Can I Put An Offer On A House Before Selling Mine?

If you have found a property that you would like to buy, you may be wondering, can I put an offer on a house before selling mine? We take a look at how the process works, in particular how to tie in a sale with a related purchase.

At Lockings Solicitors, we are experienced conveyancers dealing with property sales and purchases in East Yorkshire and beyond. We always work proactively to complete your conveyancing as quickly as possible. If difficulties arise, we have the expertise to deal with them efficiently.

We offer a FREE initial chat so that you can ask us any questions you may have. Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and we deal with conveyancing in East Yorkshire, the York area and beyond. We are on the panels of approved solicitors of all major lenders.

I’ve found a property to buy – can I put in an offer before selling my house?

If you find a property you would like to buy, it is absolutely open to you to put in an offer on it before you have sold your own property. However, the seller will take into account your situation in weighing up whether to accept your offer.

They might be prepared to wait for you to find a buyer if they feel that it is a good offer or if they are not in any hurry to move. Ideally, you will need to reassure them that you are serious about selling your own home though.

It will help if you already have your own property on the market. If you are able to tell their estate agent that you are having viewings and some interest has been expressed, this will put you in a relatively strong position. It is fairly common for sellers to accept offers in this situation.

If your property is not yet on the market, you will need to move quickly to convince the sellers that you are intending to go ahead with a move. By instructing an estate agent and a solicitor you may be able to convince them that you are taking the necessary steps to put yourself in a position to proceed.

How to be ready to put an offer on a property

You are advised to do some preparation to make sure you are in the best possible position once you find a property you would like to purchase.

The following is a list of points to cover:

  • Get your own home ready to sell
  • Instruct an estate agent
  • Instruct a solicitor
  • Put together the paperwork you will need
  • Secure a mortgage offer in principle

Get your own home ready to sell

If you have started looking at properties to buy, you really need to make sure your own home is ready to sell. Spending some time decluttering and making it look its best can give you the edge when you are looking for a buyer. Quick tips are:

  • Make sure the front of your house is as neat and tidy as possible
  • Clear away messes but also see if extra furniture can be stored somewhere else until you sell so that your home feels spacious and potential buyers don’t have to squeeze past excess chairs and tables
  • Neutral colours are popular for selling quickly. You can add warmer touches with accessories to avoid a sterile feel
  • Tidy the garden. Simple trimming of hedges and edges and putting toys and bikes away can make a big difference. If you have space for patio furniture, put this out so that buyers can envisage themselves sitting outside

Instruct an estate agent

You will then need to put the property on the market. You can ask local estate agents for valuations and see if friends and family have any recommendations for agents who have successfully sold for them. If you want to sell quickly, you might want to consider how much you ask for your property. A realistic price is likely to attract a buyer more rapidly.

Instruct a solicitor

You should also put a solicitor in place at this stage. If you ask us to represent you, we will verify your identity, get you signed up so we can get started, obtain and check the necessary information from the land registry about your property and get you signed up to the property information and fixtures and fittings form which will be needed by your buyer solicitors when a buyer is found. We call this getting you ‘sale ready’ and it means that we will be ready to go when the property is sold potentially saving you weeks of the overall transaction time and certainly saving you some stress by getting everything ready at an earlier stage (all at no extra cost and you only pay if and when the matter completes).

Put together the paperwork you will need

You should also look for the paperwork relating to your property that the buyer might need to see. This will include planning permission and building regulations approval for any alterations and guarantees for windows and the boiler if you have them.

An Energy Performance Certificate will be needed as soon as you market the property. We can check online for you to see whether there is already one in place for your home. They last for ten years, so it may be that there is one in existence that can be used. Otherwise, an assessor can visit your home and prepare one in readiness.

Secure a mortgage offer in principle

You should make sure that you have a mortgage offer in principle, also referred to as a mortgage decision in principle. This is an indication from your chosen lender that they will be prepared to lend you a specified amount on set terms. This will indicate to the sellers that you are a serious buyer and that you have taken steps to be ready to buy.

Tying in a house purchase and a sale

We routinely tie in house sales and purchases. We work efficiently to make sure that both transactions reach readiness to exchange as quickly as possible. If issues arise, we have usually encountered them before and we know how to tackle them to avoid disruption or delays.

We will get both your sale and purchase ready to exchange as soon as we can. At this point, we will liaise with you and the rest of the chain to agree on a date for completion.

On exchange of contracts, the deposit on your sale will usually be used on your purchase. We will then set everything up for completion. On the day, we will let you know once your purchase has been finalised and you will be able to drop the keys to your old property off at the estate agent and pick up your new keys.

Contact our East Yorkshire and York area conveyancing solicitors

If you have found a property to buy or you are thinking of marketing your home, we would be happy to represent you.

You can ring us for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and deal with conveyancing in East Yorkshire, the York area and beyond.

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