It’s a question that sellers will have asked themselves many times down the years, but what is the best position to take when it comes to this chicken and egg-esque query?

Should a seller find a suitable house to buy first before listing their property, or should a seller find a buyer first and then start browsing for their next home?

It’s vitally important, in any property chain, that all parties are in a proceedable position to prevent timewasters and delays.

The danger of choosing a house to buy first before putting your property on the market is that you then struggle to sell your own home and find it difficult to make your desired move. On the other hand, if you find a buyer first and then struggle to find anywhere yourself, your buyers could be stuck in limbo for a while and may seek to withdraw from the transaction.

Securing a buyer first does provide you with extra security (assuming you need to sell to bankroll your next purchase, as will be the case with most people).

If you are looking to move up, or down, the ladder, by selling your existing home and buying another, it’s important that you do thorough research beforehand and work with your agent to ensure you are browsing for realistic properties that will be in your price range. But you may not want to become too emotionally invested in a property until you have an offer on your current house, so you know what sort of budget you have to play with.

You can browse online and even attend the odd viewing here or there, but to ensure time isn’t wasted for you, your buyer or the seller of the home you yourself are buying, it can be wise to secure an offer on your home first. Then you have the added flexibility and security of knowing what type of homes you can afford and the timeframe in which you might need to buy.

Why is it important to secure an offer first?

Homeowners who can prove they are proceedable (for example someone who will be able to proceed with a purchase once their offer is accepted) are far more likely to be taken seriously by agents and the seller you are looking to buy from.

If the seller can see that you are already well on your way to selling your own home, with a buyer already in place, they will likely be less concerned about complicated chains or potential fall-throughs. This, in turn, may make them more willing to accept an offer from you and act quickly, knowing that you are already in the process of selling and that the path to completion for all parties will be reduced and trouble-free.

If you already have a buyer in place, and more certainty about the scope of your finances, you will also be in a better position to negotiate with the seller on prices. Rather than saying “I can pay this amount if a buyer offers this much for my house and I get the offer I’m expecting”, you can be more confident about how big your budget is and how much you’re willing to offer.

After all, until you have a concrete offer on your property, regardless of whether you’ve accepted that offer or not, you can’t really know how much money you will have to spend on your next home.

To keep chains moving in a more efficient and less broken-down way, each part of the jigsaw needs to be put in place at the right time and in the right order to prevent collapses. If your seller knows you are serious about buying and your buyer knows you are serious about selling, it’s far less likely there will be jittery feet and other issues that could hold up a chain.

None of this is an exact science, but in the vast majority of cases it pays for sellers to have an offer on their home first before they start looking for a new house of their own. That doesn’t mean you can’t browse around on the portals or even drive to places that would be your dream location to get a feel for where you next house could be.

But if you aim to purchase a new house before you’ve sold your existing one, this could make your seller wonder how serious you are and anxious about a possible breakdown in the chain if you can’t find a buyer at potentially short notice.

Although the market is currently highly competitive and there are a huge number of potential buyers in the system, a fast sale is not guaranteed, and you shouldn’t take for granted that the right buyer will come along offering the right price.

By securing a buyer first, you will know exactly the budget you have to work with and offer your seller extra peace of mind that you are a genuine buyer yourself.

Here at Oakfield Estate Agents, we will do all we can to help you buy and sell a home successfully. For more information on how we can help you to complete your sale in Eastbourne, Hastings and Bexhill, and buy your dream next property, please get in touch with us today.

You can also request a free instant online valuation to see how much your East Sussex property could be worth on the current marketplace.