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Should I sell my home before I buy?

Most people sell their current home at the same time as buying a new one, forming a property chain. Selling before you buy has risks, but it can also have great advantages

should I buy the freehold of my house>

Advantages of selling before you buy

  • It puts you in a stronger position when buying. The seller you want to buy from would almost certainly prefer a buyer who has the cash in the bank (and/or a pre-approved mortgage) rather than enter a chain, where their sale is dependent upon you finding someone to buy your house
  • You are less likely to be gazumped. If you put in a decent offer the buyer is unlikely to take another if it means entering a property chain
  • You remain in control of the sale of your own house – because you won’t need to make a quick sale, you will not be pressurised into selling cheaply
  • Those with time on their side are usually in the strongest negotiating position
  • You may get a better price if you find a seller who is keen to move quickly
  • You will know exactly how much you can spend because you’ll have the money from your sale in the bank – buying your new home won’t be dependent on you achieving the expected price on your existing one
  • If the economy is in a state of flux and it looks likely house prices will fall, then houses get more affordable as you wait

Disadvantages

  • If you sell first, expecting to be able to buy quickly after, you may be disappointed and instead have to rent for a time, which can prove very costly
  • If prices are rising fast, by the time you’ve sold your house and sorted out somewhere to rent, a new house will be much less affordable. For example, if you rent for a year, and prices rise by 10% in that year, then you will only be able to afford 10% less

Renting can be stressful, but being in a chain, being gazumped, or feeling you’ve undersold can be worse.

Tips

Find and Compare Local Estate Agents

This form will take you to www.estateagent4me.co.uk for the results
  • Consider whether online estate agents are an option for you and compare ratings and packages from online estate agents
  • Keep an eye on the property market while you are selling just in case that perfect house comes along. You’ve got time so you might as well use it
  • Develop relationships with a number of estate agents before you sell, so that you get in there first with all good properties that come up for sale
  • Try and slow down the selling process, by agreeing a longish period between agreeing an offer and exchanging, and between exchanging and completion. This might give you enough time to buy a new place in the meanwhile


Leave a comment (8)* Required

  1. Hi. My daughters house has been sold to someone not in a chain, the problem is my daughter is buying a new build which won’t be finished till the end of February but her buyers want her out by end of November so their mortgage offer is still in place and want my daughter to rent her own house that has been solduntil end of February but worry about complications that could arise there is talk of a short let contract. What are your thoughts in my daughter and her family taking on a short let on her own house

    Comment by Annie Parsons — November 23, 2020 @ 3:22 pm

  2. Can I sell my house and then stay as a tenant for 6 months? I can pay my mortgage so am not looking at selling low to a company because I am struggling more I am moving cities in the summer but would like to take advantage of the market whilst the prices are high.
    Many thanks

    Comment by Tony — October 9, 2020 @ 9:46 am

  3. Hello,

    If you first home is mortgage free and you want to buy a second home as a main residence, do you still need to pay the extra Stamp duty rates?
    Thank you

    Comment by Hina — June 22, 2020 @ 9:43 am

  4. Hello Anthony, if you’re asking about Stamp Duty Land Tax, it’s only a consideration when buying, so if you’re selling your property and not buying another you won’t have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax.

    Comment by HomeOwners Alliance — September 16, 2019 @ 10:44 am

  5. Are there any tax implications of a gap between selling and buying – if selling main residence and no second property involved? Assuming not?

    Comment by Anthony Watts — September 16, 2019 @ 8:32 am

  6. excellent opinion… when we buy a house then selling before buying is good for us because it puts us strong financial position. as you have adequate cash with you this will help you to buy a better house than before. i loved this article and i will surely share this article with others.

    Comment by wishang — January 2, 2019 @ 7:11 am

  7. Hello Maria, thanks for your questions. If you were to become a member, we’d be happy to look into this for you as we can provide you with access to our Home Helpline where you can speak to someone in more detail https://hoa.org.uk/homeowners-alliance-membership/

    You might also want to look at our information on mortgages here https://hoa.org.uk/services/mortgage-service-from-london-country/

    Comment by Chandni Sahni — December 3, 2018 @ 10:58 am

  8. What are the taxes I should consider if I want to buy a property out of my area now before I put my house on the market? Would you advise someone with money [small amount of cash + mortgage] to buy a property first then slowly move into that property while the main property is being cleared up in preparation for putting it on the market to sell? Is that a good idea? Can I get a short term mortgage?

    Comment by maria allen — December 1, 2018 @ 11:26 am

 
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