Trading up – what do you need to do to successfully sell and buy at the same time?

publication date: Jun 16, 2009
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

It’s tough enough to sell your home at the moment, let alone find the property you want and try and co-ordinate the sale and purchase! Here’s our quick independent guide to how to make sure your sale and purchase goes through at the same time!

If you are trading up to a new property, now is probably about the best time you can do so – as long as you:-

1. Have enough equity in your home to still make money out of your property when you sell
2. You are planning to stay in your new property for five or more years
3. Are prepared to drop the price of your current property to attract an offer

You do have a couple of choices when buying and selling. You don’t actually have to sell at the same time as you buy.

Option One: Sell, rent then Buy
You can, and it might not be a bad idea in this market, to sell first, rent for six months and then buy. This makes you a very popular cash buyer – so you can usually get a much better discount off the property you are buying than if you have one to sell. It also takes the pressure off trying to tie the two together. It is sometimes not possible to rent then buy, for example if you have pets, it can be tough to find a property or if you have kids in a local school then you might not be able to find somewhere within the catchment area to rent.

Option Two: Rent your own Home, then Buy
If you can and it makes financial sense, they why not look into converting your own home to a buy to let mortgage and buy the new home that you want. You can then either choose to keep both properties, selling the original one when prices improve or keep it for the long term.

If you can’t sell, rent and then buy, or don’t have the finance to allow you to rent your current home and buy another AND you still definitely have to move, it’s essential that you are well prepared and have all the services you need lined up before you put your property up for sale and find one to buy.

Be Prepared to Buy and Sell!
If you want to successfully buy and sell at the same time:-

1. Get your finances in order first. Make sure you have quick access to a deposit and money to pay survey and finance fees. Check what mortgage deals you can get – and before you make an offer, make sure they are still available when you find a property.

2. Make sure you price your own property competitively, ideally if there are four similar properties for sale, yours should be in the bottom two prices.

3. Work out the minimum offer you need to enable you to purchase the type of home you want to buy.

4. Choose your HIP from the same company that will carry out your legals for you. Consider having a survey done at the same time (you can order one with your HIP or separately) so that you and a buyer can see if the property has any structural issues or not.

5. Instruct your legal company to prepare your contract for sale so you can move quickly if you receive an
offer and can make an offer at the same time.

6. Carefully choose your estate agent based on the fact they have already sold properties similar to yours in the last few months.

7. Ensure your property looks as perfect as it can. All rooms should be clean and tidy throughout and have no clutter. Every room should do what it is; for example, a bedroom is a bedroom with a bed and wardrobe in it, not a junk room and no bikes in the dining room!

8. As well as keeping up to date with on-line property portals and the local newspapers, pop in every Monday and Friday to local agents. Be very clear about what you want and ALWAYS turn up for viewings.

9. Try to accept offers from buyers with no, or a short chain (if you have a choice!) 

10. In this market it’s best to wait until you have an offer on your property before you make an offer on another property.

What else can you do?
There are other ways of making buying and selling your home smooth:-

1. Why not consider buying a new build and if you are trading up you may be able to buy the new home while part exchanging your current home. You won’t have to estate agents fees if you sell in this way. Read our article Top Five Reasons to Buy a New Build.

2. Sell to a property investor. Be very careful about this. There are some good guys and some very bad ones. Please note if someone offers to ‘buy and rent back the property to you’, sometimes called ‘sale and rent back’ they MUST have applied to be FSA registered by 1st July 2009 and be FSA regulated by 30 June 2010.

3. Consider swapping your home for another one – advertise in the local paper, or leaflet locally and even offer an estate agent some commission if they find someone you successfully swap with.

4. Why not ask your company/organisations you have joined/work with if you can advertise on their notice boards/on-line or in their company magazine.

5. If you are trading down to a retirement property, they may be able to organise for a trusted company to purchase your home.

Speak to your agent and read our Top 10 Selling Dos and Don'ts, Sellers Problems Articles. To find out how Designs on Property can advise and help with all your property related issues, visit the One to One Support section of the website, purchase our Selling a Property eBook, contact us or call 0845 838 1763.

Need help with a property problem? Have a question? Why not call Designs on Property on 07585 897128 or Contact Us via email.
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