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.