Selling Your House?
Generally in the UK people take a look at the housing market, put their existing house on the market and start to look for the next house straight away.
There is nothing wrong with that method. But, with the constant shifting of the housing market trends and under the constant threat of change and uncertainty surrounding the market and the fast paced changes selling your house and starting with a clean slate as a cash buyer is a very attractive proposition for many people.
You don’t have to put your house on the market and look for another one, it is possible to sell your house and then look for another one.
This idea is especially useful for those who are selling to relocate. Selling your house and renting in the new area not only means that you can get there sooner to start work or whatever the reason for the move. But there is another great advantage; you get to know the area. You learn about the different routes, how quiet a neighbourhood is, the easiest way to get to the school and other factors that you only discover by living somewhere.
When you have sold a house before buying the next you are in a strong position. You can make offers, move things along chain free, you are very attractive to anyone with a house to sell.
You will know exactly how much you have to spend from selling your house and if applicable through a pre-approved mortgage arrangement for your next property.
Of course, you could end up at the end of a chain, but that is something to discuss as soon as your offer is accepted. If the person selling the house is in a long chain, are you sure it’s the house for you? Or, is not the right time? Think about do you really want that house, how long have you got remaining on the lease of the rental? Realistically, if you’ve still got at least four months to go then does the chain really matter? If the lease is down to the last couple of months and you want or have to move when the lease ends then buying a house in a chain is probably not the right route for you.
When you are not selling your house and put an offer on another property, when you have tangible proof that you can move fast because you are chain free there is less likelihood of being gazumped because those with a house to sell are unlikely to take an offer from someone else who is in a chain or still has a house to sell without an offer.
The people with a house to sell may accept a lower offer from you because you are ready to move with the purchase.
There is something empowering about not being in a chain and reliant on one house selling to buy another. It gives you clarity and focus, which are also attractive to vendors.
You don’t have to endure selling your house possibly by accepting a lower offer than otherwise because you don’t want to lose the one you’ve found. Buying and selling houses from a place of desperation is not a healthy or comfortable place to be.
When you sell your house fast before having another one to move into you know exactly how much you have available to spend on the next one. Armed as a literal cash buyer if downsizing or with a mortgage agreement in principle from your mortgage lender you know exactly how much you can go to.
Of course, whichever method you choose when selling your house, property prices could shift either way in the time between accepting your offer, selling your house and then finding another property. Judging the right time is a tricky business and it is wise to try not to sell and then buy based on “the right time”, you could easily come unstuck.
There are pros and cons for selling first and then buying, especially if you do all the right things to sell your house fast, its a whirlwind, but one that is made easier by only having a house to sell without the added stress of the one you are buying. All you have to do is move out of the old one by the completion date and either place your belongings into storage and move into furnished accommodation or move into an unfurnished rental property.
Above we have looked at the advantages, what about the disadvantages or the cons?
If you don’t find anywhere in a reasonable time, renting can be expensive.
The rental you have taken may be small or have other disadvantages that seem to take on more importance when you are not just there for a couple of months.
House prices may suddenly leap higher.
There are ways you can speed up finding the next house and being there at the right time:
Have documentary proof that you are ready to move fast.
Register with and contact all estate agents regularly in the area, so you are first to know about a suitable property.
Have a conveyancer ready to get to work straight away.
Have all your paperwork ready to go.
Look at auction properties.
Use the time to really get to know the area and talk to people, you may find out about a house before it’s even on the open market.
Research the area, the types of houses you want.
If you have time on your rental lease, consider a fixer-upper, you could start the work while living in the rental.
When thinking of selling your house you want to know what similar properties are being offered for, so checking on sites such as Rightmove, On the Market and Zoopla will give you an idea of prices before you even call the first estate agent.
For house selling advice Which? have a guide: https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/home-movers/selling-a-house/how-to-sell-your-house-ag7vc4f7dyj3
Or check our advice here.
Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert advice here: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/how-to-sell-a-house/
The government information is here: https://www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home
If you are moving to relocate it may be a priority to sell your house fast, so check out our options here before making a decision.
The old system of putting a house on the market, finding another one, sometimes a compromise because you don’t want to lose the sale might still work for some. But the appeal of selling your house, having a little time to breathe before searching for the next one is a very appealing prospect. Whichever method you choose, buying and selling houses is a gamble and stressful. But as we have shown here, there are options.