How to Buy and Sell At the Same Time
In a perfect world, you’d be able to sell your home as soon as it was listed, then you could close at any time until you were able to find a new home with everyone involved patiently waiting until you found the perfect house. Sadly, the timing doesn’t typically work quite that way. Instead, many people look to learn how to buy and sell houses at the same time. Most real estate professionals call this a property chain, and it can create serious issues. What can you do if you’re working to learn how to sell and buy at the same time? This quick guide can help.
It Begins with an Appraisal
The single best thing you can do before you begin planning to sell your home is to have your current house appraised. That will give you some idea of the overall value of your home. Typically you can have that done for free in a few different ways. Initially, you can use online valuation tools to get an idea of the worth of your property. You can also work with local estate agents to get a sense of what number they might put on property like yours. Why bother working with an estate agent at this stage? They can be incredibly helpful. They know what home improvements you’ve made that add value and they know which spaces of your property will really play well with those shoppers in your neighbourhood. As a result, you can get a fairly accurate property value quickly with their help. While there are agents who will quote your property out too high just so you’ll list with them, should you decide to work with multiple agents at this stage, you’re likely to get a better overall sense of just how much your property is truly worth. Understanding that number is key to listing it well and selling it sooner.
Working With Leaders?
Once you know how much you’ll make off your home, you’ll get a clear sense of how much you can afford to spend on your new home. Meeting with a lender is a good way to better understand what you can afford before you begin shopping for other properties. This is doubly important if you’re working to learn how to buy and sell houses at the same time. When you place a contract on the property you’d like to purchase, you will need to place a deposit on the property and show some proof that you’ll be able to obtain financing on that property. If you’ve already met with a lender, that won’t be a problem.
To prequalify for a mortgage, your potential lender will need to know how much your income is, how much money you have available for a deposit on the home, and whether or not you’ve had any credit issues in the past. There are unique circumstances that can make this process harder. If, for example, you have adverse credit, you can still qualify for a bad credit mortgage, but the interest rates and the payments may be quite a bit higher in this scenario. Similarly, if you are self-employed, it may be a bit harder to get a mortgage. While all of these things don’t make it impossible to obtain the financing you need for your new home, they do make the process a bit longer, which is why starting as early as possible is an absolute must.
Many people choose to port their mortgage – or transfer an existing mortgage to a new property – but that’s not the right solution for everyone, so it’s worth exploring all of your options with a lender to better know what might be right for you.
Getting your financing in order is absolutely essential, so at this stage, you may want to consider how to exchange deposits on the same day so that you have the money the potential buyer of your home deposits on your property at your disposal. Keep in mind, though, that if your new home is pricier, you may need to either come up with the extra money or have your solicitor draft a proposal that includes a smaller deposit on your new property.
It’s also worth noting that there are additional expenses when you’re working to learn how to buy and sell houses at the same time.
If you’re paying off an existing mortgage, you may have to pay early repayment charges if you’re trying to learn how to sell and buy at the same time. Those fees can vary based on how much you have left to pay, so be sure to chat with your current mortgage lender to learn more about how much those fees will be when you’ve finally sold your house.
Other fees include stamp duty. If you’re unfamiliar with stamp duty, you may know it a bit better by its official name – Stamp Duty Land Tax. This is the levy that you’ll owe HM Revenue & Customs every time you buy a home. How much you’ll end up paying depends on where the property is located and how much you pay for it. If you’re buying a fairly cheap property – less than £40,000 – you won’t have to pay stamp duty. For homes that are averagely priced – those between £125,001 to £250,000, you’ll pay a stamp duty rate of just two percent. If your property is a bit more expensive – between £250,001 to £925,000 – the stamp duty rate goes up to five percent. Those rates are somewhat different in Scotland and Wales. There are online calculators to help you figure out how much your stamp duty might be. If you can’t afford the stamp duty, you can add it to your mortgage, but you’ll need to discuss that option with your lender, and it could mean a higher interest rate on the money you’ve borrowed. You’ll have just 14 days after you finish the purchase of your new home to pay the stamp duty.
Estate agent fees can add up, too, so be sure you account for those as well. Estate agent commissions vary, but they’re usually between .75% and 3.0% of the selling price itself and VAT depending on the contract you select. There are estate agent fee calculators available online so you can see how much you’ll pay, and they typically include VAT.
Eventually, you’ll need to work with a conveyancing solicitor, too, and that can add to your overall costs. This usually runs between £850 and £1,500, but that number can change based on the overall value of the property.
The best way to investigate all of these potential fees you’ll incur as you how to buy and sell at the same time is to talk with your lender. Discuss the potential costs, how much property you can afford, and the best new mortgage for your property.
Getting Your Paperwork in Order
After you’ve dealt with financing, there are likely a few different pieces of paperwork you will need to have on hand as you prepare to sell. Initially, you’ll need to have an Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC. This tells new buyers how energy efficient your home will be. Under this program, homes are rated from A to G. Not every home needs a new EPC. If a home has had an EPC in the past 10 years, you won’t need a new one. If you don’t currently have an EPC, you can work through your estate agent to get one, but you could also arrange to have one produced by an independent agency. That typically saves you a bit of money. You simply need to connect with a local Energy Assessor to get an EPC. This may add to the overall costs of selling your home, too. Most EPCs cost between £60 and £120.
In addition to the EPC, you should gather guarantees on appliances, service records on your boiler, and certifications if you’ve had any other home repairs done.
Make The Necessary Changes
Learning how to buy and sell at the same time means prepping your house. To prepare your home for sale, you may find that you need to make a few changes to the property. One of the biggest changes you’ll want to consider is decluttering your home. This process provides a number of benefits to your home. It may make your rooms seem bigger. Too many things in one spot alter the perceptions of buyers, and getting rid of those things can make the space seem visually larger. It may also help potential buyers see themselves in your home. You’re essentially creating a neutral space when you declutter, and that can help buyers feel like they could actually live in that space.
Decluttering can also be useful to you, too. It helps you pack some of your stuff before you actually decide to move. It may also help you decide to get rid of a few things before you move on to your next home. Finally, it makes the space easier to clean initially and keep clean during the selling process.
Not sure where to begin? Just go room by room. In the kitchen, think about small appliances, utensils, and dishes you never use. Dump anything you haven’t used in the past few months. Go through any old cookbooks you don’t use anymore too. Donate them to a charity shop if you don’t really have a place for them in your kitchen. In the living room, look through books, magazines, and kids’ toys. Eliminate anything that’s old or outdated, broken, or things you simply no longer want. In the bedrooms, work through closets and dressers to get rid of clothes, shoes, and accessories that no longer work for you or your family members. Throughout the house, take a hard look at the furniture. Are you using all of it? Are their pieces you could do without?
Besides decluttering, there are a few other things you can do to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Giving your house a coat of fresh paint can help immensely. First impressions are incredibly important when a potential buyer enters a home. Painting your home’s interior means a clean, fresh look that may set the mood for the entire showing. Additionally, it helps to show buyers that you’ve maintained your home over the years. If you do this, though, you’ll want to stick with neutral colours like grey, beige, or white. These colours help create a calm mood and are great in any room of your home.
You should also make any small repairs to your home that are necessary. Damaged flooring, for instance, is a serious detractor for potential buyers. If you can, install new flooring. If that’s out of your budget, though, do what you can to make a clean repair. Addressing damage pets have done to walls or doors is equally as important. You’ll also want to replace any bathroom fixtures that look problematic.
Kerb appeal is important to address too. This is essentially how your home might look from the street as potential buyers drive by, and there are several things you can do to make it look more attractive. You can start with the door itself. If you have a wood front door, consider a fresh coat of paint. If, on the other hand, you have a plastic or a composite door, you can give it a solid cleaning. Polish your letterbox, house numbers, and door knocker too. Consider cleaning any paved surfaces around your home with a jet wash. Pull the weeds in the front garden, and give the windows a good cleaning or hire someone to do so.
Choose Your Team
The next step in the process of learning how to buy and sell property at the same time is to get the right people on your side. When your house is ready to be shown, it’s time to choose the team that will help you do exactly that. You’ll need to select an estate agent, a conveyancing solicitor, and a removals company.
There are many different estate agents available, and one of the best ways to find the help you need is to ask family, friends, and even neighbours about some of the estate agents with whom they’ve had previous experience. If you’re not sure who to turn to, create a shortlist, then do some research. You may have to actually interview a few agents to get the information. Ask or find out how quickly each agent sells properties and whether or not they typically achieve their asking prices. Understanding facts like these can help you understand how successful they are. Look at the listings they currently have. Are the pictures clear and representative of the property as a whole? Does the estate agent do a good job representing the property in the description? You may also want to find out whether the agent has any experience with properties like yours. Finally, find out what their viewing policy is. Will they accompany potential buyers or will you be the one showing your house to possible buyers.
The choice of a conveyancing solicitor is almost as important. You may want to start with a list of solicitors who are on your mortgage lender’s panel. That can help speed the process up considerably. Naturally you’ll want to look at the overall fee structure, too, and make sure the solicitor’s fees are within your budget. You may also want to ask family and friends who they’ve used in the past or at least look at what previous clients have to say about those solicitors you’re considering. While estate agents typically offer recommendations for conveyance solicitors, you may want to do some searching on your own, as there is typically a financial agreement in place between agents and conveyancing solicitors. Often agents are literally being paid for every client they refer, and you’re looking for a solicitor who can offer you the best possible service, not just the first name your estate agent knows.
You’re also going to want a removal crew to help you pack your home and help with the moving process if you’re ready to learn how to buy and sell property at the same time. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to select a good removals company. First, only choose companies that are members of the British Association of Removers or those that offer dispute resolution through Ombudsman Services. Once you’ve found a few companies that sound promising, be sure to look for independent reviews of each company. You’ll want those who have been in business for some time and have lots of happy customers ready to offer reviews. From there, talk to three or four companies. As for a quote from each and make sure they offer the services you need. For example, if you need packing services, that’s possible, but not all companies offer that. Be prepared that some companies may want to do a visual inspection of your property before they offer a quote. Finally, make sure that all of their quotes include insurance in case something is broken during the process of the move.
Removal costs vary from company to company, and even within a company, a removal may cost more if your new home is further away. Booking in advance is key to saving the most possible money here, so be sure you select a company as soon as you can. Be explicit. Let them know the type of home you’re leaving. If, for example, you have a shed that must be cleared out and packed as well, you’ll want to let them know.
Show Your Property
After you’ve found an estate agent, the next step in the process of learning how to buy and sell property at the same time is to show your property to potential buyers, and that’s the step that can take the longest in the process. The amount of time between actually listing your property and getting an offer on your property is usually about ten weeks, but with the tighter real estate market recently, it could be as little as four to five weeks.
With each showing, you’ll certainly want to keep things tidy. Put the laundry away, freshen the washroom, and make your home feel as cosy and relaxing as possible. Remember to make potential buyers feel at home from the moment they set foot on your property. If your estate agent is showing the property, do what you can to make that possible. You may even want to take your pets with you before you leave. If you’ll be showing your property, be sure you start with the best part of your home. Maybe you have a beautiful bedroom view or a phenomenal back garden. Often buyers are willing to compromise if they see something that immediately makes them fall in love with the space. As you work your way through the house, point out the best things. Perhaps the sunroom gets beautiful sunlight throughout the day, a real benefit in the long winter months. Maybe the open floorplan makes it easy to keep an eye on kids while you’re making dinner. Whatever it is, point out the positives. More than anything else, don’t get offended if someone doesn’t like everything about the home. Some buyers will find it fits their needs while others won’t. Give them the time and space they need to decide.
While your home is in this phase of showings, you may get several offers on your property, and you’ll need to consider each one carefully. There are many things to think about with every single offer. While many people just look at the numbers the buyer has offered, there’s much more to consider. Work with your estate agent to learn the financial position of the buyer. Are they working to sell and buy a house simultaneously, too? If so, it could slow your own sale down. If not, but they need a mortgage, make sure they’re ready for that. If they’re motivated and prequalified with a lender, they’re likely to follow through. If, on the other hand, a buyer hasn’t even spoken with a lender or might not have the cash available, they may not be the best choice. Find out, too, what the buyer’s timeframe might be for completing the purchase of your property. Discuss any concerns you have on each offer with your estate agent.
Begin Looking for Houses for Your Family
If you’re looking to learn how to buy and sell the property at the same time, you’re quickly going to learn that after you’ve listed your property, and you’ve begun to show it to others, it’s time to start looking at a few properties of your own. Not sure what to look for in the perfect property? It may help to make a list of things you want in a home. Maybe it’s a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Maybe you’d like a large back garden. Maybe particular amenities are important to you like a multifunctional utility room. Once you’ve made your list of what you want, then decide on which items are must-haves and which are just desirable. It may help at this point to decide where you’d like to live. If, for example, being near public transit or close to work is important to you, you’ll want to significantly narrow your search. If, on the other hand, a property that offers certain amenities is most important you can simply narrow your search by those amenities. Don’t forget to factor in certain things like how much parking you need, and whether on-street parking is available. This simple process can help you better communicate with your estate agent what you want in a property so he or she will only show you those properties you love.
Keep in mind that a market is a tricky place right now, so you’ll want to act fairly quickly if you find a property that is right for you. You can schedule alerts from various sites like Rightmove and Zoopla, and you can also work with a buying agent to find a property that meets your needs. As soon as you find a property that’s perfect for you, talk with your lender to be sure that you can bid as much as you’d like on the property, then place your bid. Once your offer has been accepted, you can proceed with your mortgage application and contact your conveyancing solicitor.
It’s easy to find out that there’s quite a bit of paperwork involved with learning how to buy and sell a home at the same time, and if you’ve chosen a conveyancing solicitor early, you’re going to be in a good position to tackle the after-sale and after-purchase paperwork. When you’re buying a house, a conveyancing solicitor conducts local searches before contracts are exchanged. He or she works to learn more about any potential boundary issues with that property, whether any building works have been done so you can obtain the building control certificates, and what upgrades have been made to the property. Certificates should be obtained for installation of windows, bifold doors, and even Dorma windows.
You will also need a valuation on the property you intend to buy from a surveyor. He or she helps determine whether the property is good enough for the loan. You may want to hire your own surveyor, though, as the lender’s surveyor usually only does a brief survey. If you hire your own professional, you can get a better look at the overall condition of the property and any problems you may be facing after you move in. While this is an extra expense, it means potentially uncovering real problems that you can use as a negotiating point before you finish the purchase process.
You’ll also want to reach out to your electricity, gas, water, and telephone companies to make arrangements to turn off those services at your current home and turn them on at your new home. You will typically need to ring your energy suppliers at least 48 hours before the move and let them know the date of the move and your new address. Usually, they will take a meter reading on the day of the move. Additionally, you’ll need to find out which energy supplier is available for your new home, and give them a ring as well. When you move in, you’ll be placed on a ‘deemed contract’ with that company. The day you move in, take an energy meter reading, and give it to the energy supplier so they can create a new account for you so you can begin those services immediately. If you have a landline provider, you’ll need to phone them as well to make arrangements.
Don’t Forget To Communicate
Easily the most important advice you’ll see as you learn how to buy and sell a home at the same time is to communicate. In fact, one of the most important things you can do during this process keeps the lines of communication open. Any paperwork related to the sale of your own house or the purchase of your new one should be read, signed, and returned quickly. Most estate agents and conveyancing solicitors offer an easy online portal where all of the documentation can be stored, and that may be quite helpful as you work to get everything in order. Make certain, though, that you ask questions about anything concerning or that needs clarification. You may even want to create an email list to which you send notifications to all parties involved in the process so everyone knows what’s happening at the same time. Your estate agent can be quite helpful in this process too, as they’re ready to get to the point of the exchange of contracts as soon as you are. Moreover, estate agents are being paid to assist you and report information that is helpful to the transaction, so feel free to make it clear to them that you need as much communication as possible during the process.
Don’t Forget To Communicate
This is the step you’ve been waiting for as you learn how to buy and sell a home at the same time. When you have everything in order and all of the potential problems are ironed out, you can set a completion date to exchange contracts. Everyone involved needs to be there, so it will take some work on your part to make that happen. On completion day, the solicitors will move the money to the right places, and you’ll hand off your keys to the owners of your old house and get keys from the owners of your new house. The conveyancing solicitor will also handle the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry.