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

Professional Throughout

A great big thanks to John and all the staff at your Bognor branch. From the first visit to the completion of the sale we were dealt with professionally and with understanding. Great staff and very efficient. We were given all the help we needed through the entire transaction.
Mrs Hetherington - Vendor - Aug 31st, 2022

Not just another Buyer!

I had nothing but a positive experience with Sims Williams. Very helpful team, always responded quickly and will go above and beyond to make sure the process is as easy and stress free as possible. Emma was amazing, totally professional but extremely friendly, giving advise and opinions that were not always related to the property. Moving from a completely different county and not always knowing who to ask or contact, Emma was always on hand to help. Emma made me feel that we were not just another buyer but someone she was interested in. Thank you.
Sam - Buyer - Jun 17th, 2021

Excellent service, great team, personal touch

Jo helped us find a property in Arundel with success. We are a small growing family relocating from London to West Sussex, and Jo Mallett has made the experience seamless and smooth. I trust that the management of our rental will be good too. Thank you, Jo (and David) 🙂
Eli - Tenant - Aug 21st, 2022


Extremely helpful and professional service throughout our house purchase.
Marilyn M - Buyer - Dec 1st, 2020

Excellent Service

It took some time but the staff, especially Karen and Callum were always cheerful and keen to find us a buyer. We were never pressured into altering our asking price, nor did we get time wasters sent to view! Overall we were very happy with the service we received before and after the agreed sale and up to completion.
Richard & Chrissie Vendors - Dec 3rd, 2021


Can’t praise jo at Chichester branch enough, helpful, professional, knowledgeable. Reassured us throughout the whole process, moving is stressful but made easy Thank you
Penny - Tenant - 09.03.20 - Mar 9th, 2020

Highly recommended

The diocese of Chichester instructed Sims Williams. From start to finish, I have been very impressed with their very professional and friendly service. Great communication at all times. Susie Jones was excellent in progressing the sale and always very helpful. Highly recommended.
Philip- Vendor - Jan 6th, 2023

Excellent service

Last year Sims Williams arranged a tenancy for us. This went really well. The tenant was a great fit for our property (a small, old cottage which is suitable for a tenant who cares for it as much as we do!). Within a week of the end of the year long tenancy, another tenant was introduced to us. Our personal concerns regarding the “right fit” for the property were fully taken into consideration The team were so helpful on both occasions and took care of such matters as safety certificates, informing utilities etc etc etc. I cannot praise them enough. Always willing to answer queries and clarify matters.
Nita - Landlord - Mar 20th, 2023

Brilliant, helpful and friendly!

Being a first time landlord, David at Sims Williams has been brilliant. Answering my 100's of questions and advising on what I needed to complete to rent my house. I've spoken to some of the ladies in the offices too (sorry I can't remember names) but have all been so lovely and helpful. If you are looking to rent your property then don't hesitate to speak to Sims Williams, and I assume if you are looking to rent, you should do the same! Thank you all so much!
Claire - Landlord - Jul 29th, 2023

Superb Service

Look no further than Mel Fahy and the Team members at Sims Williams in Chichester, their service has been second to none and I can highly recommend them. My experience has been nothing but positive with their professionalism and friendliness. Mel has gone out of her way to keep in touch with the relevant parties and also ensure I have been kept fully up to date, thank you Mel!
Toni - Buyer - Mar 9th, 2021