Should I sell my home before I buy a new one?

Should I sell my home before I buy a new one?

Should I sell my home before I buy a new one?

Moving home can be both an exciting and daunting prospect, and most of us want the process of selling and buying to be as simple as possible.

If you sell your home first you may be under pressure to find a new property quickly. Or vice versa, you may have an offer accepted on a new property and then be under pressure to sell your home. Both scenarios can be risky and yet you have to choose one or the other.

Sell before you buy

The best way is to find a buyer for your home before you buy another property, there are some significant benefits to selling before buying:

  • As you are still looking for a new property and in no immediate rush to sell, you are in a good negotiating position with potential buyers to get the best price for your home.
  • If you have accepted an offer on your home then you will know exactly what you have to spend on a new property.
  • If you have a buyer for your property, you will be in a much better position to have your offer accepted on a new home.

You can make the process easier if you start looking for a new property at the same time as putting your home on the market. Hopefully then, you will be in a position to accept an offer on your home and put in an offer on a property in a relatively short space of time.

What if I want to buy before I sell?

If you have an offer accepted on a property and you have not sold your home, you will be at risk of being gazumped. If another prospective buyer comes on the scene that has already sold their home, they are quite likely to be favoured by the seller over you. In this situation you will have to decide whether to increase your offer (gazump the gazumper) or move on and find a new property. Buying before selling is risky because from a seller’s perspective you are not in the strongest position to complete the transaction.

Selling before buying is not without risk, but it is preferable. It is your estate agents responsibility to manage the expectations of all parties involved to ensure a smooth and stress free transaction. Make sure that you have as many things as possible organised (e.g. a mortgage agreed in principle), so that when you do find a new property things can move fairly quickly. It will also help if you can agree with your seller a sensible amount of time between accepting an offer, exchange and completion. This will give you some breathing space to find the right property for you.

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