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How to Synchronise Buying and Selling at the Same Time

Moving home can be stressful – especially when selling and buying a house at the same time. We’ve rounded up our top tips on how to make the process of selling and buying a house easier.

Faye deGavre


Sep 24, 2021


8 min read

How to Synchronise Buying and Selling at the Same Time

We won’t sugar coat it: moving is one of the most stressful things you’ll have to deal with. But things can get a lot trickier when buying and selling at the same time. At best, it’s a balancing act with an element of risk; at worst, it’s all-consuming. In a perfect world, you’d hit the timing sweet spot where you sell your house and pick up the keys to your new home – in that order. But we all know life doesn’t always run that smoothly, so chances are there will be some overlap. To help you synchronise the process of selling and buying a house at the same time, read on.

How to sell and buy a house

To sell and buy a house in one swift move can be daunting. But it’s worth noting that it’s a process that’s incredibly common. The best thing you can do when buying and selling at the same time is to stay organised. Along with the right Estate Agent guiding you through the process, it should be pretty smooth sailing. Generally, most people need to sell their home to buy a new one. 

And if you’re just getting started, Boomin's SmartVal can help you find out what your home might be worth.

When it makes sense to sell first

A lot of homeowners get sucked into the chicken-and-egg conundrum of whether to sell first or buy first. The truth is, the answer normally comes down to finances. Most people can’t afford to buy before they sell since the sale of your current home needs to fund the purchasing of your next. 

Even if you have the cash to put down the deposit, you risk losing it if you can’t come up with the rest when it comes time to complete. No one wants to pay two mortgages and knowing exactly how much you have to spend (by selling your home first) means you’re less likely to overextend yourself on your new home. 

Pros and cons of selling first:

If you decided to sell first:

  • Get your home ready for viewings
  • Make it as move-in-ready as possible – e.g., fix minor repairs
  • Work with your Estate Agent to price it competitively
  • Have a plan for any gap periods – look for month-to-month rental spaces and short-term storage facilities if you need to move out of your house but haven’t found your next home yet

Does it ever make sense to buy first?

If you’re financially capable, buying first has its advantages. You’re able to move at your leisure and take your time to prepare your home for sale. By buying first, you also dispense the hassle of renting and moving your furniture into storage. 

If you buy first with a mortgage, you effectively carry – and pay for – two mortgages at the same time until you sell your old home. This puts pressure on homeowners to sell their current property quickly, and many homeowners end up lowering the price of their old house for a quick sale. 

So, if you’re wondering, “Can I buy a house before selling my old one?”, the answer is yes – if you have the cash reserves lined up.

If you decide to buy first:

  • Firstly, find out whether it’s financially feasible
  • Talk to a trusted Estate Agent and your mortgage lender
  • Make an offer you’re comfortable with
  • Consider seeking a cash buyer to complete quickly to avoid paying for two mortgages

Tips for staying sane through the process of selling and buying a house

There’s no denying that selling a home can be monumentally stressful. And that can be further magnified when trying to buy a new house at the same time. However, people do it all the time, so while it may be daunting, it’s well-trodden territory.

To help smooth out the bumps along the way, we recommend some of these tried-and-true tips:

  • Work with a reliable Estate Agent (psst: on Boomin, you have your pick of the bunch with some of the UK’s top agents).
  • Have a specific action plan and a backup plan in case things move very quickly – or slowly.
  • Clearly define your buying criteria and budget. And stick to it!
  • Make sure your home is ready for viewings early on.
  • Gather some cash on hand to cover any unwelcome surprises.

Buying and selling FAQs

  • Can you buy and sell your house at the same time?

Yes. While many people have done this successfully, the process can be a little more complicated due to property chains.

  • What is the cost of buying and selling a house?

Both buying and selling a house requires some upfront costs and cash reserves. Take a peek at what expenses to expect when selling and when buying.

  • What can you do to keep the process moving?

Here’s how sellers can keep the sale moving forward.

  • Can I make an offer if I haven’t sold my house?

While you can put in an offer on a house even though your property hasn’t sold, chances are it won’t be at the top of the pile. Sellers will be more inclined to accept your offer if you’ve already sold your property or accepted an offer. Even still, it’s up to the seller to accept.

  • When should I put my house on the market?

Most people put their house on the market before they start looking too seriously at properties. We all love a good browse to see what’s out there. But if you’re intrigued to see how much interest your home could generate, get an online property valuation from a local Estate Agent in just 15 minutes with Boomin’s SmartVal.

  • How quickly can you sell a house after buying?

No law stipulates the minimum period of homeownership. In theory, the homeowner can sell it again as soon as they want to. The issue comes in when there’s a mortgage on the house. Most lenders won’t issue a loan unless the property has been registered with the Land Registry for at least 6 months. That means a buyer might have trouble getting a mortgage on the house if you just bought it with a mortgage.

Sell and buy a house with ease

At Boomin, we give you more insights to help make buying and selling at the same time easy. When looking at properties for sale, you can book viewings 24/7 and receive instant confirmation. Selling is made easy with features like Sneak Peek and Secret Properties to capture buyer interest more readily. We can help you instantly attract interested buyers. Simply book your free house valuation and let us build momentum for your property.

Faye deGavre

Content Writer