Buying or selling a home can be stressful individually, but to do both at the same time can be…well, not to put too fine a point on it….Overwhelming. And the reality is…sometimes you gotta do just that! Now the obvious sales pitch here is “Use a Realtor”, but the fact is, there is more to it than that. So here are some suggestions.
someplace to keep all the information you need to coordinate the move from old to new. Record important dates like when you have to be relocated (and this applies to moving across town And moving to another city or state), when the kids need to be at their new school, when the new job starts. In other words, start a time line for your move.
2. Work On Selling Your Current Home First.
In all likelihood, you will need the money from the sale of the old home as a down-payment for the new one. (Unless you are unbearably rich, in which case you would not be reading this), so it makes much more sense to sell the old before committing to the new.
And…Selling your old home first does 2 things, A. gives you better negotiating power on your new home if you don’t have contingencies like “contingent on buyer selling current property” so you can close on the property quickly and B. you don’t have to sell your old home for a fire sale price in order to keep the commitments on the new one.
So, use that time line you just created to count backwards, adding in the time it will take to sell your home (Your Realtor will have that information..oops, blatant commercial there). Your timeline will determine when you need to put your home on the market. Most of the time…that will be…Uh…. Yesterday.
This will give you a leg up so to speak on getting your home sold by knowing issues in advance and making any necessary repairs. This will save you money as well by commanding the best price for your home rather than negotiating for repairs.
4. Get Your Home Ready For Buyers
Paint, clean and de-clutter. You are moving anyway, so start packing away the high school trophies, the kids extra toys, and my personal pet peeve, magnets on the fridge. Get the carpets cleaned; make the windows shine, the kitchen gleam and the bathrooms sparkle. And…a fresh coat of paint is worth a thousand words dollars. Oh, and don’t forget the outside, curb appeal is your first impression! This is the mostimportant thing you will do. Trust me on this.
5. Pre Qualify For Your New Home
Once you get your home on the market, pre-qualify with your loan officer for your new home. Get all your documentation to him/her and work with your lender on a payment you feel comfortable with. Once you have your price point, use your notebook to write down “must haves”, then “would like to haves”. Know your vision of your new home before you start looking.
Then, spend some time on the internet, looking for your general vision. If you have a home search site that allows you to keep a “favorites” folder, keep homes you find interesting in that folder, and either keep an eye on them, or just keep them as samples to show your Realtor.
6. Know Thy Buyer
When you get an offer on your old home, you should be aware that any buyer making an offer should present with that offer a letter from their lender declaring they are qualified to purchase your home
(Now, your Realtor will know and require this without having to do a thing!)Don’t hesitate to have your Realtor (if they have not done it already before presenting the offer to you) call the prospective buyer’s loan officer to discover the loan type, where they are in the process, whether they are using grant monies (this is not a bad thing, but sometimes can cause delays…you should know this up front) and anything else that may be pertinent to the contract.
7. Now You Can Look!
Once you have accepted an offer and you are “officially” under contract, then start looking for your new home. If you have done your homework (step 4) it will be a streamlined process.
8. Timing Is Everything
Make sure that you, your Realtor, and your loan officer coordinate the deadlines and closings between the 2 homes. Your Realtor will already know the important deadlines in the old home contract, and will make sure you are protected in the new home contract against losing earnest money or other penalties should the old home contract fall through (and yes, despite everyone’s best efforts, sometimes that happens…especially in this day and age).