A guide to selling when upsizing  

What is upsizing?

Perhaps upsizing – or moving to a new, more spacious home – could be better described as ‘right-sizing’ – or having the size of home which is perfect for you and your current life stage. And while many feel excited at the idea of moving to a new, bigger place where they’ll feel less cramped, others may feel somewhat daunted at the prospect, especially if they haven’t sold a place for a while, or indeed at all. This guide is here to help.

Why do people upsize?

There are many reasons why someone may want to move from their current property to a bigger one.

These include:

Moving in together

When a couple grows tired of just staying over at each other’s places, and perhaps of travelling to and fro and living out of overnight bags, they often decide to pool their resources and get a bigger place together, one they can make their own.

Family ties

People often move to be nearer family, or to support parents or spend more time with nieces and nephews. A move to a different part of the country may mean a larger place becomes more affordable, or you may just want a bigger place to have relatives round, or so that elderly parents can move in with you.

A growing household

Whether you’re starting a family, or adding to it, you know when you’ve run out of space. A baby can throw the limitations of your current property into stark relief, so that the need to upsize becomes very clear.

Moving on up

Maybe you’re a savvy saver and keen grafter who’s been working really hard and now it’s time to move up the property ladder and invest in a larger home. Or maybe a career move or promotion has put you in a position where you can contemplate upsizing. Or maybe a work relocation to a different part of the country has made the dream of a bigger home a reality.

‘Boomerang’ kids

According to Statista, some 40% of young adults in the UK aged up to 34 still lived with their parents in 2022, or around 6.7 million of them. If that’s your situation or, as mentioned above, elderly parents are moving in with you, upsizing is the ideal way to ensure everyone has enough room under the new living arrangements.

New projects

You may have a new passion that requires its own quiet space – from photography to music to creative writing to dressmaking. You may have made your hobby a business and want to accommodate it, or your circumstances may have changed so that you’re now working from home. Whatever the situation, upsizing means you can do what you need to do without, say, clearing the dining room table constantly. 

Our four top tips for your next step

1 – Do seek advice and help

Making sure you get the right advice at the start of the process typically ends up saving more time in the long run and, more often than not, saving money over the course of the whole transaction. The internet can certainly help to an extent, but it’s not the same as having an experienced estate agent at the end of the phone who can give you accurate, tailored support.

2 – Don’t deal with ‘sell-your-home-quick’ companies

Especially when you’re pressed for time and keen to complete the process, these outfits can seem enticing. And it’s not that they don’t have their place. But, generally speaking, you should only approach ‘sell-your-home-quick’ firms as a last resort.

3 – Do your research

Clearly, there’s a huge amount to do when you’re moving home. Make a list of jobs to do around the house and work your way through them. Get your legal and financial paperwork in order as soon as you can. And make a start on packing up, beginning with anything that you don’t need to use every day. Personal items including ornaments, photos, toys or seasonal clothes should be among the first things you box up. Additionally, of course, an uncluttered space makes for easier viewings.

4 – Assess the market

Some estate agents have been known to over-value homes at frankly wildly unrealistic prices. But this just means that, ultimately, your property won’t budge on the market. Get three agents to carry out a valuation or market appraisal. Assess them not on the highest figure they quote, but on which one has the best and most comprehensive plan for helping you achieve your property goals, of which price achieved will be a part.

Your FAQs answered

I/we need a particular figure for this property to make my/our planned move possible. What can you do to make this happen?

No estate agent worth their salt can guarantee you will realise a specific sum, but they can support you in achieving the best possible price for your property on the market.

The caveat for this is, of course, that your goal figure must be realistic and achievable

Four factors influencing the outcome

  1. Location, location, location
    That includes local amenities, the general environment plus the area’s services and infrastructure.
  2. How the property is presented
    A place’s current condition, and the improvements someone will want to make to it, definitely play their part.
  3. The agent you instruct for the sale
    Good, experienced agents will be able to achieve several thousands more for your property through their skills and experience.
  4. Your selling strategy
    Make sure your estate agent has the right plan in place, so that you know what they’re doing and what you need to do, if anything. (We are ideally placed to advise on this.)

How long will it all take?

Well, to coin a cliché, how long is a piece of string?

In all seriousness, much of it boils down to the four factors mentioned above. The earliest offers can often be the best ones – when your property is still fresh on the market. This can happen quite quickly for some properties. The next stage involves the mortgage providers, building surveyors, solicitors and other agencies becoming involved if you’re part of a chain. This can be a difficult, drawn-out process, although it doesn’t have to be. We always make sure we communicate with all interested parties at this stage, so you know what’s going on every step of the way.

How do you decide on which solicitor to use?

Similarly to when you’re choosing estate agents, you may be tempted to choose a solicitor based solely on their fees.

But, as with anything else, it’s often a case of getting what you pay for. (Which is not to say you have to hire the most expensive firm on the market.)

We have great contacts with excellent local firms who we’ve worked with on numerous occasions. So ask us for recommendations. We’re always happy to share our experiences to make sure you avoid any potential pitfalls.

What other costs are involved?

As mentioned, really you need to think about every aspect involved when planning a move.

You may need, for example, to spend a little on your current house so it looks its very best for viewers.

And, as you appreciate, there are Stamp Duty costs when you’re buying a property in the UK.

But we can talk through all of these with you – expenses will clearly vary according to what you are looking to buy. The solicitors will charge a fee and there are also fees within that (depending on their own payment structure). You’ll also probably need to hire a van or a removals company to help on moving day.

Again, we’re used to all of this, and can explain everything for you so you’ve got it clear in your mind and don’t worry about anything.

How do I know if I/we can really afford to do this?

With a bigger property, obviously monthly mortgage costs are typically higher. Your council tax and other bills are likely to increase at the same time. On top of these, a bigger place also means more responsibility for upkeep. This might mean a bigger garden to manage, or more gutters to maintain. You might also need to spend on new furniture to make the new space work for you. Don’t just doodle a few sums on the back of an envelope!

All great estate agents know equally great independent financial advisers. And we’re no exception. Get a professional in to chat everything through. They can help find you the best deals on the current market when it comes to things like mortgages and insurance. The initial outlay for their time often ends up saving you money since they can advise on ways to maximise your money with investments and pensions.

Your moving checklist

Below is a useful 11-point checklist to help you prepare for a sale:

  • Invite three estate agents round to value the property. Don’t be won over by cheap fees or high valuations. Ensure you’re looking out for a figure based on well-researched evidence and backed up with a comprehensive marketing and sales plan.
  • Hire a solicitor who specialises in conveyancing for your type of property or area. Professional recommendations are often better than your friends whose experience has been OK. They’ve only got one point of reference compared to a good estate agent who deals with hundreds of transactions a year. That bird’s eye view of the marketplace gives you assurance you’ll be dealing with the best firm for your needs.
  • Start packing away items you don’t use every day. You’ll probably be able to sell some items or donate them to charity shops and this will help you declutter (and lower your moving costs).
  • Work your way through the food in your cupboards and freezer.
  • Once you’ve accepted an offer and agreed a completion date, ask for three recommendations for moving companies. Check the reviews and get them booked for your proposed moving date. (Good ones get booked up fast.)
  • Use Royal Mail’s post redirection service for your property and tell the utility companies, banks and insurance providers of your change of address. You could tell family and friends of your new abode the old-fashioned way with pretty notelets or traditional ‘change of address’ cards.
  • Get final gas and electricity meter readings.
  • Get some insurance quotes for your new property (if relevant). Ask them to start the policy from your completion date so you’ve covered yourself immediately.
  • Sort yourself a last night/first morning box with a kettle, cups, coffee, tea, and loo roll. A wash bag and change of clothes are always handy, too. Make sure you’ve got any necessary paperwork, medicines, wallet, keys and ID in a separate bag.

Got a question about anything in this guide? Feel free to contact us on any of the numbers or email addresses as follows:

Bexhill Branch

12 Sackville Road
East Sussex
TN39 3JL

01424 224700

Eastbourne Branch

35 Cornfield Road
East Sussex
BN21 4QG

01323 723500

Hastings Branch

60 – 61 Robertson Street
East Sussex
TN34 1HY

01424 722122