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Make your next home move a success

We all need a home, but why is it so difficult (and stressful) to buy a house here in the UK?

With the news that the number of homes sold in the UK is set to fall to the lowest level for more than a decade, then surely it should be a good time to move house?

If you have tried to sell or buy a property recently then you won’t be surprised to learn that around 1 in 3 deals fail before contracts are exchanged. This is frustrating as if there is a chain of buyers then typically everyone is affected, and it can also leave buyers and sellers significantly out of pocket.

Certainly buyers have been spooked by recent interest rate rises and the cost of borrowing and they may be questioning their ability to meet higher mortgage commitments. There is also criticism that mortgage lenders are being too cautious and if a surveyor places a lower valuation on a property, then the amount of mortgage needed may be refused leaving buyers needing either a larger deposit or having to pull out.

Mortgage rates have started to fall, but many people in the industry think they need to fall below 5% to encourage people to want to move and that will take time.

For many people in rented accommodation, whilst it is a sector fraught with its own difficulties, they are enjoying rental payments being cheaper than an equivalent mortgage – sometimes as much as 10%, which makes a difference during this cost-of-living crisis.

Many property experts agree that if you plan to live in a property for less than five years then at the moment it might be better to rent rather than buy. That said if you ultimately want to live in a larger family property then you might now be able to make that move in fewer steps and there will be buyers who must sell – death, divorce or debt being the most common reasons, so there will be deals to be done.

The lack of affordability especially here in the South East prevents many people from getting on the property ladder, and buyers typically struggle to save for the size of deposit needed.

The average cost of a house in Kent is £399,000 which is higher than the average price across England and Wales which is £360,000.

Key tips for selling success in the current market:

•    Price your property realistically and don’t be tempted to appoint estate agents that suggest they can guarantee you a higher price.

•    Expect there will be a negotiation on price, but if you are lucky enough to receive an offer make sure before you accept it that the buyer is both committed to the purchase and is able to proceed quickly.

•    Work with your conveyancing solicitor to provide the information they need as quickly as possible.

•    Be flexible, you might need to move into temporary accommodation until you have found your next property so that you don’t delay your buyer completing on the sale.

And our tips for buyers:

•    Make sure you have everything you need in place to secure your mortgage so you know what you can afford to buy.

•    Do your research to narrow down both the area and the type of property you would like to buy.

•    Be realistic when making an offer as whilst there are deals to be done now, people are not going to accept low offers if they can’t afford to take them, and it could encourage a seller to be less committed to the sale. If you are serious about the property, think about what you can realistically afford and make your best offer.

•    Work with your conveyancing solicitor to provide all of the information they need as quickly as possible.

•    Be as flexible as you can about moving dates. It may be wise if you are selling a property to wait until the contracts have been exchanged on that sale or until it has been sold before finding your next property, to put yourself into the best position.

To make your next successful property move, get in touch with our team today.  Natalie Skinner can be contacted at