Should we sell our home before we buy?
If you don’t have children, large pets, or various other dependants, then thinking about the advantages of selling before you actually buy might be worthwhile. Of course you will need somewhere to live once your house is sold, but if a short term stay at somewhere (maybe at a parent’s, friends or air bnb) is feasible, then selling without the pressure of buying at the same time gives you more control over the sale of your house.
Moving into your next home
Buying your next home, when your family is expanding, can be equally as exciting yet challenging at the same time. You may be embarking on the next chapter of your life when two become three, or maybe a further new arrival is on its way.
Buying and selling a home together and becoming part of a “chain” of transactions can become frustrating and mysterious, with numerous buyers and sellers involved. A longer chain means more people involved and it may potentially take longer for everyone to be ready to exchange contracts and agree a completion date. If one party delays then the whole chain will be delayed, so be patient and make sure your agent can provide you with regular updates on the whole chain and not just your property. This is so that you can realistically manage your expectations as to when you will be moving.
Moving Home to Change School Catchment Area
Moving in the early years of your children’s life will mean that you are able to make sure that your new home is within the catchment area of the perfect school for your children. When planning your move, it is important to factor in that it will take around 12-16 weeks from a sale being agreed to the actual move in date. Most schools have deadlines for enrolment and you will either need to have exchanged contracts or have completed to enrol your children for the start of the following term. It is crucial to make sure that your agent and solicitor are aware of any time critical dates so that the whole chain is made fully aware.
Being clear with dates will help any last-minute issues with school placements. If you can only move during school holidays then make sure you tell your buyer and seller at the point of offer. Ensure that your budget has been properly considered. Moving home is expensive; you will have agent’s fees, solicitor’s fees, surveyors fee and most likely a higher amount of stamp duty than your first property. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on this.
On the day of completion, be organised and prepared, as the time of completion can be affected by how many people there are in your chain. Your solicitor will be unable to complete the purchase of your new home until they have received the funds from the solicitor acting for your buyer, who in turn could be waiting for funds from their buyer. This sometimes means that completion doesn’t take place until early afternoon. Aim to have your removal company packed up and ready to leave around midday but be prepared that you may not be able to collect your keys to your new home immediately.
Your removal company will have experience of sometimes having to wait to unload and they are there to assist you along the way. Have a ‘moving day box’ packed and in the car including a flask, snacks and something to entertain the children in case you do face delays in key collection.
Buying and selling your home at the same time will only be as stressful and frustrating as you make it. If you are realistic with your timings for the move and make sure you communicate any critical dates or timeframes you have with your solicitor and agent then this will increase the likelihood of them being achieved. Be mindful that you may incur delays on the way that are not within your control as synchronising a chain of people with different needs and their own timeframes can sometimes be challenging.