What’s better – to buy a house before selling, or sell before you buy? We explore property’s ‘chicken or egg’ question here

Is it better to buy a house before selling, or sell before you purchase?

Both scenarios have their advantages and disadvantages depending on personal circumstances. But fulfilling a smooth, stress-free, transaction where you agree to a deal that’s right for you should always be a priority.

We explore the property market’s ‘chicken or egg’ question in our latest blog and reveal our top tips on how be the buyer estate agents crave.

Selling first

Let’s consider the scenario of selling your home before buying.

Immediately, most people’s reaction to this approach is one of concern – concern they will be rendered homeless and forced into renting or temporarily living with family or friends.

But it’s important to understand once a sale is completed, the seller presses the ‘pause’ button and remains in full control of completion date.

Here are three key advantages of selling your property before buying:

Good positioning

Estate agents always act in the best interest of the vendor. As a buyer with cash in the bank and a house which has been sold, you’ll position yourself as an attractive buyer with no attachment to any chains.

Stronger negotiation

A seller is far less likely to accept an offer ‘under the odds’ with the benefit of time. By selling your property first, you are in full control of your own sale and not required to make a quick sale which could lead to a poor deal.

Avoid being ‘gazumped’

By selling first, it’s likely you’ll have pocketed cash from the sale which makes you an attractive buyer – thus reducing the chance of a seller going back on an initial agreement and accepting a higher offer elsewhere.

Buying first

Selling a property first doesn’t always appeal to buyers.

According to Zoopla, one in 16 homes changed hands in the UK in 2021 – the highest buying rate since 2007. This not only supports the property market’s growth, but also contributes towards people’s motivation to buy first.

Here are three key advantages of buying a property before selling

Maximising your own sale

House prices reached an all-time peak during the COVID-19 pandemic, with figures continuing to grow. By buying first, you’re allowing additional time for your own property’s price to rise and have greater opportunity to renovate your home, which increases value.

Avoid potential obstacles

It’s not uncommon for buyers to be ‘gazumped’ – where the seller accepts a better offer after they’ve already agreed to yours. Buying first can take the stress out of being gazumped when you need a new home after selling your own.

Sellers’ market

Right now, there are fewer houses on the market – resulting in an increase in demand. Buyers in 2022 can purchase property with greater confidence their current home will sell quickly, and at a reasonable price.

READ MORE: Low supply and high demand create a sellers’ market

‘Hot’ and ‘cold’ buyers

Your decision to buy or sell first could be dictated by how attractive you are as a buyer.

Ensuring you position yourself prominently towards the top of the prospective buyers list is essential if you are to give yourself the best chance of having an offer accepted.

Being a ‘hot’ buyer could even see you secure a better deal.

A hot buyer is:

  • Someone with nothing to sell and / or attached to no chains
  • Someone who has already sold their property
  • Someone whose house is under offer
  • Someone who has a deposit and finance in place

A cold buyer is:

  • Someone whose property is on the market, but not under offer
  • Someone who has a home to sell, but their property is not listed

Cash buyers

Of course, not everyone active in the property market will need to align the sale of their own home with the purchase of a new building.

Cash buyers can purchase a property outright with funds they already have, meaning they are able to buy without needing to sell their existing home. It’s a luxurious position to be in, and boasts many benefits including:

  • Chain free
  • Securing property at a better price
  • Quicker sale

Case by case decision

No two property purchases are the same, meaning there is no definitive answer as to whether buying or selling first is the right option.

What’s most important is you position yourself as an attractive buyer with credibility.

Many of our clients choose to work with Oxford Property Consulting to unlock our expert knowledge, advice and contacts. Our positive working relationships with Oxfordshire estate agents means we can grant you access to off-market properties yet to be viewed by members of the public.

Whichever path you decided to take, remember the three golden rules of buying property:

  • Location
  • Securing the right deal
  • Seek potential

READ MORE: Progress your property search by viewing off-market properties