Should I Buy a House or a Flat?
The age-old debate between buying a flat (apartment) and a house continues to be somewhat of a dilemma for homeowners. Each option comes with...
Buying and selling a house at the same time can be a complex juggling act, but with careful planning, it’s entirely manageable. In this blog we’ll walk you through the process, highlight the key things to remember and sneak in some valuable tips to help you seamlessly navigate your way through buying and selling at […]
10 October 2023
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Buying and selling a house at the same time can be a complex juggling act, but with careful planning, it’s entirely manageable. In this blog we’ll walk you through the process, highlight the key things to remember and sneak in some valuable tips to help you seamlessly navigate your way through buying and selling at the same time.
Table of Contents
Begin by determining your motivation for moving. Whether it’s for a bigger space, better location, or lifestyle change, understanding your reasons will help you make those big decisions. Consider your long-term goals, financial situation, the costs of selling and the current state of the property market.
Calculate your budget and think about the sale price of your current home, the purchase price of your new home, and any associated costs such as any mortgage fees, stamp duty and the running costs of your new home, which may differ from that of your current property, especially if it is a bigger or older house.
Have your current property valued by several reputable estate agents will help you to understand its true market worth. Some valuations may differ greatly from others. Don’t always be swayed by the highest value. Do your own research too so make sure this is an accurate valuation or if the estate agent is using an unrealistic valuation to secure the listing. Getting valuations and doing research will help you set a realistic selling price that will also be attractive to buyers. You can find more tips on researching the market in our blog on whether now is a good time to move house.
At this stage, it is worth consulting a mortgage broker to look at your personal options to finance your new property. They can help you understand your borrowing capacity current rates and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Some brokers charge a fee and others are free, but most offer a free initial call. To book a free call with a certified broker, visit out partner page.
Ensure you have an up-to-date EPC for your current property, as it’s required for both selling and renting and will need to be renewed every 10 years. The EPC will rate your property in terms of energy efficiency and the report will make suggestions on how to improve efficiency. Find out how much an EPC will cost in our costs of selling a house blog.
You can prepare essential documents, such as property deeds, council tax records and building and major works certificates, as soon as you start thinking about putting your property on the market, but make sure you get them ready before viewings start as they may be needed during the sale and purchase process.
It is definitely worth investing time and effort in making your property appealing to potential buyers. Staging your home will make it more attractive to potential buyers and doesn’t need to cost the earth. Always make sure you declutter, complete minor repairs, add a lick of paint and maximise the presentation of your home.
Select an experienced local estate agent who can help you market your property effectively and find potential buyers. The first step is to get a few valuations and decide which agent you feel is right to market your property. Be mindful that there may be a big difference between the highest and lowest valuation so it is always worth also doing your own research to fully understand what your property might be worth. You can find more tips on researching the market in our blog on whether now is a good time to move house. Determine your selling price based on the property’s value, market conditions, and your financial goals.
Work closely with your estate agent to create an enticing listing, featuring high-quality photographs and an accurate and detailed description of your property. When the listing photos are being taken, make sure the property is clean and tidy, with personal items such as toys tidied away and ensure good lighting. You should be sent proof of the photos before they go live so you can approve them.
You should already have had a few quotes from solicitors/conveyancers by this point. Be sure to choose a conveyancer or solicitor who specialises both selling and buying, has the capacity to take on your sale and who will communicate effectively with you. To find out more about what to expect during the conveyancing process, have read of our blog on the stages of the conveyancing process.
Once your property is on the market, your estate agent will help you find potential buyers by arranging viewings. These can be in a block viewing or at individual times. Remember, you may not get an offer from the first viewings, so be patient and get feedback from the agent on any viewings that have already taken place.
When you receive an offer that meets your expectations, you can accept it and agree to the sale subject to contract. Remember, the sale of your property is a business transaction, so make sure you consider all reasonable offers before making a decision.
Begin your search for a new home, considering your budget and your desired location. If your budget doesn’t stretch to your desired location, consider looking at areas just outside of your chosen location or considering different types of property.
Make sure you research all potential properties and their surrounding areas to ensure they meet your needs and you won’t get any nasty surprises later on. One way to find out more about an area is to get to know the local estate agents and ask questions. Questions you can ask include:
When you attend viewings, ask the right questions to make an informed decision. For more tips on what to ask when viewing a property, check out our 25 must ask viewing questions blog. You may wish to arrange a second viewing of your chosen property to ensure it meets your needs. Once you’ve found the right property, make an offer through your estate agent. It is always wise to make the offer by telephone and back it up in writing in an email.
When buying and selling at the same time, a smooth process is key. You will already have appointed your conveyancer for managing your property sale. Now you need to update them on the details of your property purchase and provide them with the estate agent’s details.
Arrange for a professional survey of the property you’re buying to identify any structural issues or concerns. The price of the survey will vary according to the type of property and level of survey you choose. There are 3 levels of RICS survey you can opt for.
By this point your buyer will have had a survey on your property, and you will have had one on your new property. If either survey reveals issues, you will need to negotiate with the seller or buyer to address them before moving forward. Be sure to be ready with fair solutions to offer and agree on to speed up the process.
Once all queries are made by each solicitor, and all parties are satisfied, contracts can be exchanged for both the sale of your current property and the purchase of your new home. Your solicitor will aim for these to coincide, but this will depend on delays at each end. Once contracts are exchanged, the sale is legally binding and legal action can be taken if you pull out. Contracts are exchanged with the buyer and set a completion date for the sale, usually within 1-2 weeks. Always ensure your house insurance is still active during this time as the property is still your responsibility until completion.
Your conveyancer will liaise with you to set a completion date that works for everyone, allowing for a smooth transition between properties. On the agreed date, the sale is completed when your conveyancer send the funds for the mortgage redemption figure (amount you owe) to be paid off to your lender and the conveyancer and agent take their fees.
Navigating the buying and selling processes simultaneously is often overwhelming and requires careful planning and clear communication. By referring to the steps outlined in this blog, you can confidently manage the process and transition seamlessly to your new home.
The number of properties related to the sale is called a chain. There could be several buyers and sellers in each chain. The bigger the chain, the more likely delays will arise. However, there are steps you can take to ensure the chain is managed effectively. Stay organised and follow up with all parties involved to ensure a smooth process.
You will have to deal with communication from both sides and will potentially have to act to speed the process up. Don’t be afraid to chase people up. if you haven’t heard anything from your conveyancer or the estate for a while, give them a call to find out what’s going on. They should be updating you regularly.
If you’re keeping the same lender, learn how to port your mortgage to your new property. If you are taking out a bigger loan, there also may be the option of porting your current mortgage and taking out a new loan on the difference. So if you have a mortgage for £100k and you want to take an additional £100k, you would have 2 products active on different interest rates.
If there is a delay, you might end up having to rent temporarily and pay extra storage costs.
If you buy and sell at the same time and get a buyer for your property quickly, you will have less time to find your perfect property and may feel under pressure to choose something. Remember to have a list of your non-negotiable criteria and your negotiable criteria, so you know where you are prepared to be flexible.
In some situations, renting is a good option instead of buying a new home straight away. Evaluate the pros and cons of renting versus buying a new property.
From mortgages and insurance to viewings, offers, exchange and completion, our Buyers’ Guide will take you through everything, step by step, from start to finish.
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