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Tips for Buying and Selling Simultaneously

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Tips for Buying and Selling Simultaneously

Based on data from the National Association of Realtors, 75% of home buyers already owned a home before buying their next house. Buying and selling homes simultaneously is a well-traversed path for the majority of those seeking residential real estate. Unfortunately, for many of those attempting to pull off these dual transactions, timing is rarely on their side.

What exactly makes the coordination of the buy-sell transaction so tricky? Consider for a moment that when you buy a home, you are dealing with a seller, the seller’s agent, your real estate agent, your lender, the title company, and multiple inspectors, appraisers, and contractors. Now, think about when you sell a home. This process involves a buyer, a buyer’s agent, your agent, a marketing, staging, or home-prep team, at least one or two inspectors, and any number of other specialists depending on the needs of the home or the complexity of the deal. As an aside, just because you’re selling a home in a seller’s market, you still have to work to ensure your home is listed to impress and will generate the looks and offers you’re hoping for.

In both scenarios, even if all parties display the utmost professionalism and work to execute their part of the process as quickly as possible, a home’s purchase or sale can be a tedious, drawn-out process. It’s not just attempting to navigate one transaction but two, and your entire goal is to close each transaction within a few days or weeks of each other. You want to get into your new home free and clear of the one you’re hoping to sell without having to carry payments on both for any measurable period of time. Luckily, we’ve compiled some tips to help you prepare for buying and selling simultaneously.

Examine Your Situation

Before venturing out on what can prove a strenuous journey, it’s best to assess your current situation, both financially and in terms of your need for housing.

First, ask yourself why you want to buy a home before having your current home under contract? For many buyers, it’s not a question of want but needs. Personal or professional relocation, children starting school in the fall, or a change of pace and scenery are often the biggest reasons why simultaneously home transactions are so prevalent.

The want quotient is a powerful draw as well, meaning the want for more space has proven an increasingly popular driving force, especially considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on housing requirements. Sometimes it’s as simple as you want a new house in a new neighborhood. Many buyers don’t mind the consequences of selling their current home before closing on the new purchase. In other words, sometimes you want what you want.

Regardless of the reason, it’s essential to take stock of your financial health to assess if the possibility of two mortgages is a burden you can take on. If a job relocation drives your move, some employers will assist in buying or selling a home. Inquire if this is a possibility, as it will alleviate a lot of undue stress.

For all others, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the mortgage on your current home even allow for you to have a second mortgage?
  • Is a down payment—or cash offer—on your new home contingent upon the sale of your current home?
  • In a worst-case scenario, can you afford two mortgages at the same time? If the answer is yes, how long can you reasonably do it before it becomes a financial burden?

The whole point of the exercise is to determine if your financial position is strong enough to carry two house payments simultaneously. Even in the most stable circumstances, it’s a tough pill to swallow to pay for a home you no longer use. While it’s not ideal for all home sellers, it may even be worth exploring using your current home as a rental property until a buyer is found.

Prep Your Home to Sell As Early As Possible

Often the biggest obstacle to the buy-sell scenario is the latter half of the transaction. Even in a hot seller’s market—like the one we find ourselves in now—buyers remain intelligent and savvy. They’re not placing an offer on a home just because it has a “For Sale” sign in the yard, so you’ll want to prep your home to sell as soon as you can. The sooner the tours and open houses start, the sooner you can get it sold and move on with your new home as quickly as possible.

Additionally, an inspection may be part of the latter stages of the purchase process, but it proves beneficial to have one done yourself. The purpose of your own inspection is two-fold. First, you’ll identify any potential issues that could jeopardize a deal. Second, and more importantly, it can speed up the negotiation process considerably.

Armed with the same info a buyer will ultimately acquire, you can choose your negotiation strategy ahead of time. You can repair what you want, offer specific concessions for repairs you don’t want to make, or leave it undecided until the buyer completes their inspection. This process removes any surprises and limits the potential for sales delays.

Beyond the inspection and repairs, you’ll want to declutter, depersonalize, clean, and stage your home as soon as possible. A trusted real estate professional can connect you with the vendors and specialists to aid in the prep. Your agent will often offer insight into what buyers are looking for in your market. They’ll help you determine which improvements will make your home stand out to buyers. Be willing to take their advice, even if it includes new or leased furniture and a fresh coat of paint throughout the home. They’ll also come equipped with professional contacts, including those cleaning companies, professional stagers, and contractors that can be difficult to find on your own.

Consider Different Transactions and Seek Pre-Approval

In a perfect world, every real estate transaction is a cash deal. Although financing through a lender remains the most popular method for acquiring property, it’s not the most conducive to a quick transaction. The probability for delays, or worse, a deal falling through, is exceptionally high when financing.

If your financial situation allows, always consider a cash purchase. It puts you at a distinct advantage over financed offers, even if yours comes in below theirs. Similarly, if you need to sell a home quickly, entertain any cash offers you receive first. Again, they might prove lower than some financed bids for your home, but they also come with fewer strings attached.

If you must finance or entertain a financed offer, always seek out pre-approved loans, not those that are prequalified. Pre-approval, which is the equivalent to a lender okaying a home purchase, makes for a faster and more effortless buying experience.

Price Your Home to Sell

Perhaps the most challenging part of navigating the simultaneous buy-sell transaction is the potential for you to leave money on the table during the sales process. Thankfully, as we find ourselves in a seller’s market, that’s less likely to happen. Even in more balanced times, you want to lay out specific goals for what you want from the sale of your current home.

Ultimately, you’ll want to price your home at a point that generates plenty of interest and a number of offers. In many instances, that means pricing at a point just below market value. In a seller’s market with a great house in a great location, that can result in many lucrative offers, including those with cash, that drive the price up.

Partner with a Trusted Real Estate Professional

Most important of all when navigating the simultaneous buy-sell transaction is not to go it alone. With a multitude of moving parts—two sets of everything, basically—dual transactions can prove a tedious and time-consuming process. Partnering with a trusted, experienced real estate professional who’s well-versed as both a buyer’s agent and a listing agent will make the process infinitely more manageable. An agent’s expertise is invaluable in assisting with the home search and the listing process, including home prep, marketing, and negotiation.

It’s not just the agent you’re partnering with either. Including their support team and professional contacts, you’ll have many resources to draw from. Each one works to ensure you find the home of your dreams without the burden of the home you want to sell getting in the way.

If you’re ready to explore the best of Austin real estate, contact Baronet Residential Group today to start your home buying or selling journey. From Rollingwood real estate to West Lake Hills homes for sale, allow Ben and his team’s years of experience and expertise to be your guide to the Austin luxury real estate market.