Selling and buying a house at the same time

The old saying goes that, together with getting married and starting a new job, moving house is the most stressful thing you can do. When you’re buying and selling a house at the same time, things can get even more fraught.

The cause of this stress is the dreaded C-word – chain. Being in a chain means having to rely on strangers to act responsibly and enjoy a bit of luck along the way to ensure things don’t fall apart.

While you can’t control how everyone else acts, you can be as prepared as possible. Here are the typical steps involved in selling a house and buying another at the same time, and what you can do to help things run smoothly.


Start with a valuation

Knowing what your current home is worth is the first step to understanding what you can afford to spend on a new property.

To get a valuation, approach trusted local estate agents who know the market and your area well. Given that some agents are generous in their valuations while others can be cautious, it’s wise to get two or three different opinions.


Understand your budget

With your valuation done, you can start to work out what you can afford to spend on your next home including moving costs. Consider your savings, the equity you have in your current property, and what size mortgage you can get. Which brings us to…


Call the money experts in

It really pays to have an independent eye look over your finances, and a mortgage adviser or broker will work to get you the best mortgage deal possible. Of course, if you’re a cash buyer (lucky you), you won’t need a mortgage, but you could still benefit from talking to a financial expert.


Put your house on the market

It’s time to tell the world you’re selling. When picking an estate agent, choose one with a good reputation in your area. All estate agents charge for their services and structure their fees differently. Take your time, do your research and find the one that suits you.

Once your house is on the market, be patient. Everyone wants to know how long it takes to sell and buy a house at the same time, but there’s no simple answer. From a seller’s point of view, arranging viewings can take a while, and even after accepting an offer it’s not uncommon for completion to take up to three months.


Find that dream home

If we’re being honest, your search will have started a long time before this point, but with your current house on the market, the hunt can really begin. Don’t forget, if you’re looking for stunning, award-winning properties across East Anglia, think Hopkins Homes.

When you find your new home, having your current property on the market is a great advantage. The ideal position is if you already have an offer accepted on your property as that shows how serious you are and tells the seller that things can move quickly. If things feel right, put your offer in.

Tick all the boxes

You’ll next want to carry out property surveys to uncover any problems that might exist. This gives you real piece of mind and ensures that you go into things with your eyes wide open. If issues are flagged up but these aren’t deal-breakers, now is the time to negotiate money off the purchase to fix them.


Get a good conveyancing solicitor

This is where the real paperwork happens behind the scenes for both the property you’re selling and the one you’re buying. Choose the right conveyancing solicitor – again shop around for one that comes highly recommended and whose fees you are happy with – and they’ll get to work conducting all the necessary property searches.

This process is vital before any contracts can be exchanged, but it can be a drawn out process. Again, be patient.


Keep things moving

With everyone in your chain going through the same process, there will be periods where things go quiet. Communication with your buyer and seller is key at this stage, and you can either take this task on yourself or get your estate agent to help keep the conversation going. After all, it’s in their best interest to help you complete as quickly and smoothly as possible.


Set a completion date

With the paperwork all taken care of, the exciting part can take place; setting a completion date and exchanging contracts. This basically means the date when all money is transferred and you can hand over your keys and collect your new bunch.

It can take some juggling to find a date that works for everyone in the chain, but your solicitors can help coordinate things.


And after all that, you deserve a rest. In your perfect new home.