10 Challenges You May Face When Buying and Selling A House At The Same Time

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10 Challenges You May Face When Buying and Selling A House At The Same Time
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The decision to sell one property and buy another typically come hand in hand. When you do these two things at the same time, you become part of a ‘chain’ – an interconnected series of transactions between buyers and sellers. As a buyer, you can only move into your new home when the seller completes their own purchase, and someone else can only move into your property when you have bought your new house.

Unfortunately, you only need one link of the chain to break, and the whole thing falls apart.

There are many reasons why you may want to buy and sell a house at the same time, including:

  • You can’t afford to own two houses at once
  • You want to move and settle quickly
  • You don’t want to be without a home for a few days/weeks, even if it’s only temporary

However, there are many factors which can result in selling and buying at the same time being a dangerous decision.

Read on to find out 10 common pitfalls of selling and buying a house at the same time.

1. Varying levels of commitment

When you join a property chain, it is essential that everyone is on the same page. Unfortunately, different buyers/sellers typically have varying levels of commitment to a deal.

For example, one family may need to move out instantly because the breadwinner has left their job, and they can no longer afford to live in their property. Meanwhile, someone else in the chain may be slowly ‘browsing’ and very keen to take their time for a few months.

Varying levels of commitment along the chain can create major difficulties for someone who is buying and selling a house at the same time.

2. Varying levels of capability

Some property buyers have varying levels of capability to do a deal, compared with others. For example, some buyers will have the required funds available immediately – while others may need some more time.

When you are ready to close the deal and sell your property, but the homeowner you are simultaneously buying from needs more time to raise cash to move house themselves, this becomes a major hurdle.

3. Poor communication

You need to keep momentum when buying and selling a house at the same time. A key way to achieve this is through regular communication with all other individuals involved in the chain.

With the right people skills, you should be able to navigate this common pitfall by actively getting the contact details of everyone in your chain. However, you cannot force people to talk to you – and if other house buyers are uncommunicative, your own deal(s) may start to break down.

4. Failing to connect your estate agents

Some people choose to use the same estate agent for buying their new property and selling their existing one. Others decide to use two separate estate agents.

In this latter scenario, a major pitfall is failing to connect your agents. Clear and regular communication is essential to make sure everyone within a property chain completes their transaction on the same day. You cannot achieve this if you don’t connect your estate agents with each other, as well as other estate agents along the chain.

5. Talking about a completion date too early

It is not necessarily a problem to have a completion date for both your deals in mind. However, sticking too rigidly to a pre-conceived idea of a completion date will result in you getting ‘ahead of yourself’, often before the paperwork has been taken care of.

Try to remain adaptable as different situations come to light. This is a particularly important skill if you are operating within a large chain – the more people involved, the more surprises there tend to be.

6. Failing to understand the market

A ‘cold market’ is when there are more sellers than buyers. A ‘hot market’ is when there are more buyers than sellers.

When you are buying and selling a house simultaneously, you need to understand the nature of the market where you are selling, as well as where you intend to buy. For example, if you are moving house but staying in the same neighbourhood, and it is currently a ‘hot market’, then you should start buying before you start selling.

If you fail to understand the market you are operating in – and keep in mind, the type of market can vary according to the location, so while it may be ‘hot’ in London, it could be ‘cold’ in Cornwall – you can get your timings all wrong, and may complete one of your transactions way before the other.

7. Failing to consider post-possession

A post possession agreement is when you officially sell your current home, but you rent it back from the new buyers for a pre-determined period of time. These agreements are usually in place for a period less than 30 days, and the rent is a nominal amount paid in escrow.

Put simply: you get to stay in your current home after closing a sale.

Failing to arrange for post-possession is an error often made by individuals who are selling and buying at the same time, for the first time. Even if you are completely confident that everything will be completed on the same day with no problems, you cannot predict the future – so having a contingency plan (in the form of a post possession agreement) is always best.

8. Make sure your solicitor is proactive

It is critical that your solicitor keeps you in the loop and gives you the best advice. When you hire a solicitor that is not proactive, it can cause frustration and bad-feeling – not just internally, but with others involved in the chain as well.

You should make sure that you have an alternative contact at the organisation your solicitor works for, in case they are out of the office.

Ask your friends/colleagues for recommendations, and check reviews online, before committing to a solicitor too hastily.

9. Keep all your documents handy

All the documents related to the transaction of a property need to be accessible at a moment’s notice. For example, storing these documents in the cloud is an excellent idea, because it makes sure they can be accessed at any time, wherever you are.

It’s a good idea to either hand-deliver or send documents via registered post. You want to be certain that they arrive on time.

When your documents are always handy, it enables you to be prompt with your responses. Therefore, failing to take this crucial step is a pitfall which may cause the chain to break down.

10. Agree and stick to dates

It is imperative that you agree on dates with your estate agent and solicitor, and then ensure that everyone sticks to them. If everybody sticks to the agreed dates, it will keep everything and everyone on-track.

For the best results, put your agreements down in writing – so you all feel ever-so-slightly ‘pressured’ to stand by your word.

Avoid common pitfalls with We Buy Any Home

It is imperative that you agree on dates with your estate agent and solicitor, and then ensure that everyone sticks to them. If everybody sticks to the agreed dates, it will keep everything and everyone on-track.

For the best results, put your agreements down in writing – so you all feel ever-so-slightly ‘pressured’ to stand by your word. However, the easiest way to avoid these pitfalls is to check out alternative ways to sell, or even explore your options to sell your property yourself.

We Buy Any Home is the UK’s leading home buying company and one of the only genuine cash house buyers around. We can purchase your property in as little as 7 days and are completely chain-free– making it easy for you to ensure your sale and purchase go through at the same time.

Free cash offer within minutes, any condition, any location.

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