There’s one undeniable fact in the world of real estate: buying and selling a home at the same time is no walk in the park. It can be a real hassle and incredibly overwhelming if you already have a lot on your plate. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be the case.
We have 4 tips that can help you through this challenging task, without leaving you feel like you’re in over your head.
1. Decide which you should do first – buy or sell
One of the trickiest aspects of buying and selling at the same time is to decide which you should do first. What we mean is should you start looking for a house before putting your house on the market or vice versa. This is a tough choice, especially in today’s seller market, because your house could sell within a matter of days (that’s a good thing!) but it could take you significantly longer to buy a house.
Buyers are coming out of the woodwork, thanks to the vaccine and low interest rates, and they’re pulling out all of the stops in order to get their offers accepted. They’re bidding above asking price and are willing to skip the normal contingencies. Some are offering cash and a quick closing. It’s incredibly competitive and that leads us to tip #2.
2. Hire a top-rated real estate agent
Trying to navigate a competitive seller’s market on your own while you’re looking for houses is a lot to take on by yourself. You need to hire a top-rated real estate agent who has a lot of experience handling both sides of the transaction; bonus points if they’re experienced working with clients who are in a similar situation as you are in.
We recommend that you take your time interviewing agents, asking for referrals, and asking about their experience before hiring just anyone.
3. Make sure funding is in order
It all comes down to your finances. If you are buying and selling at the same time, you have to make sure that you can afford both mortgage payments and other bills for both properties and figure out how long you can sustain the double expenses.
You also need to determine if you have enough assets to make that down payment on the new home. If you’re on a tight budget as it is, buying and selling at the same time isn’t the right choice. However, if you have a steady (and sizable) income and low debt-to-income ratio, then this could be a decent option.
4. Have a plan for that “limbo” period
If you think you’d rather sell before buying, you will want to have a plan in place in case your house sells before you’ve found your new home. Sometimes you can ask the buyer if they’re willing to allow you to continue to live in the home while you’re looking. This agreement, of course, would require that you continue to pay the mortgage in the meantime.
Another option you may consider is to find a rental where you can sign a month-to-month lease. If you decide to do this, you will want to inform the landlord of your situation (you only need the rental until you’re able to close on a house).
Managing your expectations is key
The real estate market is competitive and it’s not going to be easy to navigate, so it’s so important that you have your expectations in check. It’s a seller’s market and your house may sell quickly, but finding a house may not be as easy – but it can be done! When you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to consult with your realtor if you have any concerns and they’ll guide you through this endeavor.
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