By James Greenwood of Stacks Property Finders
what is new, according to James Greenwood, managing director of Stacks Property Search, is that people are househunting without putting their own property on the market. “This is a symptom of a severe lack of homes on the market in most areas, particularly above £1.5m,” he says. “You’ve got people going on fishing expeditions to see if they can find a property they want, but that’s a deeply flawed process. If you haven’t got your place on the market, you’re not in the game.”
The flipside is that some people put their home up for sale, but don’t look until they have received an offer of a certain amount of money. “This is equally daft,” Greenwood says. “Vendors are failing to appreciate that the stamp-duty hike has made their property less valuable than it was before the autumn statement of 2014. There are millions of people who want to move, but they’re spending all their time looking at Rightmove, rather than doing anything about it.”
If you do find yourself in a chain, how can you keep it together? It’s about good management and keeping things moving: make sure your solicitor is on top of searches and surveys, that mortgage valuations are being done to a schedule, and that your agent has done a chain check, verifying that your buyer can proceed and has the funds. You could sign up to seeyourchain.com, a visual online tool that allows agents, buyers and sellers to monitor all stages of a chain (from £2 a month). Greenwood, however, advises you to talk to your agent and solicitor on a daily basis.