How to buy a home when you have one to sell

The hardest time to buy a home is when you already own one. Financially, you need to sell your home to buy the next one, but the person you are buying off doesn’t want to be tied down waiting for your home to sell in case things don’t work out.

This is especially true in a hot market.

In a hot market, most properties attract multiple offers. As a result, sellers are less inclined to accept a conditional offer. Particularly one that is reliant on a house sale.

Buyers need to be in a cash position to be competitive, which is hard to achieve if you already own a home.

Faced with this scenario, buyers with a house to sell are confronted with a series of unattractive options:

Option 1: You can keep offering on properties subject to selling your own home, but it’s likely you will keep missing out. As a result, you could spend serious time and money investigating properties with little chance of success.

Option 2: Secure bridging finance from your bank so you can buy before you sell. Bridging finance can be extremely expensive if your home takes a long time to sell and the approval criteria can be hard to meet.

Option 3: Sell first and take a punt that you will find a home you like once you’ve sold. If you don’t find something fast you could end up having to find temporary accommodation and paying to move twice.

Option 4: Buy first and take a punt that you can sell your home before you need to settle. This option comes with zero backup plan and potentially puts pressure on you to accept the first offer that comes your way. You could end up selling for less than you should just to sell your home in time. Not an option for the faint-hearted!

You’d be forgiven for thinking that none of those sound particularly appealing. But there are other options…

Alternative solutions to consider

  • Keep your existing home as a rental

Talk to a property manager to find out what your home might rent for. If the numbers stack up, your existing home could become your first investment property!

  • Sell first with a long settlement (most popular)

One perk of a hot market is that cash buyers are often flexible on settlement dates. Sell your existing home first and ask for a 3-4 month settlement, giving you time to find your next home before you have to move. This also gives you clarity on exactly how much you have to spend on your next home and allows you to take your time and focus on securing the best possible price.

  • Sell and then rent

This could be the best option if you are moving to a new location. Many families choose to rent for 6-12 months to get to know an area before deciding exactly where to buy. Explore different suburbs, check out local schools, discover your favourite local café and scope out amenities like nearby parks and walking tracks.


Getting into a new home can be challenging, especially if you already have a home to sell. Throw kids and pets into the mix and the resulting disruption can make you wonder why you ever wanted to move in the first place!

Keep in mind, there is a way through it. It might seem like an insurmountable problem, but many homeowners have successfully made the transition while also achieving a great sale price for their existing home.

We have helped many families through this exact situation and we would love to help you too. Call us today to book a free consultation to talk through the pros and cons of each option.

We can also help with advice on what to do to your home to secure the best possible price in the shortest amount of time on the market.

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Tony Skilling

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, REA 2008
Arizto New Plymouth
Mobile: 020 486 6975

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Based on New Plymouth’s median sale price, most traditional real estate agencies charge around $22,028. It comes as no surprise that sellers are unhappy paying such high commissions, and we agree it’s unnecessary. Arizto found flaws in the way traditional real estate is performed and created a better solution for Kiwis.

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Tony Skilling © 2021 • New Plymouth Real Estate Salesperson with Arizto

Licensed REA 2008