There’s no way around it—moving is stressful. No matter why you plan to sell your house and buy a new one, the experience can be frustrating.
We’ll help take away some of those frustrations with our complete guide covering how you can sell your home and buy a new one at the same time.
First, let’s explore your options.
Should You Sell Or Buy First?
Whether you decide to sell or buy a house first depends on a few factors, and both options have upsides and downsides.
Let’s look a the pros and cons of both:
Selling Before Buying: Pros & Cons
The biggest advantage of selling your home before buying a new one is that you won’t be on the hook for two mortgages at the same time. This pro also means you don’t have to feel rushed to make a housing decision. Plus, if you have somewhere to stay temporarily after closing, you can take your time, ensuring your next home purchase is perfect.
On the other hand, selling a home before buying one means that you have to hope you’ll find another home that fits your needs, lifestyle, and budget. While selling their homes, some people have realized that staying put and remodeling is a better option than buying a new house.
Buying Before Selling: Pros & Cons
The most obvious benefit of buying a house before selling your old one is that you know 100% that you’ll have somewhere to live after closing. Finding a short-term rental isn’t easy, and the process is frustrating, particularly if you have heavy furniture, pets, kids, etc. In addition, many places don’t offer month-to-month rentals for new tenants, meaning you may have to pay for longer than your stay—not to mention you’ll have to pay for moving expenses multiple times.
However, not selling your current house before buying another one could leave you paying two mortgages for a while. You need to either have a plan to sell your home quickly or determine how you’ll pay both mortgages until your old home sells. If selling your home ends up being more difficult than you thought, it could be financially devastating.
Steps To Sell And Buy a Home At The Same Time
No matter which option you choose, there are six steps to follow to ensure everything goes smoothly:
- Assess The Market
In an ideal situation, you would sell your house in a seller’s market and move somewhere that has a buyer’s market. This situation would allow you to sell your home for the highest amount and buy your new house for the lowest price.
However, in reality, many factors affect the housing market. Even within the same city, there can be hyperlocal markets that make housing prices change significantly throughout a small area.
- Make A Decision
Different seasons are typically better for home buyers. For example, late spring and summer are usually popular with families who don’t want to move around during the school year. On the other hand, winter is typically slower—especially in areas that get heavy snowfall. Your real estate agent can help offer more insights into these factors.
However, even if you determine it’s not the best time to sell your house, you can still prepare it; the sooner you prepare, the more smoothly the selling process will go when you decide it’s time.
Related: How to Buy a Second Home
- Prepare Your Home
Every homeowner ends up collecting a lot of items in their house. Even if you don’t plan to sell for weeks or months, declutter now. Getting your home ready for the market is the first step to selling, and you shouldn’t take it lightly.
You can set up a yard sale, donate to local thrift stores, and throw out anything that’s not fit for either of those options.
You also want to use this time to go over your finances—consider working with a mortgage lender and get preapproved so you can get things moving quickly when you find the right home to buy.
- List Your Home
Next, you’ll want to work with your real estate agent to list your home—with the right agent, you’ll always have someone to help, answer your questions, and figure out the next best move.
They can help stage your home and offer advice on what changes to make.
They’ll also find the right buyers, list the open house, show the home, etc., in addition to networking with other agents to help market your home.
When it’s time to sell, your agent can also help you find somewhere to stay until your new home is ready, which is helpful if you plan to sell before buying.
- Get Your Down Payment Ready
Many homeowners can’t buy a new house before selling their current home due to financial reasons. So if you want to buy before selling, you’ll want to understand what options are available.
Two popular options are:
- A HELOC uses your home’s value as collateral for the loan.
- A bridge loan is a personal loan that you don’t have to repay until you close on the house you’re selling.
- Start Searching
If you plan to move but stay in the same area, you can usually work with the same agent for buying and selling. However, if you plan to move to a different area, you’ll need to work with an agent that operates nearby.
In addition, if you’re buying in a seller’s market, you might struggle to see the house in person before you have to make an offer. And while it’s not ideal, the right agent can help you with the logistics.
Consider what you need most: Do you want a quiet or lively neighborhood? Do you have school-aged children and want to live close to the best schools? Do you have pets and need open areas to take them out for a walk?
Making Selling And Buying A Home At The Same Time Work For You
It’s not easy—but it is doable.
If you decide to sell first, you might want to look for cash offers that you can use for a down payment on your next home. Or, if you plan to buy first, you’ll want to determine an approximate price that your old house can sell for to identify how much you can afford to spend on your new home.
Most importantly, you want to partner with the right mortgage broker to help guide you through the process, determine what you can afford, and get the right loan for you in time to get the home of your dreams.
Ready to buy your new home? The Loan Brothers at Mares Mortgage can help you get approved today and your keys in as little as 18 days!