There are times in life when you need to move house, and you need to do it quickly.
It might be because your kids need to go to a different school; there’s a job opportunity you don’t want to pass up; or even discovering you’re pregnant and realizing that you need more room for your growing family. Rather than having the luxury of being able to take your time and find the right house for your family at your own space, the clock is ticking and you need to make decisions rapidly.
How do you cope? Well, it’s never an easy process; selling your existing home while attempting to buy another, all with the clock against you, isn’t going to happen without its stressors. That’s why you need a total guide to making sure you think everything through, especially a list of the dos and don’ts that could make or break such an attempt. And it just so happens that below, there’s exactly that.
So while it might never be an easy thing to move with a quick timescale, by following the advice below, you should be able to keep it as under control as you might hope to. Good luck, and make sure you…
DO: Begin With Finances
Before you do anything else – even before you begin idly browsing pages of house listings and wondering what you can afford – you have to be on point with your finances.
The first step is to get your existing house valued. Ideally, you’re looking for three different valuations so you can get a good idea of where you stand in the market. From these three figures, you can settle on a starting price. Of course…
DON’T: Make Your Selling Price Too High
If you get three different valuations then, naturally, you’re going to be attracted to the idea of listing your house for the top value. That makes sense, right? It’ll give you more money to spend on your new house, give you good return on investment, and someone thinks your house is worth that so it naturally follows a buyer will too…
You’re in a rush. The last thing you want to do is price out any buyers who might be legitimately interested, because you have chosen the top value as the one you’re going to advertise with. Don’t do it.
DO: Go For The Middle Value
The middle is the right point for you, thanks to a few factors. First and foremost, it means you’re going to be asking a good price that is reasonable for the type of property that you own. However, it also gives you room to maneuver or drop the price if you receive offers. Even if the middle value isn’t exactly your ideal price, bear in mind that the clock is ticking, and you don’t have time to wait for the perfect buyer. Start in the middle and then you can move as you see fit.
DON’T: Undervalue Your House
Just as important as not setting the value of your house too high, don’t make it dirt cheap either. This is still your financial future on the line. If you make your house a bargain, it will probably be snapped up quickly – which is what you’re aiming for, so where’s the harm?
The harm is that the price you sell for is going to make a big difference to what you can buy not only for your next move, but for the subsequent moves after that. If your house is in good condition in a good area, then selling at a rock bottom price just isn’t necessary. Bear in mind you’re also going to need to give yourself room to receive offers on your price; if you’re already priced at the lowest figure, then how low might you have to go to meet a buyer halfway?
DO: Calculate Your Own Finances
When your existing house is listed, you can now start thinking about what you might want to buy. The first step is to figure out where your finances are, using the ideal selling price of your house as an indicator for what you might be able to afford next. Start by using a house loan calculator to give you an idea of what your next purchase price will be, so you can start browsing and potentially even booking visits.
DON’T: Forget The Cost Of Moving
It’s easy when you’re moving in a rush to forget all the other little expenses that go along with moving house. It’s not as simple as you get X amount of money for your house and spend X amount of money on the new one. There are other costs involved in moving that you’re going to need to be ready to meet at a moment’s notice. These include – but are definitely not limited to:
- Legal fees.
- The cost of hiring movers. Even if you’re going to do much of the move yourself, most families will require at least some assistance.
- Putting items into storage can be expensive, but it can help speed up the moving process as you package things away while you’re still waiting for your sale to complete.
- Switching your utility bills – if you’re moving company at the same time, you might be required to pay a penalty to end your existing contract.
- Mail redirection fees, so you’re not going to miss out on any important mail in the early days after the move.
- Loss of income during the move. Unless you can perfectly schedule to move over the weekend, you and your partner are likely to need to take a few days off work so you can conduct everything as is necessary.
- The building survey for your new home.
You’re also going to need a contingency fund, which you can bring into action when there’s an unexpected cost. And, believe it, there are going to be unexpected costs through this process – so you need finances set aside to deal with them!
DO: Get A House Survey
So you’ve found a new house that you want to make an offer on – great, you’re halfway through this process already!
When you’re in a rush, it can be tempting to brush aside all of the usual buyer concerns when purchasing a new house. As long as it’s not actively falling down or crawling with mold, and it’s in the right area, well you might as well go ahead and go for it… right?
No! You still need to do your requisite checks, so that means getting a house survey the same way you would if you were buying when you had time to spare. It’s incredibly dangerous to rush to the point of not making smart decisions. A house is a serious purchase that is one of the biggest you will ever make. You might not have time on your side now, but the decision you make with the house you buy is going to be with you for years to come. Don’t damage your financial future and security by buying without a survey; the possibility for disaster for doing so is just way too high.
DON’T: Buy Unseen
There are times when you might be moving out of your existing area; this is especially likely if you’re moving for the purpose of work. This is particularly difficult, because you can’t go and view houses the same way that you would if you were moving closer to home.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make in these scenarios is buying a house unseen. As they can’t visit, they decide to trust the real estate agents and buy off information provider by the selling, a few photos, and potentially a video. You might even send a friend or coworker who lives in the area to check it out for you and buy based on their report.
This is a disaster waiting to happen. You can’t truly get a feel for a house unless you have stepped inside of it. Time is a factor here, but it’s not the only factor. Either make the time to go and see it for yourself, or just plain don’t buy – even if it sounds like the bargain of the century or your dream home.
DO: Rent If You Have To
Remember: you don’t have to buy if there’s nothing you want to buy. It’s a far better bet for your long-term future to rent rather than buy, if there is nothing that meets your standards and needs.
Yes, this is inconvenient, and yes, it’s expensive – but it’s nowhere near as inconvenient or expensive as buying the wrong house and being stuck with it for years to come. Make the process easier on yourself by renting a furnished house, so most of your items can be kept in storage for the duration of your rental. This, too, is expensive, but it does mean you don’t have to go through the hassle of packing up your entire house twice.
By following the essentials above, even the quickest of house moves should result in a decent experience that benefits you now and in the future!