It’s quite common for buyers and sellers to start the opposite home transaction shortly after or during the buying and listing process. The inevitable overlap can be overwhelming, especially when a person doesn’t know what to expect. Follow this guide on how to sell your home and buy a new one to easily manage both at the same time.
Decide to buy or sell first
Those ready to leave their homes and live someplace new should decide to buy or sell first. Both methods come with their own advantages and disadvantages better suited to a person’s resources and goals.
Buying before selling
The main perk of buying before selling is the security of having someplace to live. Buyers can directly move their belongings into the home they’ve purchased rather than shuttling items from a storage unit or a short-term rental. However, those who buy first may be left with two mortgage payments and have no proceeds from a sale to purchase their new home. This can become tenuous if a home sale takes longer than expected.
Selling before buying
Those who sell before they buy are relieved of the financial burden of paying more than one mortgage at a time. Sellers face less pressure to sell a home quickly or take an offer that isn’t ideal. Those who do this need to have temporary living accommodations in place before closing on a deal. Sellers also run the risk of not finding any homes that meet their needs or settling on a home they don’t like.
When selling first, it’s much easier to plan out finances for a home purchase by using profits from the sale. In fact, having no mortgage debt and financial reserves can make it easier to qualify for a new mortgage. Those who buy before selling can use a bridge loan which allows buyers to borrow up to 80% of their home’s value. A bridge loan is a short-term loan that can be used to pay off an existing mortgage, finance a down payment, or pay for a second mortgage.
Clean and stage
Before selling a home, sellers need to clean and stage the property. Deep clean by sweeping and mopping floors, vacuuming carpet, dusting off fans and light fixtures, and wiping windows. Then declutter spaces by sorting through belongings and purging them or storing them in a temporary unit. Sellers should also maintain curb appeal by power washing walkways and trimming landscaping.
Staging a home helps it appeal to the most buyers. Start by taking down personal photos, memorabilia, and eccentric decorations. Then redecorate in whites, grays, and tans. Make sure each room is properly furnished to show off its true dimensions and that the interior is well-lit with artificial and natural light. This creates a bright and welcoming atmosphere emphasizing a room’s space.
Search for homes
Buyers looking for homes should narrow their search by deciding what they want and need from a home. Consider a home’s square footage, the number of rooms it has, and if it has outdoor spaces like a front or backyard. Then decide what type of neighborhood to live in, whether that’s more residential or urban. Buyers should also research the surrounding area for essential services and amenities like grocery stores, health care centers, schools, parks, and shopping centers.
List and market your property
When a home is clean and staged, a seller’s agent will list the property on a local MLS and market it off and online. To do this, an agent uses social media to boost a listing’s visibility, orders professional photos of the home, and organizes home showings or an open house to generate in-person interest. An agent will also price the listing correctly so it doesn’t linger on the market and use their connections to buyers’ agents in the area to look for leads.
Partner with an agent
Those buying and selling real estate should always partner with an agent when planning out a simultaneous transaction. If both transactions are happening in the same city, a person might find it easier to work with the same agent during both transactions. Before doing this research an agent’s experience and success with closing home purchases and sales.
The main advantage of using the same agent is they can help time a home purchase and sale so there’s as little overlap as possible. They can also provide advice on whether to buy before selling or vice versa. Experienced agents have contacts with service providers that their clients may need, such as a home inspector, home stager, mortgage lender, home contractor, attorney, or moving services.
Close on both transactions
Closing on a home purchase and home sale at the same time can be complicated, although there are contingencies buyers and sellers can include in an offer to protect themselves. Those who buy real estate first should consider making a contingent offer. This means that they’ll only buy a property once their current property sells. Sellers are typically less willing to take a contingent offer which buyers should keep in mind.
Sellers who list their properties first may consider a rent-back contingency. This allows them to rent their home from the buyer for a set amount of time, providing wiggle room to finalize a home purchase and move out of the property. Some sellers also write in a grace period of 30 days into the offer itself.
Ready to buy and sell your home?
Buying and selling a home at the same time doesn’t have to be complicated when following the guide above. A person should first decide to buy before selling or vice versa, then start a home search and prepare their house to list. Both buyers and sellers can add contingencies to an offer to ease the transition. If you need help managing a home purchase and sale, contact expert agent Ebbie Bogema
to guide you through the process. The Spouses Selling Houses team can help ensure a smooth experience and look forward to taking your call!