House part exchange – how does it work?

House part exchange can be a great alternative to selling through an estate agent. It has the potential to provide a much quicker sale and avoid the uncertainty of the open market. So, how does house part exchange work, and what are the pros and cons?

house part exchange

What is house part exchange?

House part exchange offers you a guaranteed sale for your current property. The sale will be time to coincide with the purchase of your new home, offering a quick and easy move.

How does house part exchange work?

You can either part exchange your house through a new build developer or a property part exchange company (also known as a cash home buying company). The process will be similar with both, but eligibility criteria will differ. New build developer part exchange schemes have very strict criteria and are only available when buying selected new build plots. Part exchange through a property part exchange company is a more inclusive option. It will enable you to part exchange your current home whether you’re buying a new build or an older property.

Part exchanging your property is a quick, simple and straightforward process:

Step 1 – Get in contact with the part exchange company and give them some basic information about your current home.

Step 2 – The house part exchange company will arrange for an independent local estate agent to value your property. Following the valuation, they will make you a formal offer for your current home.

Step 3 – Let the property part exchange company know what date you would like the sale to complete (based on the purchase of your new house).

Step 4 – On the agreed date, your sale will complete and the cash will be paid directly into your bank account.

Is house part exchange a good idea?

If you have a property to sell before buying your next home, house part exchange can be a great solution.

Unfortunately, around one-in-three property sales will fall through before completion on the open market. But that isn’t a problem when you part exchange your house. Home part exchange eliminates all of the stress and uncertainty of selling a property, and offers a guaranteed sale on a date of your choice.

It is important to note that part exchange companies will pay less than market value for your home. Instead of charging a fee for the part exchange service, the company will cover its business costs by buying your property at a discount. They will then resell on the open market at full market value. By doing this, the part exchange company takes on all the cost and uncertainty of selling on the open market.

Things to be aware of when considering home part exchange

It’s important to ensure the part exchange company you deal with is a reputable one. The home part exchange industry is unregulated, so it’s important that you research a company carefully before using them.

A genuine part exchange company will pay around 80-85% of market value for your property. If you’re part exchanging with a new build company, the company may top-up this figure to get it a little closer to market value, but that will depend on the individual company and how keen they are for you to buy the new home.

The speed and certainty of house part exchange comes from the company buying your property directly. It’s important that a company buys with their own cash funds and doesn’t rely on mortgages or investors. To do that, they’ll need a healthy bank balance. Checking a company’s finances is a great way to find out whether they’re buying your property directly. You can read more about how to check a company’s finances here.

Part exchange – pros and cons

Whether part exchanging your current house is the right choice will depend on your individual circumstances. Here are some of the main pros and cons.


  • Convenience – The sale of your current home will be timed to coincide with when your new home is ready. This means you don’t have to worry about trying to juggle two different property transactions and lengthy property chains.
  • Certainty – Failed property sales are costly and upsetting. When you part exchange your house, you don’t have to worry about your house sale falling through. Instead, you can just relax and wait for your next home to be ready.
  • Speed – Recent figures suggest that selling your house via an estate agent takes an average of 5-7 months. If you’re looking for a quicker sale, property part exchange could offer an attractive alternative. It’s also a great option if you have experienced chain-break or a failed sale on the open market, as a house part exchange service can step in and rescue your onward move. A reputable part exchange company should be able to buy your current property in as little as a week, if needed.


  • Price – Part exchanging your house is not the best way to achieve the highest price for it. House part exchange companies have to pay less than market value in order to cover their costs.

Part exchange house calculator

Automated calculators will never give an accurate part exchange house valuation. This is because they are unable to take into account the individual merits of your home. If you’re interested in finding out how much a property part exchange company will pay for your house, you can enter your address here. Someone from Quick Move Now’s friendly, helpful team will get in touch to give you an indication of how much you can hope to achieve and discuss your options with you.

Are there any restrictions when you part exchange your house?

This depends on whether you use a new build company’s in-house part exchange service or an independent home part exchange provider.

The table below illustrates some of the restrictions associated with in-house part exchange services and how an independent part exchange provider compares.

New build part exchange vs independent part exchange provider

In-house property part exchange provider (new build homes)Independent part exchange provider
AvailabilityUsually limited to certain times of year/only available in certain market conditions (applied when incentives are needed to secure sales)Available all year round, in any market conditions
Limits on type of property being purchasedOnly available when purchasing certain plots/property typesAvailable on all property purchases, new homes or older properties and homes of all sizes
Limits on current property typeHouse builders part exchange schemes have strict criteria for properties they are willing to buy eg. most won’t consider ex-local authority propertiesAs long as your current property is mortgageable, an independent part exchange provider should be able to make you an offer
Limits on locationNew build home developers will usually only consider part exchange properties in the same region, so it won’t be a good fit if you’re relocating to a new areaAn independent part exchange provider should be able to purchase properties anywhere in England or Wales
Upsizing criteriaMost house builders’ part exchange schemes will require you to be buying a new home worth at least 30% more than the home you wish to part exchangeIndependent house part exchange schemes will be able to offer a part exchange service whether you’re moving to a more expensive or less expensive property
Access to other incentivesUsing a new home developer’s part exchange service means you’re unlikely to be eligible for any other incentives offered when buying a new build homePart exchanging with an independent company effectively makes you a cash buyer, which means you should be able to negotiate a great price on your next home and can access other incentives offered by the developer if buying a new build home

Can you part exchange a house you bought with Help to Buy?

If you want to sell a property bought with Help to Buy, you need to repay the entire loan. As a part exchange offer will be below market value, you’d need to factor in whether you can afford to repay the Help to Buy equity loan (which is based on a percentage of current market value) and still afford your next home.

Can you part exchange for a cheaper house?

Using a new build home developer part exchange scheme, you will usually only be able to part exchange when buying a property worth at least 30% more than your current home. However, an independent part exchange company should be able to offer part exchange whether you’re buying a more expensive or less expensive house.

What are the alternatives to part exchanging your house?

Property part exchange using an independent part exchange company is a great, unrestricted alternative to new build developer part exchange schemes.

If you’re not able to accept less than market value for your property, your best option would be to pursue the traditional sale route via an estate agent on the open market.

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Danny Luke

Danny Luke

As Managing Director, Danny is responsible for the overall performance of Quick Move Now and provides strategic guidance and direction to all its employees. Danny is committed to making Quick Move Now the leading and most trusted home buying company in the UK.
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