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How fast can I sell my home after buying it?

How fast can you sell your home? It's a really common question. If you're wanting to sell your home after six months — or even sooner — we've got you covered.

How fast can I sell my home?

While some of us are looking for a forever home, other people end up moving from one home to the other — and they may end up doing it quite a lot. There are a lot of reasons you may find yourself wanting to sell your home not long after you bought it. It may be that it was an investment or a home flip — it may be that you’ve had a job relocation or that life circumstances have changed. But moving back to back can feel like a bit of a whirlwind and you may find yourself asking, How fast can I sell my home after buying it? Can I sell my house after six months? What about selling after a year?

Well, a lot of it will come down to the circumstances surrounding your property. A rough guide is that you normally have to live in your home for six months before you sell it — if a mortgage is involved. But if you have an interested buyer and you paid cash, you may be able to move more quickly. We'll go through the issues you should keep in mind.

The "6 Month Rule"

One of the reasons you often have to wait six months to sell a home is because of rules around lending. Many lenders will not allow a new loan to be taken out on the property unless the property has been registered with the Land Registry for six months. Sound confusing? Basically, it means if you took a mortgage out to buy your home, they’re going to want the home to be your name for at least six months before they allow someone else to take out a mortgage to buy the home off of you. 

Now, this isn’t true of all lenders — but it is a general rule. You may find special circumstances, like being a property investor, can help persuade a lender (we’d recommend talking to a mortgage advisor to learn more). If you and the buyer are both cash purchasers, then you may avoid the issue.

Capital gains tax

If you’re looking at making a quick sale, you’ll also need to think about capital gains. If you’ve lived in a home as your primary residence, you should be exempt from tax. Most of us only have one property, and we live in it, so the issue doesn’t come up. But if you’ve bought the home to flip it or just as an investment, you’ll probably be on the hook for capital gains — so you’ll need to factor this into your budget.

A quick sale can be a tough one, because you need to convince your buyers that there’s not a reason you’re leaving."

Other barriers to keep in mind

If you’re trying to sell your home right after you bought it, then you also need to think beyond the technical hurdles — like tax and mortgages — and look at the practical ones. A quick sale can be a tough one, because you need to convince your buyers that there’s not a reason you’re leaving. We all dread ending up with a loud, nosy neighbour or moving in only to find out that someone walks 15 barking dogs past our bedroom window in the early hours. Potential buyers may think you’re leaving for a reason — a reason they want to avoid. If you’re an investor or it was a clear house flip, that may be less of an issue, but it’s something to keep in mind.

So how fast can you sell your home after buying it? There's no definite rule, but there are some basic guidelines. Selling your home after six months shouldn’t be a problem from a mortgage standpoint — and selling your home after a year should be fine, unless it’s clearly an investment property or a flip, in which case you’ll need to speak to your accountant about capital gains. When in doubt, talk to your estate agent — they’ll make sure you’re working on the right timeline for you.

How fast can I sell my home FAQs

The general rule is six months — because that’s how long many lenders will need a property to be registered before they’ll issue another mortgage on it — but it’s all down to your individual circumstances. 

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If you just want to get a general sense of where your home might fall in the market, an instant online home valuation can help you get started — and it only takes a few seconds.

Take a look at what your home could be worth using our simple valuation tool.

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