Nobody enjoys moving as it’s always a stressful situation, but there may come a time where you may want to sell your home and buy a new one. A new job opportunity may arise in a different city, you may want your kids to go to a better school district, or you may want to upgrade to a bigger house for your growing family.
Buying a new house or selling an existing one can be stressful enough as separate transactions, but buying and selling at the same time is a juggling act where the stress level can become overwhelming. There may be financial aspects and logistical issues of both transactions where the stress multiplies.
While you may not be able to avoid this challenging time in your life, you can simplify the home buying and selling process by following some of the tips below.
Consider the Timing for Both Transactions
One of the best things you can do when buying and selling a home at the same time is to plan ahead and consider the timing of both transactions. The ideal situation would be to move from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. The situation lets you achieve the highest selling price for your existing home and the lowest buying price for your new house. But in reality, it’s very difficult to perfectly time the market due to so many moving factors.
You may get lucky enough to get an offer on your home from a buyer who wants to close just a few days before you close on your new home. However, it is more likely that these two transactions may be finalized weeks or longer apart from each other. You may need to plan on finding a rental home, pay double mortgages for a period of time, or propose a rent-back agreement with the buyer.
Time of the year can also be a factor as some seasons are better for home buyers than others. The late spring and summer are popular with families who don’t want to move during the school year. And winter is generally slow, especially in areas with heavy snowfall.
You can’t perfectly time both transactions, but the one thing you can control is your preparation. By making sure your existing home is in open house showing condition and doing research ahead of time on the neighborhoods you want to go house hunting at will make the process easier once you move forward.
Prepare a Budget Ahead of Time with a Loan Advisor
Most homeowners can’t afford to buy a house without selling their original home first or at the same time. If you buy a house before you sell your current one, then you may struggle to come up with the down payment. So it’s beneficial to consult with a knowledgeable loan advisor to make sure you know what your financial options are before you start the process.
Financial stress can mount during the home buying and selling period. You may need to pay for repairs and to stage your current home before you list it on the market. If you run into a period where the closing dates for both transactions don’t line up than you will need to rent a storage unit and pay for a moving company. If you found a house to buy before your existing home sells, you will need to come up with the deposit and pay for third party reports.
In addition, a buyer for your current home may request that you make repairs to your home before closing. It is important that you prepare a budget so that you can pay for all of these expenses as they arise, and you should consider leaving yourself ample funds for unexpected expenses. If you run into a cash crunch, consider completing the sale of your current home entirely before going under contract with your new home purchase.
A Good Real Estate Agent Will Make a Difference
Utilizing the knowledge and support of a seasoned real estate agent will save you a lot of time and headache. Ideally, if both houses are in the same area, you may consider using the services of the same real estate agent for both transactions. Dealing with one person who is familiar with your goals and needs can be truly beneficial because their job is not completed until your existing house is sold and they get you into a new one.
If the two houses are in completely different geographical regions, then consider finding a local agent for their respected areas. You want a local agent who knows the neighborhoods and the market to appropriately price the home for sale or submit offers. You want someone who can give you insight about the best steps to take to make the transition from one home as smooth as possible.
The right agent should understand what kind of house and neighborhood you’re looking for and even help you figure out the logistics. You may be unfamiliar with the school district, whether or not the neighborhood is quiet, or if there are desirable amenities nearby.
While buying and selling real estate can be stressful, you don’t have to make the process more difficult than it needs to be. You can get a head start and set up a time to meet with a loan advisor and real estate agent today to begin discussing your plans and to take the initial step.