In a word, yes.

It’s the eternal question and one which people often get very wrong. With the antiquated conveyancing process that we are faced with in England and Wales, there is no perfect, sure way to buy and sell.

But if you do as many do and find a property to buy before dealing with the detail of your own property, then you are far more likely to experience stress, not to mention the very real prospect of losing the home that you want and/or achieving a lower price in your sale.

Sensibility says that you should market your property in good time, preferably finding a tentative buyer before looking for an alternative house. In that way you will be in a strong position to proceed and will be taken far more seriously by sellers and their agents. A ‘complete chain’ and a ‘proceedable position’ is vital.

‘But my house will sell really quickly’. Sure, everyone says that. It was true of just about every property marketed in 2006/2007 but now? Not so much. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors states that the current typical time to sell a property is…. 109 days. Quickly? Unlikely. Unless you price cheaply, which no-one ever wants to do.

Here’s how not to buy a house…

1. Start looking on Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location etc for what’s around. Inevitably see a selection of properties that look perfect.

2. Unable to resist the temptation to ‘have a quick look’, arrange a viewing. Love at first site ensues.

3. Make an offer.

4. Agent says that the house won’t be removed from the market in your favour until you have sold your own home.

5. Panic

6. Instruct estate agent to list your home ‘urgently’.

7. Panic more because some agents take two to three weeks to get their acts together and to get you listed online (although eMoov will get you listed from sign up very swiftly).

8. Get suckered in by local agent valuation and price house too optimistically in a challenging market.

9. No buyer materialises.

10. Someone else in a position to proceed steps in and buys your ideal home.

Repeat process. (Alternative ending is that you slash the price of your property to find a buyer but are substantially worse off financially as a consequence).

Take some good advice. Market your home before you try to buy. It’ll mean more certainty, less stress, less disappointment and more money for your home.

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