Buying & Selling

Do You Sell First or Buy First?

If you want to sell your home and buy another, which comes first – Selling or buying? There are possible shortfalls in either option.

The advice you receive from agents is often the advice which is best for the agent. The agents will tell you to sell first if they are going to be the selling agent, or, if you are thinking of buying from them, you may be told to buy first. If you sell first, you may have nowhere to live. If you buy first, you may not be able to sell – unless you sell fast and cheap.


So, what do you do – Sell first or buy first?

The answer is neither: Do not sell first and.. Do not buy first.

Instead, do them both at the same time. It’s the safest way. Plus, it gives you complete control with low pressure.

Here’s how you sell and buy at the same time.

First, you place your home for sale (Not auction – it is almost impossible to sell and buy at the same time with auction).



Here is a point which gives you great confidence – placing your home for sale does not mean selling your home. If you put your home for sale, you can – at any time before you sign a contract with a buyer – change your mind. You are entitled to do this because, as the owner, you can sell under your conditions. Your condition is that you will not sell before you find another home to buy.

Side Note: There are other options too, you could sell to an investor with the condition of renting your home back for a set period of time, or you could set the condition as finding somewhere rent, rather than buy.

Your goal is to sign the contract to sell your home at the same time as you sign the contract to buy another home. Once your home is for sale, your agent will tell buyers, that it is a condition of sale that you must find another home. Agents may claim that this will deter buyers, but this is a strategy often used by the best agents to protect home-sellers.

Before you find a buyer for your home, you may be tempted to go and look at other homes. If so, that’s fine, provided you remember this point – inspecting homes for sale does not mean buying a home. If you see a home you really like, then make it a condition of your purchase that you will not buy until you have sold.

If you are genuine in your intentions – the best agents will understand this, and they will look after you. They will agree that the best thing for you is to get the highest price possible for your home, at the same time as you buy the home which best suits you.

They will explain your conditions of sale to buyers, and they will explain your conditions of purchase to sellers. Do not worry. This will work as long as you are not tempted.

The Golden Rule is: Do not sign anything without speaking with your lawyer – or an independent and trusted adviser – first.


One final point: Be reasonable, especially when it comes to price. Some people make the mistake of holding out for too high a price on the home they are selling, and they lose the home they want to buy. Always measure both prices together – the home you sell and the home you buy.


A Summary of Selling and Buying Together

The solution to selling and buying at the same time can be summed up in four simple stages.


Stage 1 Find a Buyer.  Finding a buyer for your home does not mean selling your home. It means you have found a buyer who will accept your condition of you finding another home before you sell.


Stage 2 Find a Home.  Finding a home does not mean buying a home. It means you have found a home where the seller will accept your condition of selling your home before you buy.


Stage 3 Match Finances.  Once you have found a buyer for your home and you have found a home to buy, you have to make sure there is enough money from your sale to cover your purchase.


Stage 4 Sell Old Home.  Buy New Home.  This is the final stage of selling and buying at the same time. It is the perfect solution with no risk and low stress. If the finances match, you sign a contract to sell at the same time as you sign a contract to buy.


Make sure, of course, that the conditions of both contracts are the same, especially the ‘time conditions’. You don’t want to spend two weeks in a motel. A good real estate lawyer will help you.

Selling and buying, at the same time, can be simple, safe and pleasant.