Did you find your dream home, but you’re not sure how selling and buying a home at the same time will work? It can definitely be a balancing act — one that can’t always be avoided.
These tips can help you navigate being both a home buyer and a seller.
Find an experienced real estate agent
From offer negotiations to filling out what can seem like a mountain of paperwork, buying a home can definitely be complicated — especially with the logistics of selling a home at the same time. But there is good news. An experienced real estate agent can help make the processes go smoothly. While it may sound appealing to sell or buy a house on your own (fewer fees), he or she can provide valuable insight and knowledge to help you:
- Determine the market value of your home and the home you want to buy
- Find home inspectors, appraisers, contractors, home lenders, etc.
- Complete, submit and file paperwork
- Plan and coordinate showings, open houses and appointments
- Negotiate offers
One thing to remember when you’re choosing a real estate agent is he or she needs to be good fit for your home buying and selling goals. You’ll likely be spending a lot of time together between looking at houses and putting your home on the market. Take the time to do your research and interview multiple agents.
Know the market
While a seller’s market can mean a higher offer on your current home, you may be paying more than you’d like for your new home. And if you’re buying in a different market than you’re selling you may need to factor in timing to get the best deal.
- Buyer’s market – In a buyer’s market, there is a surplus of houses for sale within your search parameters. You’ll likely have many choices when it comes to picking your new home. The sellers may be more willing to negotiate on price and more likely to accept a contingent offer.
- Seller’s market – In contrast, in a seller’s market home inventory is generally lower and your home may sell faster for a higher price. If this happens and you’re not ready to move yet you may be able to rent-back your home after closing from the new owners.
Your dream home could pop up quickly and be gone just as fast. When you’re in the market for a new home, it’s a good idea to get preapproval from a lender early in the home buying process so you know roughly how much you can afford.
Put it in the fine print
If you can’t wait to buy your dream home before you sell your current house, there are some things you can do to help avoid having two mortgages when selling and buying a home at the same time.
- Sale and settlement contingency: When you make an offer to buy a house and include a sale and settlement contingency, it stipulates you’ll purchase the home only if you successfully sell your current home. Generally, sellers are still allowed to seek/receive other offers but you’ll get first dibs to remove the contingency.
- Bridge loan: A bridge loan is designed to act as a short-term loan to cover your down payment until your current home sale closes.
- Extended closing: Maybe you just need an extra month to sell your home. You can ask your new home’s sellers for a short amount of extra time to close — perhaps 30 to 45 days.
Your Dream Home Awaits
Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, you’ll want to be sure it's protected in case the unexpected happens. Your home means a lot to you. It’s more than just a place where you live, it’s where you feel most comfortable and where you make lastly memories with your friends and family. Talk with your local Farm Bureau agent to be sure you’re covered. After all, it’s your future. Let’s protect it.™