How soon can you sell a house after buying it?
Whether you’re planning to renovate and flip a property, your situation has changed due to unemployment or divorce, or you’ve changed your mind after completion for any reason, you’ll want to know how soon can you sell a house after buying it.
For UK home buyers, the answer will vary depending on how you made your purchase. Or if you’re selling to fund another property. And when you’re looking to sell your house or flat, you can speed up the process with some simple steps to sell your home fast, or by using a reputable cash buying service like ours, with money in your account in as little as seven days after completion.
The most recent English Housing Survey revealed that the typical homeowner has lived in their residence for 17.4 years on average, which is slightly down on previous surveys. And the standard advice is to hold onto a property for at least a few years to realise some gains on your purchase. But there are lots of legitimate reasons why you want to sell a house far more quickly.
How fast can you legally sell your house after completion?
In the UK, there is no law or restriction to stop you selling a house within days or even hours of exchanging documents and becoming the legal owner.
Whether your circumstances have changed, you’ve decided the property isn’t quite right or another opportunity has popped up, you’re free to sell your house at any point once you’ve taken ownership.
The reasons for most people to wait a minimum length of time are practical ones related to mortgages, raising the suspicions of potential buyers, and if you’ve bought a property as an investment meaning Capital Gains Tax applies.
Why you might have to wait at least six months before selling a new home
The main reason for new homeowners to wait at least six months before they’re able to sell is due to rules put in place for mortgages. Most lenders will not allow a new loan to be taken out on a property until it has been recorded with the Land Registry for at least that amount of time.
So, this stops someone else from taking out a mortgage to buy your property until you’ve owned it for at least half of a year. This doesn’t impact any buyer able to make the purchase in cash, as they won’t need to borrow any money. So National Homebuyers is one quick and simple option if you need to sell on a new home purchase within the initial six months.
Some mortgage providers will make limited concessions in specific circumstances such as liquidating the estate of a purchaser who is now deceased, or if the first sale was an exchange with a property developer. Property investors may also be able to take advantage of their special circumstances, but it’s likely to take a little more time to speak to mortgage advisors and providers to secure any funding.
If you’re selling your main residence, and it’s not above 5,000 square metres, you generally won’t need to pay Capital Gains Tax. But this requires you to also show that the house purchase wasn’t made purely to generate a profit. And selling a house within a few months of buying it will obviously raise suspicion that it was being ‘flipped’, even if that wasn’t your original intention.
Capital Gains Tax will apply to any amount above your original purchase price when you sell your property, above a current allowance of £12,300 in 2021.
The final reason why you might find it more difficult to sell a house in the first few months of ownership is that it naturally makes potential buyers more worried about your reasons for selling up.
If you’re selling your home after just a month or two, anyone potentially interested will be concerned that you might have discovered a hidden problem with the property, neighbours or area, and either be less likely to make an offer, or bid much lower than normal.
So, you’ll need to be prepared to explain any legitimate reason for needing to sell your home, for instance, if you’re separating from a partner and can’t afford the mortgage on your own, or you’ve recently been made unemployed. While it might be a bit emotionally challenging to have to share some of your life events with complete strangers, it’s important to reassure someone that your sale is genuine before they’ll commit to paying hundreds of thousands of pounds for your home.
Selling immediately is trickier, but possible
While there are practical reasons which make it easier to sell your home if you’ve owned it for six months or more, it’s still possible to make a sale within that time.
The key is to find a cash buyer, which can sometimes be difficult, especially if you’re in a hurry. One obvious solution is to use our home buying service, which is quick and easy. You can get a valuation in seconds, and if you accept the cash offer and complete the sale, the money can be in your account in as little as just seven days.