Buying a house can be stressful. Selling a house can be stressful. Trying to do both simultaneously? It can feel like asking the stars to align — especially in a fast-moving market where you have to balance snatching up a good home with not wanting to be out of your current residence too quickly.
The dream scenario for most concurrent buyers and sellers is a “door to door” transition, which means closing on both houses at the same time so there isn’t a layover during the move. There generally is a bit of luck involved, but you can turn the odds in your favor by approaching the process strategically.
START BY PUTTING YOUR CURRENT HOME ON THE MARKET
Although every transaction is different, Woods Bros Realty REALTOR Kent Obrist suggests getting the ball rolling with your home sale even if you haven’t zeroed in on your next home quite yet.
“Oftentimes buyers are a bit reluctant to do this because it’s an uncomfortable feeling to think that you could end up homeless,” Obrist says. “But the control is totally in the client’s hands as far as whether they feel comfortable accepting an offer prior to finding a home to move into.”
LOOK INTO BRIDGE FINANCING
Although door to door sales are the ideal situations, Obrist wants clients to be prepared for a gap between the purchase and sale. The best way to go about this is to lock down a bridge loan, which allows you to temporarily overlap ownership of two properties. Bridge loans, however, do come with a few caveats — such as you need 20% equity in your current home. Check with a lender to see if you qualify.
GET PRE-APPROVED FOR YOUR NEW HOME, TOO
While you’re already talking with a lender, it’s a good time to get a mortgage pre-qualification letter, especially if the house you are looking to get into is more expensive than your current place. To do this, you will want to compile relevant financial and personal information to ensure the lender has everything they need.
CONTROL THE FACTORS YOU CAN — LIKE YOUR CURRENT HOUSE
Whenever you are selling a home, the goal is to get the biggest return on your investment. However, Obrist warns against overpricing your home — which is sage advice for any seller, but particularly for those who are also trying to buy. He explains, “This will certainly lengthen your marketing time and may be detrimental to a favorable timing of the simultaneous selling and buying.”
Also keep in mind best practices for staging the home and, if possible, attempt to make the transition at a time of year when there will be fellow buyers and sellers making moves. With these steps and, yes, a little luck, you will be in your new home before long.