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Should I sell my house before I start house-hunting?

Published: 10/09/2022 By Andy Weller

The majority of home hunters market their home for sale while simutaneously looking for a property to buy. Invariable when this is the case become part of a chain of sales with a requirement to exchange and complete on their sale and purchase at the same time.
Selling your property before you buy a new one has pros and cons and only you can decide what is right for you and your family.
 
Advantages of selling before you buy
It could push you up the seller's buyer listIf you have already sold your property, you will be far more attractive to anyone selling their property than someone who has only recently put their home on the market or in some cases have not yet commenced offering their home for sale
And, if you have already secured the funding (money from your sale and pre-approved mortgage) for your next property, a seller will almost certainly accept an offer from you over someone still involved in a property chain as you become a non dependent buyer.
 
There’s less chance of being gazumpedIf you put in an attractive offer for a property, the seller is less likely to accept a slightly higher offer from anyone else at a later date if it means entering into a property chain.
 
There’s no rush to accept a low offer for your houseIf your timetable is not dictated by whoever you are buying from, and you don’t need to make a quick sale, you will not feel pressurised into selling for less than you’ve been advised you can achieve.
 
A seller may accept a lower offer from you if you are ready to moveIf the seller is looking to move quickly, they may accept a lower offer from you if you have already sold and are in a position to move quickly.
 
You’ll know exactly how much you can spend on a new propertyIf you’ve already sold your home before starting your property search and have received an agreement in principle from your mortgage lender, you’ll know exactly how much you can spend on the purchase of your new home. Make sure you’ve accounted for all the fees and expenses (including stamp duty) involved with buying a new property to ensure you have a truly accurate picture of your finances.
 
Disadvantages
Finding temporary accommodationOnce you’ve sold your property, you will need to find somewhere to live before you buy your next property. If you need to rent, this could be expensive – especially if it takes several months to move into your new property. Moving in with family can also put additional strain on relationships.
 
Where will you store your furniture and personal belongings?If you rent somewhere small to keep costs down, you may need to use storage facilities for your furniture and personal belongings which will add to your expenses.
 
House prices could increaseIf house prices are rising, by the time you’ve sold your house and rented somewhere for a significant period, you could find your new dream property is less affordable.
If you have an ideal property style and location in mind, there is a risk that this will be out of your reach in a fast growing housing market. By completing your sale and purchase at the same time, you are assured that the price gap is relative.
 
Balance the pros and cons of selling before you buyOnly you can decide whether you could face the extra strain and expense of moving into rented accommodation and having to move again when you buy your next property.
A good estate agent will be able to advise you on the local housing market and where prices are likely to go over the next 12 months. Being free from a property chain puts you in a very strong position which will make you far more attractive to sellers – but only you can decide if the benefits outweigh the potential upheaval.
 
Church & Hawes' top tips on selling your property before you buy a new homeUsing a good estate agent will ensure you receive the best possible price for your property if you decide to sell before you start your property search. There maybe better methods of sale and marketing techniques which could help you achive an efficient sale.
 
Organise your property financesIf you will need a mortgage, seek an agreement in principle from a reputable mortgage lender as soon as you can. You’ll still have to apply formally once you have an offer accepted but this will usually be much quicker and easier to progress.

Choose a reputable conveyancing solicitor to represent you on your new property purchase.
 
Do your research on what kind of property you want nextIf you have a specific location in mind, make plenty of visits and talk to locals if you can to assure yourself it will be right for you and your family.
If you know you want a four-bedroomed, detached house in Maldon, a semi detached property in Danbury or an investment property in South Woodham Ferrers check out the prices with local estate agents like Church & Hawes and use property websites to research prices.
 
Register with the best estate agents in your chosen areaAt Church & Hawes we take a proactive approach and often contact potential buyers about suitable properties the minute they land on our books – sometimes before they are advertised on our website or on Rightmove and OnTheMarket.com.

Register with estate agents who have proven local knowledge and sales success and ask them to keep you updated about suitable properties coming to the market. We also operate a Heads up Property Alert System to ensure our clients get access to the best selection of homes first. Register here to update your property requirements.
Can we help you to sell your property?As the leading independent estate agent across our network, covering Mid Essex to the East Coast.

We’ve been helping customers to buy and sell their homes since 1977 and our professional team have unrivalled local knowledge and experience.

CONTACT US to arrange a free market valuation or visit one of our offices in Maldon, Danbury, South Woodham Ferrers and Burnham on Crouch and let’s get moving.