Sell or buy first

A common dilemma when you are trading your home for another is whether you sell first then buy, or if you buy first, then sell. The answer is quite clear…it depends! Which I know is not clear but it really comes down to how saleable your property is. This is determined by your price point and your price expectation relative to other properties in your area. It also comes down to how appealing the style and condition of your property is. In general if your house is priced around the median price of your area or lower then it has a higher probability of attracting a buyer more quickly just because there are more potential buyers who can afford it. As the price point increases the buying crowd starts to thin in terms of affordability.

In a perfect world you would sell first without pressure, then you know exactly how much you have to spend, how much extra you need to borrow if you are trading up and get that pre-approved by your bank. You can then go shopping with confidence. One of the tricks is to try and negotiate a long settlement on your sale with the term “or earlier by agreement” written next to the settlement date in the contract. Most buyers and sellers do not realise that settlement dates are flexible. If the buyer of your property has the ability to settle earlier and you as vendor want to then you can both notify your solicitor and a date earlier than the contract date can be set to settle. This is quite common. You just cannot settle later than the contract date. (It does happen by agreement but it is very rare).

Of course life is not always perfect and you often are prompted to sell because you see your dream house pop up onto the market. In this case you do a similar thing, when you make an offer on your dream home try to make an offer with a long 90-120 day settlement “or earlier by agreement”, to allow for the sale of your property. While you are doing due diligence on your possible new home, get stuck into the pre-sale preparation of your property immediately. Worst case scenario is that if you miss out on your dream home you have attended to many of the items that you have been meaning to do on your property!

Feel free to contact us for more detailed advice.

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