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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.

Selling before you buy

Advantages of selling before you buy

  • Selling before buying your next home 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 pressured into selling cheaply
  • Those with time on their side are usually in the strongest negotiating position
  • You may get a better price on the property you are buying if you find a seller who is keen to move quickly
  • You will know exactly how much you can spend on the property you are buying 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 may get more affordable as you wait

Disadvantages of selling before you buy

  • 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 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 if you are selling before you buy

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Leave a comment (12)* Required

  1. RoseRose

    I found your website very helpful but the continual flashing advert to the right of the page made me look elsewhere for information as it is extremely distracting when trying to read the rest of the page,

  2. JohnJohn

    I just called an estate agent who wanted me to sell our house before he would even allow a viewing of the house we’re interested in. I wonder whether the seller knows of this weird practice.

  3. AnneAnne

    I sold my property in July 2018 but due to various health issues..and now COVID…and prices increasing….my search for my next permanent home is still ongoing. I am now worried as I have been told that if I don’t buy within 3 years of my sale I will be charged more in stamp duty. Is this true ?

  4. JanJan

    We have no mortgage and house is valued at £150K – we want to put an offer in on an auction property of £250K so need a new mortgage for £100K. Can we get a mortgage for this amount and a bridging loan until we sell our property? Is this an easy thing to do?

  5. Annie ParsonsAnnie Parsons

    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

  6. TonyTony

    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

  7. HinaHina

    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

  8. Anthony WattsAnthony Watts

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

    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      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.

  9. wishangwishang

    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.

  10. maria allenmaria allen

    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?

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