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

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Most people put their house on the market at the same time as they start looking for a new property.

And, most buyers become part of a property chain as they try to complete on the sale of their current property on the same day as they complete the purchase of a new home.

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

If 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.

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.


There’s less chance of being gazumped

If you put in a decent offer for a property, the seller is unlikely to later accept a slightly higher offer from anyone else if it means entering a property chain.


There’s no rush to accept a low offer for your house

If 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 move

If 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 property

If 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 involved with buying a new property to ensure you have a truly accurate picture of your finances.

If house prices are falling, you may find that new properties become more affordable when you start your property search.



You may need to rent somewhere

Once 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.


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 increase

If 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.


Balance the pros and cons of selling before you buy

Only 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.


Sims Williams top tips on selling your property before you buy a new home

Using 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.


Organise your property finances

If 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 next

If 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, Edwardian semi-detached house in Chichester, check out the prices with local estate agents like Sims Williams and use Rightmove to research prices.


Register with the best estate agents in your chosen area

At Sims Williams, 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.

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.


Can we help you to sell your property?

As the leading independent estate agent in Arundel, Chichester, Walberton and the surrounding villages across the West Sussex coastal strip, we’re regularly the number one estate agent on Rightmove.

We’ve been helping customers to buy and sell their homes since 1981 and our professional team have unrivalled local knowledge and experience.

Call us to arrange a free market valuation or visit one of our offices in Chichester, Arundel and Walberton and let’s get moving.

Register with us

So we can keep you fully up to date

What our clients say


Sims Williams were able to let my property very quickly at a good rental value. They provided regular updates and provided consistent excellent customer service.
Harry - Landlord - Feb 3rd, 2021

Excellent service

Chichester letting staff are extremely helpful, they provide a professional service and I would thoroughly recommend them.
Sid - Landlord - Jul 22nd, 2022

What a great local agents

I can’t recommend Sims Williams highly enough. John Wyatt took the stress out of our house sale with his efficiency, experience and good humour. It wasn’t an easy situation as the property was in need of renovation and was being sold as part of a divorce settlement, but John’s honesty and integrity got us through. Thank you John!
Welch - Vendor - Jul 16th, 2021


I can’t thank Linda and John (and Sarah!) enough for their sheer doggedness and determination In managing both my sale and purchase. It was certainly a rollercoaster but the communication from Lin and John was exceptional throughout. I would thoroughly recommend Sims Williams!
Helen - Buyer - Dec 8th, 2020


Sims Williams we had amazing service from everyone, kept us informed all the time, Especially Mel. We would highly recommend Sims Williams to Everyone.
Ian & Patsy Cox - Vendor - Feb 4th, 2021

Excellent Service

Brilliant Estate Agents, I sold my property and brought another through Sims Williams, John was fantastic and so helpful throughout the whole process. I would 100% recommend this Estate Agents.
Amy - Vendor - Apr 7th, 2021

Helpful, Friendly & Professional

Brilliant company, helpful, friendly and professional. All queries dealt with immediately and thoroughly, would always recommend them and will definitely use them again should the need arise.
Michael - Buyer - Jun 9th, 2021


I recently purchased and sold through this company. I have had some terrible service in the past. These people were a pleasure to deal with. They kept me informed, managed my purchase and sale with total professionalism. I have no reservations recommending them. Thank-you SW.
Alan Colbran - Buyer - Sep 5th, 2020


Another effortless sale in the hands of the very capable and professional Sims Williams team in Arundel. From start to finish we have been supported, kept informed and advised. The team work brilliantly together, never missing a step. Thank you!!
Vendor - Dec 22nd, 2020

Would definitely recommend!

I had been with another agent for quite a long time and was being messed around. When I decided to instruct Sims Williams they got very quick results and I had accepted an asking price offer3 days later. Linda and Louise were very proactive and efficient and I would highly recommend them.
Daphne - Vendor - Mar 12th, 2021