Selling Houses Australia

Should you buy before you sell, or sell before you buy?

Navigating that awkward time between properties can be a headache, but if you think rationally and explore all options, it won't be nearly as bad as you may think.

When selling your family home, you may encounter a gap between the property you're selling and the one you intend to buy. This is common, and while it isn't always easy, here are my tips for working through this time:

In booming markets

People tend to buy first when the market is on the rise because they know they will be able to sell their home relatively easily.

Plenty of interest in the market also means that there will be plenty of parties sniffing around the home you have your eye on - so you may need to act fast. And it’s probably the right time to be doing it.

In a falling market 

When interest is waning or the market is ticking along at a normal pace, buying before you sell is really the last thing you want to do.

What that does is put pressure on you to sell, and when the offer doesn’t come along after the first month you’re thinking about shortfall and accepting lower offers. It's important to not create the panic unless you really have to.

Getting creative

So if you've sold and you haven’t found anywhere to buy, what should you do? You could look at Air Bnb options or rent a place.

People think if they lived in a three bedroom home they need to rent one fo the same size - but if it's just a shorter-term measure, why not save yourself some cash and rent a small unit instead? Your furniture will be fine in storage while you continue the search for your next home.

Emotional buying

Emotional buying is what you should be doing for your family home. A property needs to tick the boxes of location, style and potential, whether it is walk-in-ready or a renovator. I believe you should fall in love first, and then do the figures.

If you haven't seen your next 'forever' home and your current dwelling has all but sold, my advice is to rent until you find it. Yes, it's a double move, but I feel that if you do sell and feel rushed to buy, you could make a mistake. With stamp duty at the level it is now, renting works out to be a more affordable option. 

If it just won't shift...

If you’re in a situation where you've bought something else but still haven't sold your existing property, consider renting out your new home.

In some cases, I would suggest staying in your home and renting out the one you’ve bought. If tenants make a bit of a mess you’ve got time to sort it out before you move in, and as it's just been on the market it will be ready to be let. 

Stream new episodes of Selling Houses Australia weekly, or watch 8.30pm Wednesdays on Lifestyle.

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