Why you shouldn’t sell your house in 2024
The key is that if you can sell then you are in a good position compared to others in the market, suggests Andrew Goodwin, chief UK economist at Oxford Economics.
However, it will be tricky if you are trying to upsize and use a mortgage to bridge that gap with the increased cost of borrowing.
“People refinancing might face a 300 basis point rise rather than 400 point rise, as rates have come down, so the debt refinancing costs are still higher,” says Goodwin.
For those looking to downsize, who may even be mortgage free, the market is more advantageous but the critical issue will be finding a buyer for a price you are happy with.
Preparing to sell your home
Whatever your position, those looking to sell in the next 12 months will benefit from remembering the fundamentals of selling property, says McNeil.
“It is the traditional thing which is to make sure your house is well presented and priced correctly when you go on the market,” he says. “Buyers will now ignore the few houses that are on the market at unrealistic prices and particularly in the average areas. So it is important to get your price right from the start.”
In order to get a good idea of what your property will be likely to sell for, have a look around your area. Are there similar properties on the market? How long have they been on for? Can you find a property that has had a successful sale recently and get the final price?
All this is useful information when setting your own expectations. And if you are using an estate agent, ask them for an honest guide price rather than the one you are hoping to achieve. It will likely save disappointment further down the line.
Once you have settled on a price, presenting your house well is important, says Farrance. Focus on making it look “nice and fresh”, with lots of light.
And from a practical perspective do everything you can to get yourself ready for a sale.
“If you are preparing for a move later in the year, start to look at your paperwork now.
“Where are your deeds, where are your mortgage documents? Some sales are held up at the conveyancing stage because documents are with solicitors that they dealt with 20 years ago and aren’t there any more,” advises McNeil.