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How to buy and sell a house at the same time

Buying and selling in a chain can be stressful and is why chain-free properties and chain-free buyers are so sought after, but with our guide it doesn’t have to be. We’ll take you through the process and show you why it’s easier to sell your property before offering on that dream house.

Selling your home to move into a new home at the same time can be a challenge but is completely doable. There are a lot of factors to consider and staying organised is key. We share our top tips for selling and buying a home at the same time.

Why you need to sell your house before buying

While you are perfectly entitled to put in an offer on a property at any point, it’s obviously far better to have your home on the market already. Your offer will be taken more seriously if your own property is under offer.

Depending on the current state of the housing market your offer may not be accepted at all if you aren’t in a good enough position for the sellers. You’ll also be in a better position to negotiate a good price if your property is under offer. So why is this?

What are the benefits of selling your house before buying a new one?

You know your maximum bid:

When selling and buying at the same time, it can be a little tricky to know for sure the maximum bid you can afford. If you sell your home beforehand, you know the amount you can afford for your purchase.

Getting your home valued is a great first step towards knowing its value and will help you to know what you are likely to make in a sale.

Non-sale dependency:

If you put an offer in but there’s competition, the seller and their estate agent will look at each offer in terms of other factors including whether you are ‘non-sale dependent’ which means you don’t have to sell your home in order to buy theirs. You are a more attractive offer this way.

It’s easier to get a mortgage:

Once you have sold, it’s a simpler process to just apply for one new mortgage, than have an old one that needs to run over.

There’s no onward chain:

This is an attractive situation for buyers of your property as they can simply purchase your home without waiting for your next purchase to be complete.

Less stress:

Completing two big processes at the same time, like buying and selling a house at the same time is stressful! Selling your home first simplifies things.

Process for buying and selling a house.

The basic process for buying and selling a house is:

  1. Get your property valued – haart offer free, no obligations valuations.
  2. Review your finances to figure out what exactly you can afford.
  3. Find mortgage broker who can tell you what’s available for you.
  4. Put your house on the market and begin your property search.
  5. Choose your next home and get it surveyed.
  6. Discuss the survey and any issues with your broker.
  7. Put in an offer.
  8. Employ a conveyancing solicitor to conduct property searches and contracts.
  9. Involve your estate agent to keep the process going.
  10. Get a completion date.

However, in between these steps you will also need to be actively selling your home. Taking viewings and fielding offers is just as important as pushing forward with your purchase.

See our step-by-step guide to the buying process

A property chain

If you are buying and selling at the same time, you are in something called a chain. A property chain develops when buyers and sellers are dependent on another transaction happening, whether that’s a purchase or a sale.

Imagine you had your offer accepted for a house, but they are struggling to finalise their offer for the home they want to move to. This means until they get their purchase completed and move out, you can’t move.

Chains can be broken by any number of different buyers and sellers at different points on the chain. The longer the chain becomes, the trickier and riskier your move can become as a lot of people are involved and relying on each other.

You can become stuck in a chain for a long time, even with things running smoothly, so if you can shorten the chain by selling your property first, you are in a far stronger position.

Selling your home before buying

Selling before buying comes with plenty of benefits, but you may need to consider a few things too. One is accommodation, as once your house is sold, you’ll need to find somewhere to stay until you buy a new one. You have options like staying with family or renting but bear in mind six months is usually the minimum contract term and rent amounts can be higher than mortgage payments.

Be careful not to get trapped in waiting for the right offer. Without looking towards a home you want to buy, you can often find yourself in a longer selling process, trying to receive the best offer, rather than taking one that would allow you to move to the house you have chosen. You also need to consider that property prices can fluctuate, so make sure you are keeping on top of prices and affordability.

Tips for buying and selling a house

Providing all the offers in your chain go smoothly, you can sell and buy property at the same time, and you won’t have to worry about arranging temporary accommodation.

Your solicitors should try to work towards completion for both properties on the same day, meaning you can pick up the keys and move into your new home as your buyers move into theirs. However, the process isn’t always as straightforward as this, so be prepared.

Here are our tips for buying and selling at the same time:

Be sure of your finances

Ask yourself some important questions. How much can you afford to spend on your next house? How much equity do you have in your current home? Think about the chain, as you’ll need the deposit your buyer pays to secure your new home. You should also bear in mind additional costs such as stamp duty. You should be able to absorb this into your mortgage borrowing, but it’s a substantial cost.

Here’s a useful guide on the costs of buying a house to help you plan.

Get a conveyancer you can communicate with

In a property chain, communication is key. You’ll need to make sure that documents are being signed on time and that everyone in the chain is motivated, but your conveyancer should be working hard for you on this. Make sure you feel comfortable staying in regular touch.

Involve your estate agent

If you don’t have the time to get too involved with moving the process along, that’s where your estate agent can help. At haart we can help you move swiftly from accepting an offer to exchange of contracts. We make it our mission to get your moved.

Get organised

There are a lot of details to keep track of, so make a list and keep organised. This includes things like arranging for the supply of electricity, gas, water, and broadband, and hiring a removals company if you need to.

Find more tips and advice for a smooth move, here.

We’re on a mission to get you moved

At haart, we understand the buying and selling process completely, which means we can support you while you do both. We use expert local knowledge and unique technology to make sure you get the best offer on the property you sell, so you can move to your new home as quickly as possible (and with as little stress).

Contact your local branch and let’s get you moving.