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Selling a property at any time can be quite difficult, with many factors to consider. However one of the biggest problems with selling your home is the chain which can often occur. As everybody looks to sell their home at the same time as buying one, everybody is relying on the buyer completing the purchase of their home before they can move forward with the home they are buying; creating the property chain. As a result of this many people wonder whether it may be better to sell their home before purchasing a new one. Obviously there are many risks, as with all kind of property selling and buying, but there are also many advantages to selling your home first.

When it comes to buying a property, you will be in a much stronger position as you will already have sold your home and be ready to buy without being part of a chain. You are likely to have money in the bank, with a mortgage in principle in place as well as being ready to move quickly. In this situation you will be more appealing to a seller and therefore less likely to be at risk of being gazumped by another buyer. You will also be in more control when selling your own home as you won’t be looking for a quick sale, due to not having to rush with another purchase of your own. This will therefore put you in a much stronger position to negotiate. Also, as you will have already completed the sale of your home, you will be able to budget much more accurately, knowing exactly the outcome of the sale of your home. And of course if prices are falling when you are ready to buy a home yourself, properties will become more affordable and you have the ability to wait.

However as much as there are lots of benefits to selling your home before buying a new one, there are also many disadvantages. If you sell before you buy, you may need to be prepared for a gap between properties meaning you could end up having to rent, and as you are unlikely to know how long this could be, it could end up being costly but there is no way of knowing. If you have family who could help that would be beneficial, saving you time and money but it is best to agree a certain time period that is acceptable beforehand in order to avoid any disputes.

If prices are rising fast then unfortunately by the time you have completed the sale of your property and found a new home, it could end up being unaffordable. Renting between properties is often stressful and frustrating but it’s important to get the balance right, as the risk of being gazumped or feeling like you have undersold your property could feel much worse.

There are a few things you can do to make things easier if you do decide to sell before you buy, such as arranging a mortgage in place beforehand and doing your research in the area you are thinking about buying. This will help speed up the process and hopefully reduce the costs incurred through renting in-between.

by Cormac Henderson

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