The most important thing to know about selling and buying a home at the same time is to avoid buying before you sell your current home.This is especially true for those with mortgage balances or who need the cash from a home sale for a new home's upfront costs.
If you don't make this unfortunate mistake, things should fall into line. It may not sound easy to juggle these two tasks—and time them effectively—but people do it every day. So can you.
Most home buyer-sellers have a finite amount of funds to work with and need to proceed judiciously. So if you could use some advice, please keep reading.
Fundamentals of Selling and Buying a Home at the Same Time
In this section, we will recommend, in order, the fundamental steps to take when planning the selling and buying home process. Later in this article, we will cover a few specific circumstances in more detail.
First, Get a Good Grasp on Your Financial Situation
Before you begin talking with professionals, you need a clear understanding of your circumstances and financial situation.
When you meet with these folks, you should be well prepared. You might get more accurate and beneficial advice if they understand the full picture of your circumstances and needs.
Second, Seek the Professional Help You Need
The most important person to bring on board when selling and buying a new home is a realtor or real estate agent. Ask several trusted friends and neighbors for their recommendations, and then interview a few.
Finding an experienced expert early on will allow you to establish a realistic timeline and contingency plans without losing ground in achieving your objective.
If you have concerns about your financial situation, you also should seek a financial advisor's services. This person will be essential in helping you use the funds you have wisely, explain mortgages, and, if necessary, use alternative funding sources (like bridge loans).
Third, Write a Detailed Timeline With Checkpoints
After drafting a preliminary timeline, sit down with the realtor who will be selling your home, and ask them to go through it with you, line-by-line. Encourage them to point out any details or oversights you might have missed.
Also, ask your realtor to schedule future meetings (checkpoints) at essential junctures in the selling process. These might be when preparing your home for selling or following the pre-listing home inspection (we recommend one of these).
Fourth, if Necessary, Find a Buying Realtor
If you're moving within the real estate market where you currently reside, you probably want to use the same realtor for both selling and buying. But if you're moving out of the area, you should identify a realtor to help you find a home in your new community.
Doing this is especially important if you're not familiar with the place you're moving to. After discussing your needs, the realtor can show you the area while pointing out available homes in different neighborhoods.
Expect to make a few follow-up visits later in the process, too.
Gauging the Local Markets
When buying and selling a home at the same time, learn the different implications of a seller's markets (if these aren't already familiar to you). It could make a significant difference in your success, especially if buying and selling a home in the same year.
Selling in a Seller's Market
If you're a seller, a seller's market is the ideal situation. After making sure that every aspect of your home sale is ready, strategically plan your announcement. Thursday evening is a popular time to do that.
Then, as interest grows, play some cards you've been holding. For example, set the asking price slightly below market value to attract more offers. As long as your home is in good condition and there's enough interest, you should do fine.
Remember, too, that any negotiating need not be only about the home price in a seller's market. It also can be about convenience factors—for example, anything that could make your transition more convenient.
Selling in a Buyer's Market
In a buyer's market, there are more homes for sale than there are buyers. Thus, you probably will need to invest time, effort, and even money in making your home as appealing as possible. Remember, you have a lot of competition.
Selling a Home and Buying Another: Use Your Timeline Wisely
Selling and buying a home at the same time may not sound easy. But we hope we've discussed enough helpful information to make your selling and buying journey easier. We believe that the timeline you started with is the key to the success you will have.
At each stage of that timeline, you'll become increasingly comfortable about how to sell a home and buy a new one simultaneously. The outstanding realtor you selected so carefully will be the primary partner in your success at this juggling act. You can also use our New Home Resource Center for additional assistance.
If you are looking for a home in the Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, or San Antonio area, fill out the form and we'll be in touch!