Should I sell my home before I buy a new one?
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
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 prices are falling, then houses get more affordable as you wait
- 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.
- If you do sell before you buy, make sure as many things as possible (mortgage etc) are organized beforehand so you can buy quickly. See our step-by-step guide to buying and selling at the same time to help you
- Do your research before you sell. Decide what area you want to buy in, and what sort of property you want to buy
- When you are ready to sell, decide what price you should sell for, compare the performance of local estate agents before short-listing and appointing an agent, 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
- Get your mortgage pre-approved. This will make you even more attractive to a seller. See our guide on taking your existing mortgage with you
- 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
- How to buy and sell at the same time
- Step-by-step guide to selling your home
- What price should I sell my house for?
- Top Tips: How to make your home more valuable and sell faster
- Can I take my mortgage with me?
- How should I choose an estate agent?
- Compare online estate agents
- The legal side of buying a home explained