Complete Guide To Buying And Selling Houses

Written by Millie Archer

I love all things property and have a real eye for detail. I’m always reading up on property news, whether it be renting a first property or buying a mansion.

Explaining the process of buying and selling houses at the same time, whether it's a good idea to buy or sell first and what to do if you've bought a house but need to sell yours ASAP...

We know that when it comes to moving house, anything that can be done to make the process easier is probably something that’s worth doing.

This could be something different to the classic ‘buying and selling houses at the same time’, like selling before buying. Or maybe buying before selling…

Whatever the answer may be, we’re here to help!

In this complete guide to buying and selling houses, we’re going to talk you through the buying and selling process, the costs of moving, whether it’s a good idea to sell or buy first AND what to do if you’ve bought a house but haven’t managed to sell yours.

Ready to get the answers to your burning questions? Use the menu below to help you get there ASAP:

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Sell to us!

Buying and selling houses at the same time – the process

Starting off our complete guide to buying and selling houses, is our step-by-step guide of the process of selling and buying a house at the same time:

  1. Get valuation – Whether you use an online valuation tool or contact local estate agents, you need to get an idea of what your property is worth. This is crucial to know how much you will be able to afford when looking for your next property and will also help with getting a house repayments
  2. Sort out finances – Now you have an idea of what your property is worth, you’re able to work out what you can afford to pay on your next property. It’s also a good idea at this stage to get a rough price for how much the various fees will cost you – you know, estate agent fees, conveyancing fees, removal costs, just to name a few
  3. Speak to a house repayments advisor – Once you’ve got your finances sorted, it’s time to speak to a house repayments advisor and look to see if you can get a decision in principle, putting you in a better position when it comes to making offers
  4. Choose an estate agent – So, now you have your finances in place and valuations from different estate agents, it’s time to pick which one you would like to sell with. We recommend not just going with the highest offer, but the one who is giving you a more complete package for what you’re paying them. One thing to note – there are other sale methods for your property, which may be quicker and less expensive, so always be sure to check out all your options
  5. Select solicitor – The conveyancing process is key to getting you from 'under offer' to completed, and so it’s essential you choose a good solicitor. Make sure you let them know your house is going on the market and so you may call upon them at any point to begin conveyancing
  6. Find a buyer – This part of the process isn’t really under your control when selling on the open market. You will need to hope you’ve chosen a good estate agent who will be proactive in searching out buyers and chasing up any viewings. As we’ve already mentioned, selling on the open market isn’t the only option – a better option may be to use a trusted cash house buying company
  7. Find a property – A key step in moving to a new house! Use all the best property portals and build a good relationship with the estate agent selling your house – this will mean they will keep an eye out on properties for you
  8. Begin conveyancing process – So you’ve found your buyer and property to move into, now’s time to tell your solicitor it’s ‘go time’. During this stage of the process, expect surveys, searches and lots of paperwork!
  9. Exchange – Once contracts are exchanged, the deal is legally binding. No one can back out without consequence, and you will also know your completion date at this point
  10. Arrange removals – his stage is quite self-explanatory really. You’ve got your moving date pencilled in so all you have to do is get your removals organised to make moving day that little bit easier
  11. Moving day – The day has finally arrived! Time to drop off and pick up your keys and move onto your next adventure

Don't like the sound of paying all those selling fees?

Sell to us for FREE!

How much does it cost to buy and sell a house UK?

According to CompareMyMove, the cost of selling a house in 2021 for a house priced at the UK’s average, £251,000, is £5,723. This is made up of £2,961 estate agent fees, £1,046 conveyancing fees, £85 for an EPC, £1,181 for a removal company and £450 for porting a house repayments.

Your estate agent fees may differ from this amount, depending upon your sale price and which sales method you choose to use. For example, you may look to use an online estate agent or an auction.

Both options will still cost you between £300 to just under £5,000. We do have an option for you which will mean you won’t pay a penny but more on that later…

Should I buy before selling?

You may have read the process of buying and selling houses at the same time and thought ‘hmm, I’m not sure that’s for me’, which is totally fine! You always have the option of buying before selling.

How do you know if that’s the right option? Take a look at our list of pros and cons to make your decision…


  • Removes a part of the chain, making it a less stressful procedure, as you’re able to focus on buying
  • You're seen as less of a risk to sellers, as the process doesn’t rely on your property selling, making you a chain-free buyer
  • You're under no pressure from the sale of your house, allowing you to take your time to find the perfect property
  • You're able to use market conditions to your advantage and time yourself around the market. By this we mean you’re able to buy when the market is cold and sell when the market is hot


  • You will be subject to the second home Stamp Duty tax
  • As well as this, you will also be subject to Capital Gains Tax
  • You will need to be in a strong financial position to be able to finance the purchase yourself, or to be approved for an additional house repayments, making it an unlikely option for most

Or should I sell before buying?

Okay, maybe now you’ve had a look at those pros and cons and thought maybe it could be a better option to sell before buying – no problem! Coming right up is our list of pros and cons of selling before buying…


  • You're viewed more favourably when you come to buy, as you will be a chain-free cash buyer
  • You will also be more appealing to buyers as there’s no onward chain
  • You will have the money in your bank when it comes to buying, so you will be completely aware of your budget, which will also make it easier to get a house repayments
  • You won’t be susceptible to second home Stamp Duty and Capital Gains Tax
  • You'll be in a stronger negotiating position with buyers, as you’re selling because you want to sell rather than a NEED to sell


  • You will need to find an arrangement for when you’re in between selling and buying, meaning you may need to rent which can become costly
  • If you do have to rent, it will be difficult to find a tenancy agreement that allows you to leave when you please, meaning you could be tied into a long-term contract
  • You don’t know the cost of your next property, so you’re unable to know what the minimum offer you can accept for your property is, meaning you may turn down a load of early offers which are actually acceptable and would allow you to purchase your next property a lot sooner
  • If you’re in a hot market, you may find by the time you’ve sold your house and found a new one to move into, the house prices have risen, which may make it difficult for you to afford a new property
  • You will have to pay removal costs twice and may even need to pay for storage in between buying and selling houses

Want to focus on finding your next property?

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How do you buy a house when you haven’t sold yours?

You may have wanted to do the whole ‘buying and selling houses at the same time’ thing, but you’ve ended up in a situation where you’ve found your dream house but haven’t managed to sell yours. If this sounds like you, don’t panic!

You have multiple options to help you buy your next house, even if you haven’t sold your current one:

Finance it yourself

One option, which we know won’t be suitable for most people, is to finance the move yourself. You can do this by paying the deposit on the house repayments for your new property and cover the fees of both properties before you’re able to sell.

As we said, this won’t be suitable for most people as it will come at a very high cost…

Bridging loan

A bridging loan could be another option if you’ve bought a new house but not managed to sell your current one.

A bridging loan is basically a short-term loan, with the whole purpose of the loan to be to ‘bridge’ the gap between the sale of your old house and buying your new one.

Whilst this sounds like an ideal outcome to help keep things moving for you when you’ve bought a new house but not managed to sell your current one, bridging loans have REALLY high interest rates, higher than a ‘normal’ loan.

Find a way to sell FAST

We know what you’re thinking – if it was really that easy you would have done it as soon as you found your next home, letting you do the whole ‘buying and selling houses at the same time’ thing.

Well, the good news is… it really is that easy!

Now you’re wondering how is it possible!?

Selling to a cash house buying company!

A cash house buying company does exactly what they say, ‘on the tin’, buys your house for cash but they can do it ASAP, with some even covering your fees, so you won’t have a penny to pay.

They’re a guaranteed cash buyer, and so you don’t have the worry of your buyer deciding to back out because they can no longer afford it, or they’ve found another property they prefer.

Found a house you want to buy and ready to sell FAST to a cash house buying company? Well, here we are!

Here at The Property Buying Company, we will buy your house for cash, and we’ll do it pretty quickly. Not to brag, but our average completion time is only 2-3 weeks AND we have completed in 7 DAYS before…

Not to gloat even more, but we will cover all your fees, including your legal ones, meaning you won’t have a penny to pay for selling and the cash offer we give you is the amount you will receive in FULL.

We’re also a chain-free buyer, helping to cut out the stress and allow you to focus on buying your next property.

On top of all this, we have over 50 years of combined experience, proving we’re a cash buyer you can trust. Don’t just take our word for it, check out our Trustpilot reviews!

Give us a call or fill in our online form today for a no-obligation cash offer for a stress-free, FAST sale of your property which we can time to the purchase of your next home…

Ready to get your house sold ASAP?


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Properties bought by us
for cash


Of our own money spent buying
property for cash

2-3 weeks

Average time taken from initial offer
to completion