Selling a home can be one of the most stressful things you’ll do in your lifetime. As can buying a home. Doing the two together? Surely double the stress. But buying BEFORE you sell? Why would anyone do that to themselves?

The key to buying and selling simultaneously – or even buying before you sell – says Jarrod McCabe, an independent buyer’s agent in Melbourne, is being prepared and doing your research.

“The conventional wisdom is that it’s safer to sell a home first, then buy another, as it reduces your risk and means you don’t have to scramble to get bridging finance, but it’s possible to do both at the same time, or even buy before you sell, but it all comes down to research,” McCabe says.

Whatever your strategy, it’s crucial to know the market and play it to your advantage.

“As with everything to do with property, it all depends on market conditions. You need to do your research to understand what’s happening in the market, what the competition looks like, what the property you’re selling is realistically worth and so on,” he says.

Bridging finance is available to any buyers who need to access funds for a newly purchased home before the sale of their previous home is settled, says McCabe.

Record low interest rates are making this a more viable and appealing option for many homeowners, he says, but it’s important to talk to your lender in detail about the process and ensure the finance is available to you before committing to a purchase. It takes a lot of organisation to make it work.


Buy before you sell?

Mr McCabe goes as far as to suggest that buying a new home before you sell your old one can be advantageous in a rising market.

“This is especially true if you’re upsizing and it can save you thousands. If the property you’re selling is desirable and will have a high level of demand, there’s no reason you can’t look to buy first. It is a little unusual, but I have seen it done,” he says.

Spring offers the best market to do this, says McCabe, and the earlier you make your move, the better. In the Melbourne market, your deadline should be the AFL grand final.

Winter is typically a quiet period for home sales, so coming into spring there is pent-up demand and a peak in prices – an ideal seller’s market.

“Those who sell early have the rest of spring and early summer to find a property, during a period of strong supply, before clearance rates level off. It’s possible to have sold, bought and moved into a new property – all before Christmas,” says McCabe.

He sums it up nicely: “It’s all about research and being prepared. Know what your current property is worth, do the sums with your financier, know what you want to buy and what you’ll be prepared to be pay for it … and be smart.”