Buying a home while selling another is one of the trickiest balancing acts a homeowner may face. In a perfect world, you would buy your dream home, pack up and move, and then devote all your energy to the sale of your old home.
Unfortunately, that is rarely an option. Instead, you have to face and conquer the stress-ridden road of selling your house to buy the one you want, not vice versa. Doing both at the same time may be a major challenge, but it is often the only viable option. And if it is the only option, you want to get through it with your sanity intact.
If you decide to take this path, here’s what you need to know to make both processes much easier.
First things first, find a realtor who can help you juggle both processes.
Before you start searching for a new home or put your current property on the market, you need to know what the housing market looks like in your area and the area you plan to move to. Is it a buyers or seller’s market? How quickly are homes like yours being sold? What does the inventory look like in the area you want to move to?
A reliable real estate agent will have these answers for you and will help you put together a thorough understanding of what you can expect to happen. Nobody wants to buy too fast and have to carry two mortgages for several months, or sell too fast and be stranded.
During this planning phase, it’s a good idea to pay for an appraisal of your own and price your current home fairly. This will help you avoid surprises and get buyers to your open house. Even if your home needs some updating, setting a reasonable price will almost always get buyers interested.
When you are putting together your plan, make sure you anticipate possible problems.
Real estate transactions almost always come with drama. It’s the nature of the beast. And when you are trying to buy and sell at the same time, you are twice as likely to hit a speedbump. You should ask yourself critical questions and give yourself honest answers. Things like:
- Can I carry two mortgages?
- What if the best offer on my home is below the listing price?
- How will I handle a poor inspection result on the property I have an offer on?
- What other major responsibilities do I have on my plate that I cannot push off until after the dust settles?
The more of these questions you have answered, the better. Knowing these answers ahead of time will help your realtor work through the difficulties while you walk the tightrope.
There is some good news: the end of this process comes with you sitting in your dream home! As challenging as it might be to work through it all, keep this ending goal in mind. Being able to envision the joy you will experience as you sign the papers at your second closing is the best way to keep your stress levels low.