publication date: Jun 16, 2009
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
Trading down homes means you are selling a bigger, more expensive property for a smaller, less expensive one. It might be from a mansion to a five bed home or from a four bed house to a two bed retirement home or even a park home! If your main aim is to benefit financially from trading down, then a falling market is not the best time to sell.
Will you be Losing Money?
However, if you have owned your home for ten or more years, it’s important to remember that prices have risen by nearly 200% over that time, more if you have owned it longer, and that all the downturn means is your property has increased by 180% instead of 200%.
What are the Issues with Selling a Property Now?
The key issues that you will have to face are:-
1. Decide whether you need to update your property or not. Does it need a facelift?
2. Price your house competitively. Don’t put it on at a price ‘you’d like to achieve’, put it on at a price that compares well to others in the street/locally.
3. It will take longer to sell your home, unless you are in an area that’s recovering. Estimate from six weeks to three months; put your postcode into Hometrack to see how long it’s taking to sell locally.
4. Consider putting some of your property in storage and renting your property out and renting in the new place for six months to allow you time to be sure you have made the right move.
5. People will make ‘cheeky’ offers, don’t be offended! Ask for more.
6. You need to decide what’s more important – the money or making sure you are happy in your new home and getting on with your life.
7. Offers are made and may fall through, so you need to keep marketing the property even if you’ve accepted an offer
8. Make sure you make cheeky offers (or get someone else too!) on properties you want to buy or rent.
9. Don’t stint on removal companies. Use one from the British Association of Removers and make sure you items are insured.
10. Make the move easy for yourself, ask removal men for a quote to pack your items. Good companies will train their staff to do this. Alternatively, start de-cluttering as soon as you decide to sell. Start packing items you don’t need for a while such as books, CDs etc week by week.
Reasons for Trading Down
Unfortunately we rarely trade down when we plan too. Often it’s forced on us and typically this is because of sad reasons such as divorce, losing a loved one or not being very well. This adds a lot more pressure to moving and sometimes a tight deadline too. So the most important thing to think about first is not the money, or even the deadlines, but what the best way is for you to trade down.
What Should you Consider when Trading Down?
Ideally it’s a good idea to think through and write down a list of what YOU want from a new home or new area when you trade down:-
1. Are sure you know where you want to be for the next ten to twenty years?
2. What happens if you or your partner gets sick? Are doctors/healthcare close by?
3. If you do have an illness, does the NHS near you specialise in the illness?
4. Can your home (or your new home) be adapted if you need to live on one level?
5. What help can you get to adapt your home if required?
6. How close are amenities? Can you get to a shop to buy a pint of milk?
7. What transport changes are planned in the area? Will these help make getting around easier?
8. Is there room for family and friends to park and stay, or a hotel/B&B nearby for them stay in?
9. What are the local clubs/organisations, are they the same ones you have currently? Can you ‘try before you join’ and even try before you move.
10. What are the neighbours like? Are there kids hanging around on the corner of your street or ones that would always give you a helping hand?
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