Buying a house is typically a significant emotional and financial commitment, often involving a lengthy and stressful process. But sometimes people choose to sell their home shortly after purchasing it. While it isn’t common, it does happen. The question is how long do you have to wait to sell a house after buying it? We’ve got the answers and more below!
How fast can you legally sell your house after completion?
There’s good news should you wish to sell your home straight after buying it. In the UK, there are no legal restrictions preventing you from selling a house immediately after acquiring legal ownership, whether it’s days or even hours post-exchange. That means you can, technically, sell your home just minutes after completion of the purchase.
Why might you want to sell your home straight after buying it?
Various situations can prompt a situation where you sell your home straight after buying it. These include inheriting a property that the new owner neither wants nor can maintain, or an investor looking to make a profit by ‘flipping’ the property.
Sometimes, unexpected personal changes, like a family death or illness, job loss, or a relationship breakdown, might necessitate a quick sale. Other times, issues with the property only become apparent after purchase, such as troublesome neighbours or challenges in securing planning permission can cause the owner to sell right after buying.
What should I consider if I sell my home after buying it?
There are a few things you need to consider should you wish to sell your home straight after buying it to make sure that it’s the right move. These include:
The sixth month rule
Due to past losses, many lenders now hesitate to finance purchases of properties that have been owned for only a short time, as indicated by Land Registry records. Such caution is part of their strategy to prevent money laundering and other irregularities.
The time frame starts from when the ownership details are registered with the Land Registry, not necessarily from the sale completion date. Many sellers and buyers aren’t aware of this six-month rule common among lenders, but it’s important to know as it can impact your ability to quickly resell a property. Potential buyers who need a mortgage to help finance their purchase may struggle to get one approved.
If you wish to sell a property that you’ve owned for less than 6 months and are struggling to find buyers because of the 6-month rule, then you can always sell to a cash buyer as they don’t need mortgages. Property Rescue is a cash buyer who will buy any residential UK property. Get in touch with us and we’ll make you a cash offer for a fast sale.
Early repayment charges
If you originally bought the property with a mortgage, it likely came with a fixed term of between 2 – 5 years. When you sell your home straight after buying it, you effectively will repay your mortgage with the proceeds from the sale, and this normally incurs a penalty known as an early repayment fee. This is normally a percentage of the total amount you borrowed. Check with your lender if you think this applies to you.
Ineffective marketing can hinder your property sale. If you’re selling through an estate agent, they’re responsible for marketing. But, poor efforts can lead to less visibility, fewer viewings and reduced chances of selling quickly.
If you’re dissatisfied with your estate agent’s marketing, don’t hesitate to request improvements.
If you want to sell your property via an estate agent straight away after buying it, it’s worth noting that the UK’s average time to find a buyer is 55 days. Once you have a buyer; surveys, mortgage approvals and legal work begins. The overall process of selling a property can normally take anywhere between 3 – 6 months. Again, if you sell to us, the whole process can be around 7 days or according to whatever timeline works for you.
The condition of the property market impacts how quickly you can resell a house after buying it. In a thriving market with rising demand and increasing prices, selling your property swiftly and possibly at a profit is more achievable.
Conversely, in a slow or declining market, like 2023/24, selling might be trickier, potentially leading to a loss as you may need to sell for less than your purchase price. Even if you sell the property for the same price you bought it, you’ll likely be at a loss if you factor in all the legal fees, estate agent fees, early repayment charges, moving costs and so forth. And then there’s stamp duty to consider.
Stamp Duty Land Tax
In England and Northern Ireland, when you buy a property, you’re required to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if it’s above a certain value. In Wales and Scotland, the equivalents are Land Transaction Tax (LTT) and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), respectively. These taxes can significantly increase the cost of purchasing a property. There’s a stamp duty calculator here.
Since it’s the buyer that pays stamp duty, you won’t need to pay any when you resell your property, but you may have paid it already when you first bought the property and might need to pay it again on any new property that you move into next. After all, everyone has to live somewhere.
Even if six months have passed, potential buyers may still have reservations if a seller decides to move out in under a year. They could be concerned about potential issues with the property, the neighbours, or the area overall, leading them to question the reason behind the quick sale.
If you decide to sell your home fast straight after selling, be mindful of property chains. In the UK, most property transactions form part of a chain, where the purchase depends on several other house sales. This situation could notably slow down the sales process and is something you should consider if you want to sell your home as fast as possible after buying it. Again, this can be solved by selling to a cash buyer such as Property Rescue.
Should I sell my home straight after buying it?
Selling your property shortly after buying it, will often lead to a loss. This is because the property value will not have appreciated in value enough to offset the costs associated with buying and reselling the property. These costs may include stamp duty, legal fees, estate agent fees and mortgage early repayment fees.
However if somehow you bought the property for well under the market value for cash, or it was gifted to you, then it might well be profitable to sell it straight away. It all comes down to numbers at the end of the day. So pull out the calculator and run the numbers before you make a final decision.
How can I sell my home straight after buying it?
So you’ve decided to sell your home right after buying it. Now what? Here are the best options available to sellers looking for a sale.
With an estate agent
You can relist your property through an estate agency almost immediately. Much of the listing preparation, like the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), will already be in place. However, you might need new photos if the existing ones are from the previous owner. A good estate agent can usually update these quickly.
If the market hasn’t changed drastically, the property can be priced similarly to your purchase price. But it’s advisable to reassess the situation in case you paid a bit over the odds for the property.. You can get a free, online property valuation instantly online by clicking here. This will give you a good idea of what your property is worth today. But of course the most accurate property valuation will always be one that’s done by an independent RICS surveyor.
Selling with an estate agent will normally take between 3 -6 months in total.
For greater certainty (and speed), auctioning your property could be a wiser choice. While the price might be quite a bit lower, the auction’s contractual terms bind the buyer to the sale. In traditional 28-day auctions, the exchange of contracts occurs immediately after a successful bid, with the buyer required to deposit 10% of the property value.
They then have 28 days to complete the purchase, and failing to do so can incur severe penalties. This format often attracts cash buyers or those using quick, albeit high-interest, auction finance. On the plus side, the sale could be faster, but again, there’s no guarantee that your home will sell at auction. Nor will you know for how much.
Selling to us
Property Rescue understands that sometimes you need to sell your house quickly for a predictable price. That’s where we come in. We’ll buy your house fast, cutting through the usual delays and uncertainties of the open market.
Our approach is straightforward – a fair, upfront price, and completion of the sale in just a few days. There are no estate agent fees or hidden costs, and we handle all the paperwork. Our service is tailored to your timeline, offering you a hassle-free way to sell your property.