Successful Strategies for “Selling First Then Buying” Your Next Home

My 5-part series is a “how-to” guide for homeowners looking to buy and sell at the same time with as little stress as possible.  

This article is for those homeowners who need to sell their current home first before buying their next home.  Most likely, your lender has approved you only for selling first, then buying. 

If you haven’t yet read the previous post, The Big Homeowner Question: How Do You Buy and Sell at the Same Time? you can check it out here. Reading it will help you know which option will work best for you. The next and last post in the series will be covering buying your next home first, then selling your current home.

Let’s Get Started

At this point, you should know your criteria for your next home, your budget, and the area you’d like to focus on for your home search. This will make the next steps much easier and less stressful so make sure you’ve done your homework.

Here’s the link to the previous articles if you need to get these details worked out: Should I Move or Stay? and What Move-up Buyers Need to First Ask Themselves

Sale of Home Contingency – Tread Carefully

One of the first things you need to do is to determine if you could have a “sale of home contingency” in the area you are looking in.

What this means is that when you put an offer on a home, you will add a contingency that says that you need to sell your current home first in order to purchase their home. 

In areas where the real estate market is strong, no seller is going to agree to let you write a contract on their home if you still have one to sell.  They’ll have other more attractive offers to consider.

Even if they do accept your offer, they will likely be less negotiable on other terms, such as price.  

So, unless you are buying in a very depressed market where sellers are desperate, then avoid a “sale of home contingency” at all costs. You’ll just be paying for this convenience in other ways. 

However, if this is an option where you are looking for homes, then go for it.  You’ll need to have your current home ready to put on the market quickly and then put in an offer on that home with a “sale of home contingency.”  

Another Option — Make a Plan 

There is another way to make this move happen without relying on a “sale of home contingency.”  And here’s how:

Follow the next three steps so you can time it all to sell your home and still buy your next home. 

1.)  Find the area you want to move to with houses the fit your needs & budget.  

Before you sell your home, you need to know where you’ll end up once you’ve sold the home you are in.  

Start looking for a home now, but remember, you’re just looking since you have to sell first, before buying.

The reason you need to look for a home now is to make sure that what you are looking for is attainable, realistic, and able to find once you sell your current home.  

You are deciding WHERE you are going to buy it and WHAT you are buying; and What you can afford.

Most of the time, homeowners looking to buy just need to get more familiar with the options and what house they can get for their budget. 

Once you feel like you know where you’ll end up, and the homes in that neighborhood area fit your criteria and budget, you are done with this step.

2.) How to time everything to make sure you get your next home when you need one.  

Now that you know where you want to end up once your home sells, you need to know how often homes in that area come on the market and at your price point.  

I can easily send you a list of what has sold over the last 12 months so you can see the pace of sales and the likelihood of one being available when you need one.  And we’ll look at the monthly trends to know how to best time things to fit your specific needs.

This pre-planning gives you an idea of timing and any constraints you might face in that particular area or neighborhood. Understanding the flow of the market where you are both buying and selling is key to making your plans work and not being stressed out about the process.

That’s why it’s important to work with me now to determine what’s best for the area you are looking in and the neighborhood you are selling in. You can start talking a year from when you want to move or sooner, but always craft a plan to take into account all of your specific factors.

3.) Focus on selling your current home.

At this point, you know where you are headed and the likelihood of a home being available that fits your criteria and budget when you need one.  Next it’s time to turn your attention to your current home and getting it in top showing condition.  

I will help you in assessing what are the top things to do to get your home in selling condition while not overstressing you.

Remember that your ultimate goal is to move to your next home that is better suited for you and your family.  Keep that in mind and be willing to do what it takes to sell your current home in a timely manner and to help get you top dollar.

Once You Sell 

Congrats, you’ve sold your home and now you have to find a new home that you will actually buy!

Hopefully, you’ve found buyers who are flexible themselves. That’s why it’s important to create a workable relationship with them. Remember to be cordial and flexible with your buyers and they will do the same in return.

Here are some options to help give you some time to find and close on a new home

  • Rent back your old home after the closing for a month or two. The buyers of your home may agree with this if they really want your home and have flexibility themselves (maybe first-time buyers who are not juggling another sale themselves.)  

This gives you time to go find a home, close, and move during this month to 2-month time period.  Because you’ve done all your homework as I’ve mentioned above, you already know what neighborhood to focus on. I will also do some marketing to entice homeowners to sell their home or maybe there is already one on the market for you.   

With a rent-back, you already have your funds from the sale of your home, and don’t have the debt so your lender can now approve you for the purchase of your new home without a sale of home contingency. 

You must NOT put an offer in on your new home until your old home has settled and you have cash in hand.  You never know what will happen when your home is under contract and as we always say, “It’s not over until it’s OVER!”

  • Find a place to stay between homes. If you run out of time or have no other immediate options, then put your stuff in storage and find a short-term rental (or even stay with family). It’s not an ideal situation but it prevents you from making a drastic or desperate purchase of a new home.  That’s a long-term decision so if you need to be inconvenienced for a month or two, it might be worth it to get the perfect next house.  Remember, your ultimate goal is the new home.

I know this can sound confusing, but it’s easier than you think.  Of course timing and planning plays a huge role in making sure the steps above go on without any hiccups or hassles.  

Reach out to me to schedule a meeting so we can put together a plan based on when you want to be in your next home and we’ll work backwards to make it happen.  

Contrary to popular belief, the time to talk to put together a plan is months, even a year, before you want to move if possible, so the more time before you are ready to take action, the better! 

In two weeks you’ll receive my final installment and it will show you what you need to do to buy your next home first and then sell your current one. \

Hi, there!

I'm Nancy and I love helping homeowners who have outgrown their current home and are ready to buy a new home but don’t know where to start. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true. 

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Arlington, VA 22203

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Hi, there!

I'm {Your Name} and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true. 

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