Many estate agents will agree that one of the most common questions they are asked as part of their job is: “Do I really need to put my house on the market before I start looking for a new property to buy?” It’s a difficult question to answer, as it’s understandably tempting to withhold your home from the market until you’re sure you’ve found ‘the one’ and you’re sure you want to move.

But what happens if you’re too slow off the mark and the new home you’ve set your heart on is snapped up by another bidder before you’ve had a chance to find yourself a buyer? This is a frequent dilemma, experienced by many prospective property sellers. So, what does come first – selling or finding?

Our experience tells us that listing your home for sale first is often the best way forward – here’s our two top reasons why:


1. You’re in a much stronger position if you do fall in love with somewhere new

We know from experience that it’s very unlikely for a homeowner to accept an offer from a buyer who has a house to sell, but hasn’t done anything about selling it yet. However, having your property on the market at least shows you’re serious about moving and would like to be considered as a potential buyer once your home has sold. If you’ve already secured a buyer for your own property – even better! You’re in a position to make a solid offer to the vendors of whichever property you’ve fallen in love with and can proceed with confidence that the foundations of your move are taken care of.

If you don’t immediately find something you like, that’s fine too! Having your property on the market gives you a head start and means you don’t have to rush to sell, especially if you’ve not yet found your next home. It also means you have time on your side – you can get a feel for the property market, research new areas you might like to call home and allow yourself to plan your next steps – you have nothing to lose by being on the market and opening the doors of your home to prospective buyers.


2. You help to keep the property market moving (and may even encourage the sellers of your next home to list their property!)

This might seem an odd benefit, but it’s an important one. Antony Gibson, Managing Director of Sales at Romans, explains: “Imagine if every person who wanted or needed to move decided not to list their home for sale until they had found somewhere they wanted to buy. Effectively, there would be no properties available to buy – the huge demand for new properties on the market simply isn’t met with the supply! This causes a huge gridlock in local property markets, which in turn affect house prices and can greatly delay the moving process for many people.”

The first step we recommend if you are wanting to move is to get an accurate valuation of your current property. By using the guide price given by your estate agent, you will be able to organise your finances and budget for your move. The next step is to have a chat with a mortgage advisor who can advise on the best deal for your circumstances. Armed with all of this information, you can put your home on the market.


  • Do your research before you list your home. Explore the potential areas you would like to buy in, and what sort of property you want to purchase.
  • Keep an eye on the property market while you are selling just in case the perfect house comes along. Setting up instant alerts with Romans and portals like Rightmove can help you stay up-to-date with the marketplace.
  • If you do agree a sale before you find a property to buy, make sure your admin is as organised as possible. Be sure to instruct reputable solicitors, seek financial advice early on and stay proactive when it comes to finding a new home.
  • If you require one, be sure to get your mortgage pre-approved. This will not only save you time in the long run, but you’ll appear a more serious buyer when you go to make an offer on your next home.

Want to know how much your house is worth? Arrange your no-obligation valuation today!


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