Selling and Buying a House at the Same Time in South West London


Are you thinking of a house move in the south west London areas of Wandsworth, Tooting or Balham? If you have a place to sell, you might be feeling daunted about the prospect of selling and buying at the same time, and becoming part of the dreaded property chain.

Firstly, you shouldn’t worry too much about selling and buying together. Remember that many, many home movers do this every day with no problems.

That said, there’s no denying that selling and buying at the same time is more complex than completing the two transactions in isolation.

If you want to avoid selling and buying at the same time, there are strategies that could help. Read on for our advice for anyone selling and buying at the same time, as well as the pros and cons of the main avoidance strategies.

What are the potential problems of selling and buying at the same time?

The main problem associated with selling and buying at the same time is that you become part of a chain, where your transaction is dependent on someone else’s going through without a hitch. Survey issues, mortgage hold-ups and changes of mind can all affect your purchase and sale. It can also be stressful and mean you may need to accept a lower offer than you’d like – or rush into a purchase that isn’t quite what you’d imagined – just to keep things moving along.

What are my options if I need to sell and buy?

1. Sell your home before you buy

This involves finding a buyer for your home then moving in with friends – or to rented accommodation or an Airbnb – while you find a place to buy.


– It will make you an attractive cash buyer with the potential to strike a better deal on the place you’re moving to.

– It will free you from the stresses of selling and buying at the same time.

– It will give you the time and space to find the home that’s right for you.


– You’ll probably need to spend money on renting a property.

– There is a lot of demand for rental homes, so you might find this tricky.

– You’ll need to move home more than once, with all the hassle that entails.

2. Buy before you sell

Buying before you sell is a good idea if you have the cash or are able to secure a second mortgage or bridging loan. Another option is let to buy, where you rent out your own property to cover your mortgage then buy a second property.


– Again, this makes you an attractive cash buyer.

– It takes away the stress of being in a chain.

– It means you could be choosier about who you sell to, waiting for a cash buyer for a smooth sale or a higher offer.


– This only works for people able to raise the capital to buy two homes at once.

– If you take out a bridging loan, then struggle to sell, you may end up paying a lot of money in interest.

– You will need to pay the stamp duty second homes surcharge – through this can be reclaimed if you sell within three years.

If these options don’t appeal, you will need to buy and sell at the same time – however there are things you can do throughout the process to minimise the stress.

How to buy and sell at the same time

1. Sort out your finances

Frist have your home valued – so you can work out how much equity you have in the property, and hence your budget. Remember to factor in all the costs of moving and stamp duty. Then arrange your mortgage – if you need to borrow more money for the move get your mortgage agreement in principle organised. Do your research into the advisability of moving your loan now, taking early redemptions fees and rising interest rates into consideration.

2. Find a buyer

Get your home on the market before looking at places to buy – you will be a more credible to vendors. Choose your estate agent carefully – go for a no sale, no fee arrangement, which most high street agents offer and means they are incentivised to get the sale through. Be wary of online agents where you pay a flat fee upfront.

You’ll also need to stage the property for sale, decluttering and attending to those repair jobs you’ve been putting off. Don’t ignore the exterior of the property – for maximum kerb appeal. If your energy performance certificate is more than 10 years old or you’ve made substantial energy efficient improvements, you should organise inspection with an accredited assessor.

Think carefully about which offer to accept – remember that a chain-free buyer will make things go more smoothly.

Now is the time to appoint conveyancer – get recommendations and read reviews – you’re looking for the right firm who will be able to manage your chain purchase if things become difficult.

3. Find your dream home

You may need to move fast when you see a property you like, so hit the portals, set up plenty alerts and register your interest with local agents. Let them know that your home is on the market and receiving offers, so they understand you are a serious buyer. When you have an offer accepted, be ready to act quickly with your survey and conveyancing to keep things moving along.

4. Exchange and complete

Once the conveyancing process is done, you’ll set dates to exchange contracts and complete. Once you’ve exchanged contracts and paid the deposit, you’re committed to the sale and purchase. Completion day is when the properties change hands and you get the keys to your new place.

Top tips for selling and buying at the same time

– Pick the right estate agent – you need someone with the right knowledge of the local market and a good record of managing chains.

– The same goes for your conveyancer – get quotes but don’t just go for the cheapest.

– Make sure your finances are in order – have your mortgage arranged in plenty of time and know your budget and stick to it.

– Be organised – have all paperwork for your EPC, guarantees for work, mortgage approval etc ready at hand so no time is wasted.

– Be a good communicator – keep in regular touch with your estate agent and conveyancer and always respond promptly to their queries.

If you’re looking to move house in the south west London areas of Wandsworth, Tooting or Balham, contact us. With plenty of knowledge and experience of the local market, we’d love to chat to you about our success in helping movers buy and sell at the same time – and give you a no-obligation market appraisal of your home.