Buying a new house can be tricky when you also have a house to sell. Unless you plan on renting out your existing home after moving out, you’ll probably be trying to sell your house while you look for a new one. To keep from saddling yourself with two mortgages—and to help you maintain your sanity—the process must be handled with some finesse. In a perfect world, as soon as your offer is accepted for a new house, you’d receive an offer for your current home. Your closing dates would align nicely, and you’d be able to move smoothly from one house to another. But we don’t live in a perfect world. In most cases, one transaction will take longer, leaving you with either a surplus or a lack of housing. Sometimes we have no choice and need to be both buyer and seller simultaneously. But don’t fret! It’s completely doable. Here are a few tips for juggling buying and selling at the same time.
Know the current market.
Before you put your house on the market or start searching for a new one, it’s a good idea to educate yourself about the current real estate market. This can be easily done by consulting with your favorite real estate agent. They’ll help you determine the best time to put your home on the market and start home shopping. Together, you can come up with a strategy to help you sell your home as quickly and smoothly as possible and find a new one to suit your needs.
Should you sell your house or buy a new one first? Selling first will make it easier to obtain a mortgage on a new house, but unless you can arrange a rent-back agreement with the new owner, you’ll have to find temporary housing until you find a new place. If you buy first, getting financing might be a bit trickier, but you’ll have the luxury of only having to move once. This is a decision you and your agent will have to make on your own, taking your specific situation and needs into consideration.
Remember external factors.
Don’t forget that there will be other parties with factors that will have an effect on both sides of the deal. Your buyer’s financing could fall through. Your seller might be slow to fulfill contingencies. The chances of everything aligning perfectly are slim, so be prepared for any outcome. Just try to relax and remember that everything will turn out okay in the end.
Stick to a budget.
Create a strict budget for the time being and stick to it. This will help ease some of the financial burden of either having two mortgages or paying for rent and storage while you house hunt. It’ll also help you save a little extra for that earnest money deposit and any other expenses you incur along the way.
Don’t give in to anxiety.
If your home sells faster than you imagined it would and you haven’t found a new one yet, you might feel pressured into settling for less than you want. Take a short-term rental if you need more time to find a home that’s just right for you and your family. On the other hand, if you’ve already found your perfect home and need to sell quickly, you shouldn’t feel forced into accepting an offer that’s lower than you expected.
Trust your Realtor®!
We highly recommend that you use the same real estate agent for selling and buying. If they’re helping you sell your home, they’ll have intimate knowledge of every detail, which enables them to give you the best advice possible on the buying side as well.