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Can we view houses without putting ours up for sale?

(25 Posts)
shouldnthavegoogledit Tue 23-Jun-15 19:16:04

Our current flat's in a very desirable location where few places ever go on sale, and when they do they get snapped up right away; an estate agent we spoke to said it would go fast - but we can't really move until August when DH's job is confirmed.

DH wants to look at local houses now before we've even put our flat on the market ... I don't think we can as I'd have been annoyed at people messing us around like that, wouldn't want to fall in love with somewhere we couldn't buy, and wouldn't know how to explain that to estate agents anyway. But I understand - he wants to get to know different prices and types of houses and areas, and get better at visiting and assessing places so we can be "experts" by August and find somewhere ASAP then.

Who's right? Does anyone have any advice? I know it's not a big deal but would appreciate any input smile

funchum8am Tue 23-Jun-15 19:19:30

You can definitely look - estate agents may well ask what your situation is but you can tell them you are sussing out the market, and that you expect yours to go quickly but you are waiting on work info. Some people just look to be nosy!

PolterGoose Tue 23-Jun-15 19:33:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blu Tue 23-Jun-15 19:35:34

You can't be 'experts' though, without knowing how much your house would be marketed at. Unless you are in very fortunate circumstances, knowing how much an EA would market your house at is crucial to the price of houses you look at. You could waste a lot of time!

I have usually done it simultaneously. Start looking just as you are inviting EAs to look at yours and tell you how much they would cost and how much they would put it on the market at.

Your DH can do his preliminary research on Rightmove!

Fizrim Tue 23-Jun-15 19:41:48

At one point (when a sale had fallen through and we were still trying to buy a house that we'd offered on) I refused to have any viewers who were not proceedable. So you may not be able to view a property if the seller doesn't feel you are serious.

I think the property market is very different nowadays, and I wouldn't do it tbh. What would you do if you see a property you really like and can't buy it? I would expect an EA to say it will sell fast, do you think they'd tell you it would hang around for months?!

If your DH wants to practice visiting and assessing, would he consider going around show homes in new developments?

Good luck with the house sale.

shouldnthavegoogledit Tue 23-Jun-15 20:06:47

Thank you everyone for replying, that's really kind of you. Do you know, I honestly didn't think that estate agents would let you visit places without being 'proper' buyers! (very naive blush)

I agree on the RightMove advice, we've just spent the last hour looking and there's so much info on there. I like the idea of looking round new developments too, I'll look up those, and agree to that for now. It'd be horrible to find the perfect place and not be able to move! Having said that, after an hour on RightMove I can see why he's excited ... I love our tiny flat, but it's amazing that for the same price in a fairly nice nearby town we could get a four bedroom house.

Yes, I agree they wouldn't necessarily tell the truth about sales, but I have noticed one or two 'for sales' boards going up and then 'solds' almost immediately, so I think they're possibly right. Well, I hope! Fingers crossed anyway.

Thanks again, I really do appreciate it smile

lostscot Tue 23-Jun-15 20:14:43

We had a viewing from a lady who loved everything in house then said as we got to the door" but I haven't put mine on market yet" well I thought we'd see no more of her but 2 days later agents phoned and she'd offered near asking price as gone home and her neighbour offered cash to buy hers for her mother!

Plateofcrumbs Tue 23-Jun-15 20:19:40

We bought a house we viewed on a bit of a whim - acted fast to get our old house on market and it was under offer in less than two weeks, didn't slow the sale at all.

mandy214 Tue 23-Jun-15 20:37:41

If you genuinely can't proceed for some time I think it's a waste of the seller's time. If I realised that I'd gone to the trouble of tidying / cleaning / arranging for children to be elsewhere or for us all to be out so EA could show someone around, I'd be absolutely livid if that person was just viewing to get a feel for prices!

RedandYellow24 Tue 23-Jun-15 20:40:57

Only if you really have no clue about the sort of place you want or need to let go in your ideally house. But these days plenty of photos on line you don't really need to be there

itdc Tue 23-Jun-15 20:47:48

yes you can

Snoozybird Tue 23-Jun-15 21:00:02

I think the difference in your case is that you can't move until you know about DH's job therefore the other scenarios PPs mentioned aren't really comparable. You only have a few more weeks to wait - I'd hold your horses till then.

scarlets Tue 23-Jun-15 21:26:46

My parents have had their hopes raised and dashed by people sussing the market, so I know the disappointment it causes. However, the pp told the tale of the so-called time waster who came back with an offer two weeks later, which is great. In your case though, you know you can't possibly make an offer before August/September, so I think it might be unfair to view properties now - I'd be unhappy if someone viewed my parents' place on that basis.

I hope your husband gets the job - good luck :-)

HarryLimeFoxtrot Tue 23-Jun-15 21:30:26

We did. In fact we put an offer in before we'd put ours on the market. They didn't accept it until we'd sold ours though (it took us a month to get it on the market and 4 days to sell it). We now live in the house we looked round 'out of curiosity' smile

shouldnthavegoogledit Tue 23-Jun-15 21:36:31

Thanks again to people who've replied smile.

I agree that's it's a bit of an unfair thing to do unless you can turn your own sale around quickly - which we couldn't for now. The last place we sold only needed 3 viewings but it was still a total PITA to clean and prepare!

We're going to see some new builds and perhaps just drive/walk around some of the areas we're interested in for now to get an idea of neighbourhoods. I'll also be scouring these threads to learn more about what to look for! (Also, yes, I'd lost track of the dates really - August is actually not that far away!)

shouldnthavegoogledit Tue 23-Jun-15 21:42:46

Ps thank you scarlet! He's effectively had a rolling contract for four years now, but it's never officially confirmed again until just before the next academic term... Nightmare!

shouldnthavegoogledit Tue 23-Jun-15 21:43:18

Argh. Scarlets, sorry.

Toomuchtea Wed 24-Jun-15 10:53:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hereandtherex Wed 24-Jun-15 12:33:46

You can do what you want if you do not have a contract signed.

Does looking mean looking at the house from the outside, or making an appointment to go inside?

The first is very sensible. The second will exhaust your goodwill with EAs/sellers.

hereandtherex Wed 24-Jun-15 12:35:09

Toomuchtea is very right. You might have very different ideas of 'time to sell' than the market/process. August is only ~2 months away.

greenbanana Wed 24-Jun-15 12:47:39

As PP have said, you can do this but have to beware of the pitfalls, and you won't know your price range exactly unless your flat is on the market.

If I were you I'd do what it sounds like you're going to - spend some time walking and driving around areas, really narrow it down to what you like. Look up sold prices on the streets you like, so you can disregard the ones out of your expected range. Also work out your complete no-go areas where even if the house was lovely you wouldn't want to live.

It really does save you time and you'll go into your search much more confident and able to find something quickly. We were in a very similar situation at the end of last year - we didn't see anything before the flat was on the market, but when that sold within two weeks we found the right house faster because we'd done the legwork first.

shovetheholly Wed 24-Jun-15 13:14:37

I love where I now live. I will probably move in the next few years, and I have very specific requirements about what I want. I'm in a big city with a reasonably active property market and I regularly go on Rightmove to see what is available just to keep my eye in. In the last six months, I have seen only one house in my price bracket that I would contemplate moving to. So when the time comes, I will definitely be looking at a place before I put my place on the market because I know that at any one time, what I want is unlikely to be available.

When I find the 'right' place, I will be willing to take a small hit on the price for my house to sell quickly.

Onecurrantbun Wed 24-Jun-15 14:03:40

Yeah we viewed a couple of houses before we went on the market. We found one we liked so we priced to sell - not dirt cheap, but just a few grand more than the bare minimum we'd have accepted.

ItsNotAsPerfectAsItSeems Wed 24-Jun-15 18:14:38

We did this because we were moving from a stupidly desirable area to another desirable but larger area. Both sold well but because where we lived was smaller, people registered at EA. We were ready to go but holding off putting ours on the market.
The first agent refused point blank to let us view a house we adored and had fallen for on the internet. We tried to explain that ours would sell immediately but they still refused. Luckily it was an area with dual agencies so we viewed it with the other one even though they weren't keen either. We offered and they laughed and said come back when you've sold. This was the fri afternoon. Ours went up on the mon and had sold by tue lunchtime to a buyer wanting a 6wk completion. We then had to drive 300 miles again the following weekend to sort out the purchase. Just because things don't shift quite as quick in some areas doesn't mean agents should have such closed minds to the fact that some areas sell within hours.
But...as I said, we were in a position to offer whereas you need to wait.

QueefOfTheSporned Wed 24-Jun-15 18:25:29

We were looking at houses for about a year before ours was on the market. We have very specific requirements so we're waiting for the right house to come along. We live in a very popular area so we're confident ours would sell quickly. We didn't want to market it before having found something suitable to offer on. Once we found a house we liked, we put ours on the market, it sold in under 3 weeks and we had a second viewing/made an offer on the House we wanted.

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