Checklist for Buying and Selling Home at the Same Time

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Checklist for Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time

One of the eternal struggles for homeowners when buying and selling a new home at the same time… is the logistics of this two-headed beast: Buy first? Sell first? Do both at the same time and double  the craziness and stress? The answer depends on how well you time your move, crafting a good back up plan, and yes,having a bit of good old fashioned luck.

If you are thinking of buying and selling your home simultaneously, here’s a reality check for your readiness:

#1: Is your home ready to buy? 

Prep your house to make a great impression on your potential buyers.

  • Make small and large home fixes and improve curb appeal
  • Know the comps for your neighborhood and price range
  • Select a real estate agent to sell your home
  • Optimize the interior space: remove clutter and excessive furniture, or hire a home stager
  • Pack and store home items not needed on a regular basis
  • Decide which appliances, if any, are moving with you (this is often overlooked until contract)
  • Create a master “to do” list for all moving tasks

#2 Are you ready to move into a new home? 

Prepare well in advance to sign on the dotted line.

  • Get pre-approved for your home loan
  • Know the neighborhood(s) you want to live in and investigate listings
  • Select a real estate agent to help you buy a home (understand the pros and cons of using one agent for selling and buying)
  • Decide which furniture and other items you will keep or sell
  • Ceate a master “to do” list for all moving tasks
  • Select a moving company and get an estimate
  • Research local schools and the process for transferring

#3 Have a Plan B (and C)

No matter how well-prepared you are for buying and selling at the same time, it will be near impossible to plan which one happens first. Arm yourself for both scenarios.

  • You may have a gap in financing a new home and getting the profits from the home you just sold, so consider a bridge loan,using a home equity line, 401K, or cash to fund the down payment for your new home
  • Don’t forget to set aside funds separaete from your down payment for the possibility of temporary housing
  • Do research for interim lodging with friends or family, or secure plans for a an temporary home
  • Find out if the new owners will sign a rent-back agreement before entering into a sales contract
  • Be on standby to put your furniture and  possesions in storage
  • If moving out of the area, ensure that you plan accordingly for all required selling or buying steps, documentation signings, and investigate a local notary

#4 Ready for BIG changes at one time?

There is never a perfect time to buy and sell, but consider these factors before pulling double duty.

  • Stagger buying or selling if you have extra work or personal stresses
  • Ensure work and personal contacts are aware of your situation and negotiate any time conflicts in advance
  • Prepare your children and others close to you for the emotional effects of moving
  • Divide and conquer tasks with your partner or family where you can
  • Enlist family, friends and support system to get you through this stressful time

More resources:

Pros and cons of buying and selling at the same time 

Tips on buying before you sell your home

Tips on selling your home before you buy a new one


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About Janice Cuban

Janice Cuban is Principal of LiveWire Communications. Her expertise includes residential and commercial real estate marketing and writing.

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