Unless you’re investing in your very first property, the majority of the time when buying a property you will also be selling your current home at the same time. It is incredibly common to complete both of these transactions at the same time and lots of people undertake the processes of buying and selling simultaneously.
Whilst it is considered the ‘normal’ way to do things, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is straightforward or easy to do. In all honesty, buying and selling a house at the same time in Ireland, or anywhere for that matter, can be an arduous task and the fact that nothing will be set in stone until you have exchanged contracts can mean weeks, or even months, of worry.
That being said, ensuring that you understand the processes of both buying and selling a house in Ireland can help you to be as prepared as you possibly can be to undertake these transactions simultaneously. Hopefully, this guide can provide you with the basic information you’re looking for and answer the questions that you may have about buying and selling a house at the same time in Ireland.
Why do people buy and sell at the same time?
In short, the majority of people choose to complete both of these processes/transactions at the same time simply because it makes sense. If you’re selling your current home it is highly likely that you will need a new property to move into once it has sold, so why not buy this property at the same time, so you have somewhere else to move straight into?
Also, many people choose to buy and sell simultaneously because it seems like the ‘easy option’. It is also something that nearly everyone they know who owns a property will have done at least once, so it is often considered to be the only option in a situation like this. However, this isn’t necessarily the case and we will look into other alternatives further.
The risks of buying and selling simultaneously
Undeniably, one of the biggest risks of buying a property at the same time as selling your home is the fact that you will instantly become part of what is called a ‘chain’. This is a series of linked transactions which are all similar to yours. Whilst these are not uncommon, they can be incredibly stressful, especially if they are long. They can quickly become much more complicated than you had initially anticipated.
When both buying and selling at the same time, it is likely that you’ll be sitting somewhere in the middle of the chain and there is a risk of things going wrong both above and below you. A break in this chain, for whatever reason whether it is someone changing their mind or something falling through, can go on to affect the whole chain even if it doesn’t impact you directly. It goes without saying that this is incredibly frustrating and you never know what effects it may have.
Other alternatives to completing these processes together
As mentioned above, you don’t always have to buy and sell simultaneously, there are two other alternatives, both of which work incredibly well. Whilst they may seem fairly self-explanatory, below we will look into these two options in slightly more detail, allowing you to consider whether they may be a better choice for you in your current situation.
1. Selling first and buying at a later date
This is the most popular alternative to buying and selling simultaneously. You can put your house on the market and go on to sell without worrying about trying to find the perfect property to buy at the same time. This is arguably less stressful and it has a few benefits too, such as providing you with an exact figure for the net proceeds of the sale.
Of course, when doing this you will have to find somewhere to live and put your belongings once the sale has completed and the new owners move in. Many will choose to move in with family or friends and put the contents of their home into storage, but others will look into renting whilst house-hunting for a property to buy.
When deciding to sell first and buy at a later date, if you move in with family/friends you have the chance to continue to save for your dream home, however, if you end up renting, you need to ensure that you can afford to do so. You will also need to be careful when signing a lease that ties you to the rental property for a certain amount of time, it is likely that you will need some sort of provision in the lease, but your solicitor will be able to advise you further in this regard.
2. Buying first and selling at a later date
This definitely isn’t as common as the first alternative but, if you can afford to buy first and sell later, it is a brilliant idea to consider. If your offer has been accepted on your dream property then you can go ahead and buy it without having to wait to find a buyer for your current house. Again, this is much less stressful and is likely to be a much quicker process too.
It goes without saying that in order to be able to do this, you need to have sufficient funds to purchase without needing the proceeds of the sale. If you’re not a cash buyer and you can’t afford the house outright you will need to carefully look into having two mortgages at the same time. Sometimes, people also choose to rent out their old property until they find a buyer, but you need to be very careful when doing so.
If you’re financially able to do so, this is probably one of the most straightforward ways of getting your dream home without the stress of buying and selling simultaneously. For many, it just simply isn’t an option and this is the sole reason why it is not as common.
Stages of buying and selling a home at the same time
Now that you’re aware of the alternatives, if you think that going ahead and buying a new property and selling your house in Ireland at the same time is the best option, we have laid out below the basic stages of doing so. Being aware of the stages in the process will help you to ensure that you’re ready for every next step.
- Get your home valued
The very first step is to find out how much your home is worth currently. It isn’t uncommon for its current value to be different to the price you paid for it when you purchased it, so ideally don’t rely on your buying price as a guide. Find some local estate agents in Dublin (like us here at Moovingo) who can provide you with an up-to-date accurate valuation that you can trust.
You may find that some agents give overly high valuations with the hope that they will get your business, but don’t fall for this. Lots of people tend to get a few valuations from different estate agents so they can figure out the best and most realistic valuation of their home.
- Take some times to figure out your finances
Now you know the value of your property, you should work through your finances. It goes without saying that this is an essential part of buying and selling a home at the same time and it will influence the next few stages too. We have previously written a blog covering all of the costs of selling a home so this may be beneficial to read.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for some help if you’re not sure what happens with your mortgage when you move. A mortgage adviser will be able to provide you with more information about remortgaging or porting your mortgage and they will ensure everything is doable in this regard.
- Put your house on the market
If you’re ready to go ahead and sell your house then it is time to find an estate agent in Dublin and put your house on the market for you. Here at Moovingo, we can assist you with this part of the process and we’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have about how we can help you to sell your house online.
It is at this stage that you will need to get your property ready to sell and to be photographed for your estate agent’s website. Don’t rush through this stage, you want to ensure that you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of selling your home for your asking price.
- Start the search for a new property
Once your house is up for sale, there is nothing stopping you from beginning to browse the market yourself and starting to look for a new property which meets all of your needs. If you have a checklist of things you’re looking for in a new property then don’t forget these when you’re looking at new properties, you also need to bear your finances in mind too.
If you have found a property that you like the look of then, by all means, go ahead and view it. Just remember that even if you find the perfect property you still need to find a buyer for your home before you can proceed any further.
- Wait for an offer on your home to make your own offer
When it comes to putting an offer in on a property, if you’re buying and selling simultaneously then it is more likely that you will be taken seriously if you have already accepted an offer for your home. You’re also in a better position to be able to negotiate when your own house is under offer, so it can be worthwhile to wait.
Of course, if you find a property that you love and you don’t want to lose then you can put a conditional offer in, but you have to be aware that it might not be accepted. Think carefully about how much you’re willing to offer for a house you love, again, referring back to your finances.
- Find an experienced conveyancing solicitor
Once you have put an offer in on a property and this offer has been accepted then you need to instruct a solicitor to act for the purchase. It usually makes sense to use the same solicitor that is handling your sale, often they give discounts when working on both the sale and purchase for a client and it will also keep everything in one place, which can be easier for you.
As soon as you have instructed, your legal fees will start and no matter what happens from this stage onwards, even if the sale and purchase both fall through, you will have solicitors fees to pay, so be aware of this. This is another risk that’s associated with buying and selling a property.
- Keep things moving along
The next few legal steps that your solicitor will need to undertake may take some time, you can read more about these in a blog we have written previously. So, unfortunately, you may find yourself waiting around for a little while just hoping that things are all moving along smoothly. Of course, if you’re part of a chain then everyone will be in the same position.
You can nudge your solicitor yourself or ask your estate agent to try and move things along but, if the delay is somewhere else in the chain then there isn’t much you can do. Just ensure that you are doing all you can to be ready to proceed to the next stage whenever this may be.
- Set a completion date
You will then reach the stage when you’re ready to agree a completion date and exchange contracts. The completion date is when funds are transferred and keys are given to the new owner. This small task may be quite complicated, especially if you’re trying to meet the needs of everyone in a chain, so be as flexible as you can.
At this time, be aware of conditionality clauses such as a ‘subject to loan’ clause, your solicitor can explain this to you in more detail. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure about anything in the contract that you’re signing, it is essential that everything is right at this stage.
- Move from your old home into your new property
Finally, you have reached the exciting part. When completion day comes around, as soon as everything is completed legally, you will be told that you can collect the keys to your new property. From this moment forward, the property is yours and you can begin to move in your belongings and make it your new home.
It is beneficial to prepare for moving day as soon as you have exchanged contracts and agreed on a completion date. This way, the day will be slightly less stressful and you won’t forget to do everything required before leaving your property for the last time.
Tips to make the process of simultaneously buying and selling easier
Now that you know what is involved when buying and selling a house at the same time in Ireland, you may be wondering if there is anything that you can do to help make the process easier or smoother. In all honesty, the majority of the time potential issues that may arise will be out of your hands and you just have to hope that every part of the chain is moving along as it should. However, the following 3 things are able to make a difference overall;
1. Choosing a good estate agent and conveyancing solicitor
There is no denying that the estate agent and solicitor that you choose will have a direct impact on how stressful buying and selling at the same time is. Having the very best professionals working alongside you will undoubtedly make this task less daunting. So, never overlook how important it is to take your time and choose the right estate agent and solicitor.
2. Ensuring you have everything required pre-prepared
Preparation is key when both buying and selling a house in Ireland. Ensure that you have all of the documents to hand that you’ll need to produce throughout the conveyancing process. Also, ensure you speak to a mortgage broker as soon as possible and organise your finances, ensuring you have this whole side of things ready. Pre-preparing can make a real difference.
3. Keeping on top of all processes and communicating regularly
Lastly, ensure you’re always on top of things. For example, correctly sign and return all required paperwork as quickly as possible and try to agree on some form of regular update schedule with the professional parties involved. This way, you will never be slowing the process yourself or be left in the dark and you can ensure you’re pushing things along as much as possible.
Ultimately, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to move home, it is clear to see that there are advantages and disadvantages to buying and selling separately, as well as simultaneously. Depending on your current situation and your finances, you may find that buying and selling a house at the same time is the only option you have and that’s not a problem at all. As mentioned above, this happens all the time so is far from abnormal.
Whilst the whole process may sound incredibly daunting, it is important to remember that people move home all of the time and many people will only experience a few small hiccups along the way. As long as you’re patient and prepared, you will be doing all you can. Trust in the professionals you’re working with and also the fact that everyone else in the chain is in the same position as you and everyone wants the same outcome.
If you have any questions at all about buying and selling a house at the same time in Ireland, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team here at Moovingo. As an experienced leading estate agent in Dublin, we are the perfect people to assist you further in this regard. Also, if you’re looking to get the selling process started, or you would like us to put your house on the market for you, then simply contact us today and we will happily help. You can trust that your property will be in safe hands with our team here at Moovingo.