One of the most challenging parts of relocating is being a buyer and seller at the same time. It can be tricky to attend open houses and negotiate offers, all while navigating the process of putting your home on the market and coordinating with buyers. Logistical quandries — like where to store your belongings — and looming financial uncertainty are an unsettling combination. It’s enough to make you question your decision to move in the first place!
Thankfully, with the right realtor on your side, you can go from frustrated home seeker (and seller) to successful new homeowner without all the stress. Whether you’re moving for a new job, a bigger family home, or a more agreeable lifestyle, Patricia Kaye Brown is the real estate agent you need. As a Tucson relocation expert, she has what it takes to help you find Vail, Catalina Foothills, or Oro Valley luxury homes while making sure that your current home gets the best offers. Follow her guide below to sell your gorgeous home as you look for a new one.
Read on to learn why people buy a new home before selling your previous home, whether it’s feasible for you, and how to pull off such a balancing act.
Why not sell first and buy later?
If you’ve just decided to relocate, the biggest variable is timing: do you (a) sell your old home before buying a new one, or (b) buy a new home before selling your previous one? Most people opt for (a), mainly for financial reasons (more on that soon). But here are practical and logistical reasons why it’s difficult to sell then buy.
Living through repairs
The longer you’ve lived in the home you’re leaving, the more arduous the process of preparing it for sale, starting with repairs and renovations. Even if you’re leaving a relatively new home, chances are your agent will recommend certain renovations and repairs ranging in scope from routine landscaping to knocking out interior walls. Ask yourself if you or your family can tolerate living in an active construction site while looking for deliverance in the form of a new home.
Living around showings
Similar to repairs, showings of your home for sale can disrupt your routine if you’re still living in the listed house. If renovations turn houses into construction sites, successful showings resemble movie sets. You and your agent will want every detail in place to attract the best buyers — so it will be awkward if you’re lurking in the background. Remember, the strategy for home showings is to induce buyers to imagine themselves living there.
Nobody much likes the process of physically moving all their things to a new house. Between moving fees, packing services, moving insurance, and unpredictable cost, getting from point A to point B can cost four figures. Adding a point C doubles the monetary cost of moving and increases the toll it takes on everyone involved.
Moreover, if your first transaction will be to sell your previous house, you and your family simultaneously have to find someplace to stay. Short-term rentals can be elusive, especially if you have pets, kids, a high volume of stored goods, and hard-to-move furniture like pool tables or pianos.
Financial strategies for buying first
To summarize: if you buy a second home first, you only have to move once, you avoid the noise and mess of repairs, and your showings will go more smoothly. So why would anyone sell before buying?
In a nutshell, it’s more difficult to balance finances while owning two houses at once, even if only for a short period of time. The further you get into those calculations, the clearer you’ll see the main complications. For example, paying two mortgages at once can be expensive, adding financial strain. And selling your previous home quickly largely depends on the market.
The good news is working with an outstanding agent makes that juggling act much more manageable. Maybe you’ve found a dream home you can’t pass on, or maybe you balk at living in a rental between moves. In any case, if you have strong financials and want the advantages of buying a new home first, here is an overview of the main financial strategies to consider.
Look into using a home equity line of credit. This is a good option for people who have high equity on their homes because they typically have low interest rates. The risk of this method is that you’re doubling down on your property and are assuming added risk that penalizes those who can’t keep up with payments. It’s unique in that you use your home’s equity before you sell it (instead of repaying yourself afterwards).
Another option is to buy a new home using a bridge loan. These loans are typically high interest, but you can secure them through your current home, and it depends on a variety of factors. What is helpful about this type of loan is that you will be able to use it towards buying your new home, and then after you do sell your old home, you can then pay it back.
A sales contingency means that you will put in an offer on the home you want with the condition that your current home sells within a certain time frame. The main downside to this is that your offer on the new home may not be accepted; many sellers shy away from offers with this contingency in place. This is because there is always that chance that your home may not sell within the time frame allotted, and then the seller is left having to look for another offer.
Where to start your buying (then selling) process
Buyers with strong financials are best positioned to buy a second home before selling a first home. Similarly, buyers with the best real estate agents will get through that process smoothly. Having a plan and knowing what to expect when you sell and eventually buy a home can help you out with this process immensely.
Your real estate agent will be your Tucson relocation specialist, equipped with all the knowledge and know-how to get your plan in motion and find success. Work with your agent to set a budget, calculate hypothetical down payments, and research the best neighborhoods in the city or town where you plan to move.