How To Sell And Buy A Property At The Same Time

Published: 25/05/2018

It happens to the best of us - the property we fell madly in love with just five or six years ago, is now our biggest nightmare. Not because there is anything wrong with it, per se. However, like everything in life, eventually it will be outgrown. That beautiful compact new build home is now something you need to get rid of, pronto.

Definitely not keen on entering the turbulent rental market again, you decide to sell and buy a property at the same time.

But is that even possible? Panic hits. Am I a crazy person, you might ask yourself (when remembering just how stressful it was to simply buy a property , not sell one too!)

Enter GWlegal.

We are here to reassure all buyers and sellers that doing both concurrently is absolutely possible (and in many cases, advised).

There is no need to panic. With the right planning and execution, and the help of experienced professionals, you’ll be on your way to moving into your new #DreamHome in no time, while collecting a nice cheque for your old property.

Let’s get started.

Of course it’s impossible to buy and sell property at the exact same time e.g. sell and then move in on the same day. When we say ‘same time’, we mean ‘around the same time’.

There will be a few decisions to make regarding which steps come first.

Buying a house before selling - The advantages

If you decide to buy a house before selling your current one, you may feel less pressured when looking and therefore make a better decision about which property to purchase. You can look around at a relaxed pace, without the stress of having to move quickly. You can also wait until the market is at its best state, so snag a good deal.

Buying a house before selling - The disadvantages

Chances are, if you decide to buy before selling, unless your mortgage is paid off (we wish!), you’ll need to pay for two mortgages at the same time. You may also have a harder time getting a mortgage for the second time, due to your current debt to income ratio.

Selling a house before buying - The advantages

When you sell your property first, you have the advantage of knowing how much money you have to work with, and you can budget your expenses from there, and make a calculated choice in buying a new house. This way, even if you make the mistake of overestimating the price of your house, you can deal with it as you have not yet splurged your money on a new house.

Another obvious benefit is that you can obtain a mortgage much easier, as you’re not tied down with the mortgage for the old home.

Selling a house before buying - The disadvantages

If you sell your home without having another to move into, you take the risk of temporarily not having a place to live. It may mean renting or moving in with family for a while. Of course, you’d also need to move all your belongings, unpack them, and then eventually move them all again once you buy your new home. A way around this, could be to take only the essentials with you and place the rest in storage (although this adds an additional expense).

OK then, so what should I do?

You must weight up both the pros and cons and ultimately make a decision that is right for YOU and YOUR particular situation.

If you have already paid off your mortgage of the home you will sell, or can afford to pay two at the same time, then buying before selling is probably the best option as you can find the new home of your dreams with little stress. The same goes for people who have already found their dream house and simply must have it! You should take steps to sell your current house fast though. There are many good real estate agents, including online, that can help you close a deal sooner rather than later.

However, if you cannot afford two mortgages at once, you most likely have no choice but to sell before you buy.


  • Always have a contingency plan in place just in case things go array (e.g. the buyer or seller pulls out)
  • Do your research. Don’t buy or sell, unless you really have to, if the property market is bad in your area. At the moment, the market post-brexit is good (a buyer’s market) so you might want to consider selling first and buying later, as it can be more difficult to do so in a buyer’s market
  • Check the competition. Be familiar with house prices in your area, so you know how to price your home, and what prices are fair to offer for a new one.

Tips for selling a house

  • Make a budget. Selling a house, ironically, is not cheap (e.g. agency fees)!
  • Do not forget to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before you sell your property.
  • Improve the curb appeal by doing home improvements
  • Make sure that your house is always available for visitation, even when you are not at home. It should be spotless and inviting (light some Yankee Candles!)
  • Point out all the benefits of your home over others and make sure they are expressed to potential buyers
  • Consider hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of your home in its best light

Tips for buying a house

  • Research, research, research!
  • Write a list of the pros and cons of each property you view, so you don’t make a decision you regret later
  • Sign up to all the online property sites so you don’t miss out on viewings
  • View only houses that you are fairly certain you would want to live in. There is no point in wasting time

How to buy and sell your house as soon as possible

  • Keep in contact with your agent.

    This is a relationship you should foster. Your agent is your best friend in this situation - they can provide you with speedy information as soon as a property that meets your specifications comes onto the market

  • Line up your closing dates.

    In the case that you are buying first and selling your house later, you should actively seek out houses, while preparing your house for sale in the meantime. This would be the best time to get any improvements done to your house before you put it up on the market to sell. De-clutter your house and clean it spotlessly (don’t forget the garden!). In the case that you are selling first and buying your house later, prep yourself for buying a new home. Make sure all the legalities are in place, your credit score is high, and research your options thoroughly. If you have made the smart move of selling first in a buyer’s market, then you would have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to buying a house. Be thorough in your research and choose to view the ones that you like. In addition to this, also do some research about the loans that you would need, in order to buy a new home.

  • Hire an experienced property solicitor to do both the buying and seller (conveyancing) for you.

    Buying and selling a house is stressful enough as it is. Why complicate matters by having several different conveyancers? By hiring a specialist property solicitors’ firm such as GWlegal, you can rest assured that the same knowledgeable team will be working on both your sale and purchase for you. We also have a £800 sale and purchase deal on currently, where, if you instruct us for both, our legal fee will only be £800. Key milestones are also texted to you, so there is never need to fret.

Any Property Questions?

Who are GWlegal?

GWlegal are a property solicitors based in Liverpool, specialising in buying or selling, remortgage, declaration of trust, bridging and buy-to-let landlords.

If you have a legal matter you wish to discuss don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0345 373 3737 email us with your question.

Who are GWlegal? We’re a national firm with local values.

Do you want a quote for our conveyancing services?

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Content correct at time of publication.

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