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.

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What our clients say


Richard was completely professional yet friendly and kept us informed every step of the way. Nothing was ever too much trouble and he made a protracted transaction far less stressful than it could have been. Thoroughly recommend him and the company.
Fay - Vendor - Dec 7th, 2021

Absolutely first class service

Jo was our main point of contact and the service her and her colleagues provided was faultless. Fantastic communication and lovely tenants found. I would add that I have also bought and sold properties through Sims Williams over the past 25 years and done another rental too, and not once have they ever slipped on their first class service..and super friendly too. Well done all of you.
Tracey - Landlord - Jun 7th, 2022


Right from the word go Sara, Linda and the team provided a very efficient, professional and friendly service. Never too busy to answer questions and kept me well informed of progress through to completion. Would highly recommend their service. Thank you.
Natasha M - Vendor - Dec 9th, 2020


From first contact to completion of sale and also finding me a rental property service was excellent. I found the staff to be personable, efficient and courteous.
Vendor - Jan 20th, 2021

Excellent service!

Care and courtesy shown. Friendly manner. Professional and efficient.
Andy Peppler - Vendor - Jul 5th, 2021


I have recently purchased a property in Walberton and I have been incredibly impressed by the outstanding support provided by the Walberton team. They really do go above and beyond and provide a very personal service to their customers. It was a very difficult chain with many challenges along the way but Lin in particular was outstanding. She was always very professional and friendly and was clearly determined to ensure that the sale progressed. She always responded to my many phone calls or emails and provided reassurance. I know that if we ever sell again!! I would use Sims Williams.
Catherine H - Buyer -

Fantastic Service

As first time sellers we had a lot of questions and Sims Williams were happy to help. They were easy to contact throughout, kept us up to date on viewings and feedback. They even found our perfect home, which we got to see before it went on the market. Karen & the team were fantastic at keeping everyone in the chain informed & keeping the sale & purchase moving forward. We would highly recommend them & will use them again in future if we ever move. Thanks so much from happy house sellers & buyers.
Mr & Mrs Fairbairn - Apr 5th, 2022


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

Always Helpful

We have been very happy with the Arundel Office who helped us consistently with the numerous problems that came up with the purchase of our wonderful new home. Particular mention needs to go to Emma for her constant endeavours to sort things out, and Tamsin waiting outside the office to hand over the keys at the eleventh hour. Thank you all.
Hilary - Buyer - Mar 23rd, 2021

Fantastic service!

Branch Manager Jo was absolutely brilliant; Helpful, thorough, professional, and friendly. The process was quick and I was kept up to date on the process. Everyone at the Chichester and Walberton office who were involved in the letting were so kind and I can't thank you all enough. 5 star customer service. Highly recommend sims Williams.
Mia - Tenant - Mar 8th, 2023