Buying and selling a house at the same time can be a complex and stressful process on its own. But what happens when you need to do both simultaneously?
The task of buying and selling a house at the same time may seem daunting, but with careful planning, preparation, and robust advice, it can be successfully navigated. In this blog, we will explore the challenges and strategies involved in buying and selling a house at the same time.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, this guide will provide valuable insights and practical tips to help you manage the dual transaction smoothly.
Assessing Your Financial Situation
Before diving into the process of buying and selling a house at the same time, it’s crucial to evaluate your financial situation.
Determine how much equity you have in your current house and whether you can afford to carry two mortgages temporarily. If you require funds from the sale of your current house to purchase the new one, consult with a mortgage lender to explore bridging loans or other financing options for buying and selling a house at the same time.
Bridging loans, as they are known, are a useful but risky option. They can be expensive, but if affordable, they are a convenient way to relieve the pressure of having to sell and buy at the same time.
They can also help you break a ‘chain’ …more on that later.
However, bridging loans can also go horribly wrong if your sale doesn’t go as planned, so do not embark on this course without taking some very grounded advice.
It is doubtful that you will be given an exclusive mandate to buy a house if you haven’t either got sufficient finance in place or, at the very least, your own home on the market.
Timing and Synchronising the Transactions
Timing is crucial when it comes to buying and selling a house at the same time. Aim to coordinate the completion dates of both transactions to avoid the need for interim housing or high storage costs when buying and selling a house at the same time.
It’s essential to work closely with your estate agents, lawyer and advisers and communicate your desired timelines for buying and selling a house at the same time.
Whilst an exact date for an exchange of contracts cannot be predicted, even up to the day before it happens, you can still outline your preferences and agree on a completion date.
Additionally, consider contingencies should everything not go to plan. For example, if you are buying a new home and it doesn’t look like they will finish it on time, will you delay your sale or find temporary accommodation?
A property chain is a series of purchases and sales that rely on each other for completion to happen. For example, if you are buying and selling, your purchase may well be dependent on your sale; therefore, both properties are now linked.
If you are lucky enough to find a property that you want to buy that is chain free, it means that the sellers of that property already have alternative accommodation to move into or the property is already vacant.
A cautionary note:
I have heard ‘chain free’ many times before, when in fact, the ‘chain free suggestion might well be dependent on an undisclosed alternative coming to fruition.
Incredible communication from all parties in a chain, including the agents, solicitors, buyers and sellers, is required to ensure that the chain moves forward as smoothly as possible. Agents will often take on this role; however, with your best interest in mind, employing a buying agent to do it for you will likely increase your chances of success.
If one part of the chain is slower than the rest, you can be sure of difficulties. For example, if you sell a leasehold flat in a communal block to buy a detached freehold house in a village, your sale will likely be far slower than your purchase. Now imagine this with five properties, all with different legal issues.
Working with the most experienced solicitors and buying agents is your best route through this quagmire. It is entirely possible to achieve a happy sale within a chain, but I can’t emphasise enough how crucial outstanding communication is.
Preparing Your Current House for Sale
To attract potential buyers and secure a sale when buying and selling a house at the same time, it’s essential to prepare your current house for the market. Employing someone to dress your home to make it market ready is a really good starting place.
Start by decluttering and deep cleaning each room, enhancing curb appeal, and making necessary repairs when buying and selling a house at the same time.
Consider staging your house to showcase its potential and appeal to a wide range of buyers when buying and selling a house at the same time. Working with a professional home stager or home mover can provide valuable guidance and marketing expertise during this stage of buying and selling a house at the same time.
It is widely reported that a well-priced staged home will sell up to 3 times faster and at 10% more than its competition!
Ensure you get a true realistic valuation
My blog titled “The Minefield of Property Prices: Unlock the Secrets and Achieve the Best Deal when Offering on a House” details having your house valued; however, the most important thing to take away is to be realistic.
Ask the visiting agents for the comparable properties that they are referencing when pricing yours. Then ask yourself if you think that they are being reasonable. Is yours a true comparison, and how long did it take to sell?
Be aware of being compared to properties that are on the market or properties that sold last year. You are looking for properties that have been sold in the previous couple of months and took only a couple of weeks to sell.
Ask yourself if you are being honest when you say yours is better than another. Would a buyer truly see it like that, or is that just because you like your taste better than the other?
Finding Your New House
Once you have your current house on the market, begin your search for a new home. Clearly define your needs and priorities, and ideally, work closely with a buying agent such as Rowallan, who understands your requirements when buying and selling a house at the same time.
If you have enough time to do it on your own, utilise online listing platforms, attend open houses, and schedule viewings to explore potential options when buying and selling a house at the same time.
Ensure you are well informed about the market, property values, and area amenities to make an informed decision when buying and selling a house at the same time. Ensure you know the whole market, not just the publicly advertised ones.
Off-market properties, ones which are not available publicly, might suit you best. They might well allow you the time to sell your property without pressure.
Employing a buying agent is your best chance of being informed of these hidden opportunities.
Can I put an offer in on a house before selling mine?
In almost every instance, a chain-free buyer will be more attractive to a seller than someone who has a property to sell.
Of course, you can make an offer on a house before selling your own or even having your own on the market, but your chances of receiving exclusivity are very low. Your best chance of having a sale agreed upon before you sell your own is if the seller of the house you are trying to buy also hasn’t found a house to move to.
Of course, this now means that you are in a chain and are limited as to your control over the speed and security of your sale and purchase.
Benefits of selling your own house before buying another
As mentioned above, if the property you have offered on is only available off-market, you have a better chance of an offer being accepted because the sellers are unlikely to be in a hurry. See Finding Your New House above.
Whilst it is entirely understandable that you would want to find a house to buy before putting yours on the market, especially if you believe that yours will be easy to sell but you are trying to find a much rarer house, you will be in a much stronger position if you can show evidence to an agent that you have contingency plans in place.
Buying and Selling a House at the Same Time will almost always be more successful than trying to offer without having your dependant sale on the market.
Evidence of a bridging loan or alternative finance will give the agent confidence that their sale might succeed.
Negotiating and Making Offers
When you find the perfect new house, be prepared to make an offer contingent upon the sale of your current house when buying and selling a house at the same time. This contingency will protect you if your existing home doesn’t sell within a specified period.
Negotiate with the seller to set a reasonable timeline and consider offering incentives to increase the chances of your offer being accepted.
Your best chance of having the lowest offer accepted is when you are in the strongest position. Having no related sale, no mortgage and being represented by a professional buying agent will achieve just that.
Having at least two of the three is still great, and one of the three is good. If you need to sell and require a mortgage, you are in the weakest negotiation position, but you can still achieve a result by wowing the seller with an excellent bid at a price they are prepared to hold out for.
Temporary Housing Solutions
In case there is a gap between selling your current house and moving into the new one when buying and selling a house at the same time, explore temporary housing options such as short-term rentals or staying with family or friends.
Secure storage facilities for your belongings if necessary and plan for the logistics of moving twice. While it may be inconvenient, proper planning will help minimise stress during this transitional period of buying and selling a house at the same time.
As alluded to above, buying and selling a house at the same time is made much easier if you have a team of respected and trusted advisors around you. From a great buying agent to a reputable solicitor, mortgage broker and surveyor, the estate agent you are offering through will take your interest far more seriously.
They will also help you achieve the fastest sale on your property, ensuring that it meets the timings of the purchase. Each element providing impartial advice for your peace of mind and security.
Buying and selling a house at the same time can be a complex endeavour, but with careful planning, organisation, and professional guidance, it is entirely manageable.
Assess your financial situation, synchronise your transactions, and be proactive in preparing your current house for sale when buying and selling a house at the same time.
By finding the right real estate professionals and maintaining effective communication throughout the process of buying and selling a house at the same time, you can navigate this dual transaction with confidence and achieve a successful outcome.