Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Buying & Selling at the same Time

Now that the real estate market has picked up again, many are taking that leap of faith to sell their homes.  Obviously when you sell, you have to move somewhere, so that usually means purchasing another home. While doing both at the same time can be challenging, a little planning can help for a smooth transition.  Here are 5 things you can do to successfully sell and buy a home at the same time:

Prepare for the stress. Buying a home is stressful, so guess what? Selling a home is stressful too! When both cross paths it can be, to say the least, overwhelming.  It can bring on emotions that can be difficult to deal with on many levels. The potential of two mortgages and trying to time everything just right will probably cause a lot of sleepless nights and pressure on the family.

Part of making it a little easier is accepting up front that it will be stressful. It is best to try and understand that most homeowners go through this, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Do your homework, plan as much as possible, and most importantly, take care of yourself.

Meet with an agent early on.  Researching online tools  will help to guide you,  but a local agent will help you understand your home’s true current market value and marketability. A good agent is in the trenches daily and knows your neighborhood and market inside and out. Many homeowners are far off from what the value of their home is or what the current market will bear. A good agent will put them on the right track.

Learn about the market where you want to purchase. After getting some numbers for your home’s sale you need to do the same on the purchase side.  What are your priorities? Determine your needs and understand what you will get for your money when you buy. You need to know this to factor in how financing will work with the buy/sell. Ask these questions about that market- Is it more or less competitive than where you live now? How long can you expect to search for a home? This will factor into your sale timing. If you’re moving within the city or town where you live, your listing agent will likely serve as your buying agent. If you’re moving just outside your area, you may need to ask your agent to refer you to an agent knowledgeable about that area.

Understand your financial position. Once you understand the numbers on both the purchase and the sale, you need to know your financing options. Most people today do not have the financial means to purchase another home before selling their own, so knowing this upfront can help you plan. Ask a  local mortgage broker to give you an idea of what kind of down payment you’ll need to make a purchase, given the price point and type of home you wish to purchase. How much equity do you have in your current home, and is the equity available? Do you have enough of a down payment already available and would a lender allow you to make the purchase before selling the home? Knowing these things are invaluable and will avoid any unnecessary surprises.

Make a plan. Now that you know your numbers, it’s time to come up with a plan. The plan can vary greatly, depending upon any number of conditions. 
  • Buying in this competitive market?  Adding a contingency that your current home must sell before may not always work.
  • Selling in a competitive market? You may be able to negotiate with the buyer for a longer escrow. This would buy you time on the purchase side.
  • Need temporary housing? Start researching those options now.

  • There are so many variables that can come into play when buying or selling. Each  affect your decision-making process. Planning for the variables as much as possible early on will help you avoid sleepless nights, stressful days, or even fights with your loved ones!
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