Australia: To buy a new home or sell your existing home first? Part two

Last Updated: 14 November 2016
Article by Kylie Fuentes

If you are looking to buy a new home and sell your existing home you've most likely wondered whether you should buy or sell first.

There are several things to consider when making this decision so you are best prepared for the journey. In part two here we'll look at things to consider when buying first.

Buying first

Pros Cons
There is less pressure to just 'get' a new home so you can settle on time – you can really shop around Bridging finance may be required if you do not sell your existing home in time for settlement
You have greater certainty that you will only have to move once You won't have a clear budget for your new purchase
In a quickly rising market you may be able to achieve a higher sale price and secure a better price on your new home You will need to ensure you have a cash deposit sufficient to cover the purchase or be prepared to obtain a deposit bond

Deposit Bond

When buying a property, first you will need consider options for payment of the deposit. The traditional method of payment of a deposit is cash. However, when cash is not available like when your equity is tied up in your existing home, a deposit bond maybe a suitable option.

There are private companies that issue deposit bonds and banks can issue the equivalent being a bank guarantee. Each issuing institution will have different fees and criteria so you will need to investigate these and ensure you comply.

Your conveyancer and mortgage broker can assist in this process.

Bridging Finance

When buying first your ability to cover the mortgage of two properties will be a main consideration. Bridging finance is an option worth discussing with your mortgage broker. Bridging finance loans have:

  • shorter terms of between 6 and 12 months;
  • fixed and variable rates are typically still offered;
  • higher interest rates; and
  • Lenders Mortgage Insurance may still apply if the loan is more than 80% of the total value of both properties.

Extended Settlement

As noted above, a longer settlement period of approximately 10-12 weeks (or longer if you are moving to an area where properties are scarce) maybe a necessary consideration.

The downside of an extended settlement is you may need to accept a sale price that is lower than you originally expected in order to sell in time to achieve settlement.

Contingency Plan – Conditional Purchase

A last resort to overcome the cons is to make your purchase dependant on the sale of your home. As noted above, this can be negotiated be your conveyancer or solicitor. Keep in mind that a vendor does not have to agree to this request.

Other Considerations

If settlement of both your sale and purchase have been timed perfectly there are some last minute considerations that need to be covered to ensure settlement goes well.

  • Timing for final inspection

When buying property you are entitled to a final inspection of the property within 48 hours prior to settlement. This is also relevant for the people buying your property.

  • Timing for settlement

If settlement has been timed perfectly it will occur at the same time on the same day. Otherwise, settlement may need to occur a few days apart to allow funds to clear and cheques to be drawn. Settlement is most likely going to occur after 2pm as many banks have this requirement.

Do you have to attend settlement – the short answer here is no. Your solicitor to conveyancer will arrange attendance by a settlement agent on your behalf.

  • Timing for moving out/moving in

So, settlement has been set for the same time on the same day. Great news – you only have to move once.

Now it is time to co-ordinate moving. The best option tends to be hiring a removalist with a truck large enough to fit all of your furniture and possessions in, in one go. This will allow you to pack up and vacate the property easily prior to settlement.

  • Moving into new property including the collection of keys

Once you have moved out of your old home, you will be waiting for the keys to move into your new home. In order for you to collect the keys , your solicitor or conveyancer will call the agent and let them know settlement has been finalised, this will happen within 30 mins to 1 hour of the set settlement time. This call will enable the agent to release the keys to you and you will finally be able to move into your new home.

If you're thinking of selling first, have a read of part one here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Authors
Kylie Fuentes
 
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