Can I put an offer on a house before selling mine?

Can I put an offer on a house before selling mine?

Buying and selling a property at the same time can be stressful and confusing.

It can all feel a bit chicken and egg. Should you wait until you have a buyer for your own home before you put in an offer to buy a new property? Or vice versa?

There are a lot of balls to juggle, and it helps to be prepared as possible.

Making an offer

So, can you put an offer on a house before selling your own? 

The simple answer is yes, you can offer on a house before selling your own. Estate agents are obliged to pass on all offers to the house sellers they represent. 

But they may not take your offer seriously if your own house isn’t under offer. In other words, you might be told, in the property market lingo, that you’re not a ‘proceedable buyer’.

Also, in a hot market - like summer 2021 - you may be prevented from putting in an offer for another reason: an agent may not even let you view the house in the first place. Renters and house-hunters who have already sold their own home could be given the first chance to buy.

But there are several things you can do to put yourself in as strong a position as possible to show that you are a reliable, organised and serious buyer, and make you more appealing in the eyes of the estate agent and seller.

These include having a grip on your budget, and how much you can afford, and proving it, by getting a mortgage agreement in principle.

You can also ensure you have a solicitor ready. That way you can hand over their details to the estate agent when you put in an offer. This is another sign you’ll be able to move quickly and are serious about buying the house.

If you do wait until your property is under offer, then you’ll be in a better position to make an offer and negotiate a good price. Better still, once you’ve sold, you’ll know exactly how much you can spend because you’ll have the money from your sale in the bank.

Consider your mortgage

Another factor to consider when timing the buying and selling process is to ensure you can get a mortgage for your new house.

You might not be able to complete a mortgage application if you haven’t had an offer for your own house. That’s because the lender has no guarantee that you’ll be able to sell your home at the value you expect. There are exceptions, but few people could afford to pay a new mortgage, while continuing to pay off their old one. 

Click on the buttons below to read more content about selling your home:

Selling my house: what do I need to know?
How much does it cost to sell a house?

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