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How quickly can you sell a house after buying it (UK)?
If you've recently bought a house and now want to sell it, you will need to check if you are able to. If you're selling to a cash buyer you can sell as soon as you like after buying, but if you took out a mortgage for the property most lenders won't approve another mortgage on the same property for at least 6 months.
If you’ve recently bought a house and want to know how quickly you can sell it on, you’ve come to the right place. Some homeowners buy to live in a house for years, but some, especially investors, will buy a property to flip it, making a profit when they sell. We’ve had several questions about how quickly you can sell a house after buying it, so here at We Buy Any House, we decided to get you an answer.
Are there laws that say how long I need to own the house before I can sell it?
There are no actual laws in place that say you need to own a house for a certain amount of time before you can sell it again. However, there may be clauses in your mortgage agreement that prevent you from selling immediately. If you’re planning to buy a house with a mortgage and sell it very quickly afterwards, you will need to check with your mortgage provider if they have anything in place that means you have to keep the property for a certain amount of time. You should also check that they would approve someone else for a mortgage - some lenders will not approve applications on properties that have only been sold recently. If you’re looking to sell the property for cash, then there should be no contracted rule that you have to own the property for an agreed amount of time before being able to sell, leaving you free to do what you wish. This is especially helpful to know for homeowners who have had an immediate change in their circumstances and need to sell quickly, which has been the case for a lot of homeowners that have faced problems in the lockdown. Whether it be ill health, needing to relocate or problems with neighbours, you can sell as soon as you like if you have a cash buyer.
Is there anything else stopping me selling straight away?
If your mortgage provider has no clause that requires you to stay in the property for at least 6 months before selling again, or you’ve bought with cash, there are other things that could stop you from selling so quickly. One of the biggest issues that you may find with a quick sale is an estate agent or your potential buyer wanting to know why you’re putting the house back on the market again. This could cause you some trouble if you’re selling for a negative reason, such as having issues with the property or in the area, that would put others off buying it. If you’re selling as you bought the property as an investment opportunity, you should be able to make this clear to your buyer, but be aware that they may be suspicious if you’re selling after only a matter of weeks.
How can I sell quickly after buying a property?
If you need to sell a property that you’ve bought recently for any reason, a good option for you may be to go to a quick sale company, like We Buy Any House. These companies will be able to buy your property as a cash buyer rather than rely on a mortgage application, ensuring a faster transaction. Some homeowners aren’t keen on going to quick sale companies, but they can be much more reliable than a standard sale on the open market. As a cash buyer, there is no need to wait for approval on a mortgage application, lowering the risk of the sale and speeding up the process at the same time. They also won’t be relying on the sale of another property, which means your sale isn’t at risk of being affected if there is a break in the chain.
You also have the option of selling at an auction, as these buyers will almost always be cash buyers too, and so won’t need the approval of a mortgage to buy your house. While auctions are a popular option for homeowners looking for a quick sale as it is a very speedy process and legally binding once the auction ends, meaning your buyer can’t drop out, there are negatives as well. You have less control of the sale price when you go to auction, and while there is a chance that you’ll get lucky and find two buyers that are interested in your property to create a bidding war and drive the price up, this isn’t that common in house auction sales.
The asking price. Especially if you’re selling on the open market, estate agents will usually advertise your house above your market value as potential buyers will submit offers under the asking price and haggle. The risk with this is that a price too high will put buyers off putting in an offer altogether, especially if there are other houses in the area that are similar to yours with a lower price. It’s a good idea to do some research on other properties in your area and see what their asking price is so you can see if yours is listed too high.
Bad marketing. You will need to speak to your estate agent if you’re not happy with the listing that they’ve created for you online, as this is another big reason that potential buyers are put off properties. This could be down to bad advertising photos or little detail and no floorplans, but your listing will need to entice buyers and encourage them to book a viewing for your property, and if it doesn’t do that, you will struggle to build any interest.
Chains. Being in a chain increases the risk of your house sale, and if you’re in a long chain, any break could affect you. This is another reason that cash buyers are so popular with homeowners looking to sell quickly, as they aren’t in a chain which lowers the risk substantially.
A problem revealed in a house survey. If you know that there is an issue with your property, you should address it straight away and not wait for a survey to reveal the issue. Some issues buyers will be willing to look past, and may lower their offer slightly to be able to factor in the repairs that need doing, or request that you have it fixed before the sale. Buyers will feel deceived if a problem is highlighted in the survey that you were aware of, and could walk away from you if they feel like you’re not fully open. A survey may find issues in the house that you weren’t aware of, but if you know that any issues would be discovered in your survey, you should make this clear from the start. This will avoid buyers dropping out and prevent delays for you.