have a shortage of homes coming to market and you may need to make faster decisions than usual.

Next time we will look in greater detail at choosing a new home v an existing older home.

 

If you are feeling over whelmed and would like help in assessing your new home you can get help by calling in one of our consultants. As property professionals they will also consider the room functions, furniture placement, local markets, resale and redesign potential and many other factors in and around your new home that will help you to make that important buying decision.

 

 

 

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