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