There seems to be no end to the advice you can find online for First Time Buyers: mortgage solutions, what to look out for when you’re out viewing properties, how the house purchase system works…
But what about the next time around, when you decide to move on and become a First Time Seller? It’s not so easy is it?
When’s the right time to put my property on the market? Should I find something to move to before I market my own? How much decluttering do I need to do? Should I redo that awful bit of attempted DIY I tried my hand at when I first moved in? Do I need to hide away the dog’s feeding bowls? Do I need to get rid of the dog? Three cushions on the sofa or four? Does it matter that they don’t match? What if someone wants to view the place but it’s not convenient because I’m working from home? What if someone wants to buy, but I haven’t found? How on Earth can it be possible to dovetail selling and buying? Which pictures should I hang on the walls? And which ones should I take down? Do I need to pull all the weeds up from the front path? Should I ask the neighbours to stop their children from playing out in the garden when I have viewings planned? Why am I getting a headache? Where did I put the Nurofen…?
First and foremost: relax.
I know that’s easy for me to say. After all, I’ve overseen countless moves. And many of those have been for people selling their home for the first time, and buying for the second. That’s exactly why having me, or someone like me, on your side can be so useful.
A few years ago, I wrote a similar article for the local paper, and was contacted by a young couple who were about to move from their first home together. They’d had a few estate agents in and were, frankly, confused. One agent had told them that they needed to redecorate the entire house. Admittedly, the colour choices were quite bold, but they hadn’t changed the decor since they moved in. They liked the colour scheme. But, more to the point, they didn’t see themselves as DIY-ers, and couldn’t afford to get professionals in to do the job for them.
They were hugely relieved when, instead of trying to persuade them to carry out major changes, I suggested moving the furniture around a little, to accentuate the space available, helped them roll up a brightly patterned rug in the lounge which made the room feel instantly lighter, and therefore more spacious, and asked them to give the front door a bit of a wipe down to create a better first impression.
The house sold, they moved on to their next “dream home” and, more importantly to me, I think they actually enjoyed the experience.
So, don’t panic. Find yourself an estate agent who has years of experience, who can take a realistic approach to assisting you, who can guide you through the process step by step, who you can rely on to give you honest and sensible advice based not only on the current market but also your circumstances.
If you’re in South Glos, Bristol or Somerset, I’m at your disposal. But even if you’re not in the West of England, I’m happy to chat. Cross my palm with enough silver to book a couple of nights in a B&B (when we’re allowed to again, of course) and I’d even consider visiting your home to offer marketing tips and advice, organising valuations by local estate agents for you, being there when they come round, negotiating terms with them, then keeping on top of them throughout the sale.
But, above all, enjoy!