If you’re a homeowner and are thinking about moving, you may be wondering if you should look for a new home before selling yours or sell your home before you buy. Oftentimes, the timing in these situations doesn’t perfectly align, so knowing what to expect can help you decide whether you’d prefer to buy or sell first.
Before we jump into the nitty gritty, we took a quick poll with the folks around our office about their experience buying and selling a home. Everyone replied with the same answer: “It was stressful!” While that may be true and not all that surprising, there are steps you can take to make sure your experience goes as smooth as possible.
Understanding the market you’re interested in will help ensure you don’t miss out on a home you truly love because you waited too long to put in an offer in a seller’s market.
Conversely, if you’re thinking of selling your home first, you should know how much the homes in your neighborhood are selling for. You could even attend a couple of open houses to see what other homeowners have to offer. Hey, it never hurts to scope out the competition! But keep in mind, when it comes to knowing your market, your most valuable resource will be your real estate agent. They’ll be your trusted advisor, finding out how much homes are selling for and how long they’ve been on the market, so you know what to expect whether you decide to buy or sell first.
Once you understand the condition of your market, you should consult with your mortgage banker about your finances. Figuring out how much you can afford will allow you to set realistic expectations on pricing your home and making an offer.
You won’t have to worry about the potential burden of carrying two mortgages. Not to mention, most homeowners need to sell their home before they can financially qualify to buy a new one. But keep in mind, you may still have to take on additional costs if you sell your home before you find a new place. Below you’ll find a few of your options if you decide to sell first.
You’ll want to keep in mind that most of the country is in a seller’s market right now. That means inventory is tight and many homes are flying off the market. So you should have few options up your sleeve in case you find your dream home before selling your current place. Below we’ve listed a few choices if you decide to buy first.
Now that you know your options, it’s time to come up with a plan. Whether you decide to buy or sell your home first, be prepared to deal with the outcome. This could possibly mean storing your stuff and temporarily renting a place or handling the financial burden of carrying multiple mortgages at once. As we mentioned above, you have numerous options to choose from, it’s just talking with your real estate agent and figuring out which one is right for you.
Keep in mind, your plan will depend on the buyer or seller on the other end of the transaction. Even if all goes well on your end, the process may not be so seamless on the other side. It’s important to have a backup plan just in case things go off track.
It’s no secret that buying and selling a home can feel overwhelming at times, but following these steps and working together with your real estate agent will put you on the right track to having a smooth experience.