Couple asking questionsProperty investment and home ownership is full of potential traps and pitfalls, laid out by the quagmire of advice from friends, family and experts.

With all this information out there, it can be a bit confusing when it comes to changing homes – the big question though, is whether to buy or sell first.

At the end of the day, this really is all down to individual circumstances. For example, are you buying and selling in the same area, or moving to a new precinct? Consider the following information to help out with your situation.

What type of property are you looking for? 

The type of property you’re looking for can make or break the process. Start doing your homework, as some property types are much harder to come by than others. You’ll need to know what you want, where it is, and then track some properties of this type down.

Look at how quickly these properties sell for. Doing a bit of recon is always a good thing. Don’t base this research entirely on media reports, as these cases are often unusual; hence why they made the news.

Take note of how many sales consultants are working in the area, as they will be able to help you out with property enquiries

How easily can you sell your house? 

Sale times will vary from city to city, state to state, and month to month. The only way to really get some kind of estimate on this time, is by asking your agent.

Be warned though, data on recent comparable sales data in your area is not always a certain sign of a quick sale.

What’s your place worth? 

Make sure you iron out this detail with your sales assistant. Until you have a rough valuation, it will be really difficult to establish a true picture of what you can afford to spend on that swanky new crib.

Ask your local agent for comparative market analysis data of similar properties, and what they’ve sold for in your local area. This will help you to understand the potential worth of your property.

Finding a new home after selling 

Often one of the biggest struggles is actually finding a new home. You might be asking “what if I don’t find a new home?” Well yes this is a problem, especially if you’ve already sold up.

If you sell up first then you will become a ‘cash buyer’, and will be in a much stronger position than other market buyers. It might prove worth camping out on your parents’ sofa for a few weeks. Ultimately, cash buyers don’t have the tie of a property to sell, making you a free agent.

What if you’ve found a place but haven’t sold? 

The only real way to mitigate the pressure of confirming a contract on your new place, is to talk to your agent for advice. This is especially true if you’re banking on your property selling before you sign the contract on a new one.

Your agent can talk you through the options available when in this situation. So the ultimate piece of advice here, is to make sure you have a solid agent on board.