A second stepper’s guide to buying and selling property


Moving higher up the property chain

There’s always a lot of focus on how hard it is for first-time buyers to get started on the property ladder. But the beauty of purchasing your very first home is that you don’t have one to sell first. This isn’t the case for second steppers who have outgrown their starter property and now need to sell it so they can move on to their next dream home.

Follow these tips to take the stress out of buying and selling in tandem.

Work with a professional conveyancing solicitor

It’s worth speaking to our conveyancing solicitors Essex team around the same time that you put your home on the market. This means that as soon as you’ve accepted an offer on a property, then we can start drafting the paperwork for you. Strong communication is essential in any conveyancer-client relationship, so we’ll offer regular updates with the progress of your sale.

When you’ve found a home you wish to purchase, our team will conduct relevant conveyancing searches so you have detailed information about the property you’re buying and your associated legal rights. You can also arrange a survey which will provide your conveyancers with more information to act on, and negotiate on your behalf.

Putting your home on the market

A common mistake made by many second-steppers is to find their dream home on Rightmove or Zoopla, and then mentally move into it. Some people may even attend a viewing of the property. Unfortunately, this can all lead to disappointment if you haven’t marketed your own home yet. Most second-steppers won’t be in a position to proceed with making an offer on their next property before they’re under offer themselves.

Get the ball rolling by receiving valuations from a minimum of three estate agents. This will set realistic expectations about how much you should market your home for and how much you might be offered by a potential buyer.

Communicating between all parties

Once you have both offers in place, you’ll be in a property chain. As a second-stepper, you typically might expect your own buyer to be:

  • A first-time buyer
  • A downsizing cash buyer
  • A buy-to-let investor

It’s probable that you might be towards the beginning of the property chain in any of these cases. However, you’ll also want to find out how long the chain continues beyond the home you’re buying. The shorter the chain, the easier it will be to get things moving. Liaise with your conveyancers and both sets of estate agents to keep strong communication going along the chain.

Arranging your removals

It may be three months or more between the offer stage and completion of your purchase or sale. Use the time wisely, beginning with a declutter of your home so you’re not paying to move belongings you no longer need.

You can also arrange quotes with removal firms in your area, which can vary widely. You may want to book a provisional moving date with a firm you’re happy with, but be aware that your timeline will depend on everyone else in the chain agreeing on exchange and completion dates.

Contact conveyancing solicitors Essex teams

If you would like to discuss an upcoming move, Hook and Partners are available on 01268 692255 or by email at info@hookandpartners.com.