Is part Exchange House Worth It?

House Interior

The part exchange involves using your current home as partial payment towards a new property purchase. Rather than selling first and using proceeds to buy next, you effectively cut out steps for a more simultaneous transition between homes.

While convenient when upgrading or downsizing, the part exchange also shortcuts important pricing determinations. Without actually selling your home openly on the market first, you risk undervaluing the asset being relinquished. This could reduce funds available for the onward purchase.

This guide weighs up the pros and cons of including your residential property within a part exchange house purchase deal to establish whether worthwhile overall.

How Part Exchange House Deals Work?

When house hunting, you can request for your current home to be considered as part of payment within an offer on your desired new home. The seller or their estate agent values your home based on amenities and comparables. An offer price for their property is then reduced by this part exchange figure.

For example, if your current home is valued at £250,000 and you wish to buy a £500,000 house, you would only need to bridge a £250,000 funding gap through cash savings, mortgage and equity from the existing property. So in theory, just half the remortgage is needed.

On completion day, contracts are signed simultaneously, legal ownership changes hands without you needing interim rental arrangements. Removal vans transition belongings between the two homes ready for a fresh start.

Advantages of Part Exchanging

Including your unwilling-to-sell property within an acquisition deal for upgraded premises brings several potential advantages:

Avoids Hassles of Separate Sales

Open marketing, viewings, negotiations and uncertainty are bypassed via the mutually beneficial part exchange route. Moving becomes less hassled and stressful.

Speeds Transition Between Homes

Simultaneous swapping of contracts enables a quicker move completion date. No need to wait for your sale to finish before funding and completing an onward purchase too.

Reduces Costs

With only one set of transaction fees for surveys, valuations, conveyancing and stamp duty, overall moving costs come down. Agent fees are avoided on the part exchange property too.

Preserves Buyer Chain Momentum

As your purchase isn’t reliant on selling first, other buyers in the chain avoid the risk of your onward plans collapsing. So deals keep progressing.

Risks of Part Exchanging

Despite the apparent benefits, entering a part exchange deal also carries several risks that could outweigh the upsides:

Undervaluation of Existing Home

Rather than testing actual market value via open listings, you rely solely on the buying agent or seller’s judgement which may under-appraise your relinquished home.

Inability to Negotiate Improvements

With no competing buyers to play off against each other, the agent holds leverage allowing limited bartering on the part exchange valuation given.

Buyer Pulls Out

If the buyer of your home pulls out of the deal, you could be left without any buyer for the existing property you were preparing to vacate.

Capital Gains Tax Triggers

In some situations, a part exchange could trigger an unexpected capital gains tax liability through deemed sale arrangements.

Restricted Onward Property Scope

The requirement to match exchange timelines narrows suitable onward purchase options, limiting property scope.

Loss of Control

Relying on one buyer valuing your home leaves you somewhat at their mercy rather than marketing to the widest audience.

With so many risks to balance against upsides, is part of exchanging property worth entertaining or an unnecessary gamble?

Maximising Returns from Part Exchange Deals

If personal circumstances like urgency or convenience dictate that part exchange is your preferred route, then the following tips can help strengthen your position:

Commission RICS Valuation

Appoint Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors members to conduct an independent valuation of your relinquished home for comparison.

Assess Open Market Appetite

Research sale prices achieved recently for comparable local homes to gauge potential. Consider inviting a few buying agents to value without commitment too.

Negotiate Minimum Levels

Based on the evidence gathered, negotiate exit clauses in case another buyer offers more later so you aren’t anchored at a low initial part exchange estimate.

Analyse Onward Deal Holistically

Crunch overall numbers as one complete deal including agents fees saved through part exchange route rather than comparing home values in isolation.

Weigh Gains Against Tax Risks

Model overall financial outcomes – factoring in tax liability changes – to quantify the impact of part swapping rather than selling and buying separately.

Inclusion within a part exchange is ultimately a numbers game – does asset exchange stand up against additional risks posed beyond usual home buying processes? Arm yourself with multiple valuations and market data to negotiate effectively and ringfence tax risk exposure through exit clauses should a higher direct offer materialise later.

Conclusion

Part exchanging against a dream home purchase may appear as an alluring shortcut for convenient upgrading between properties. But numerous pricing, legal and tax complexities lurk within the small print.

Treat valuations with caution, build in independent safety nets and model holistic financial impacts across transaction, mortgage and capital gains tax liabilities. With eyes wide open and protections covering risks that can’t be fully mitigated, selected buyers may find part swaps worthwhile –  but only with the right property, personal financial circumstances…and an especially shrewd negotiation on exit clauses!

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We are proud to be the most regulated property buyer operating in the ‘Quick House Sale’ industry. We are an active member of the NAPB (National Association Of Property Buyers) and are RICS regulated, which means you can have every confidence of selling your home with us quickly & easily.