Buying and selling a home at the same time is a common way to sell your current home and buy a new home. In fact, this is what most homeowners in the Spokane area real estate market do. It can provide an opportunity to seamlessly move from your current home to your brand new home. However, it's not as easy as it may seem. You're coordinating the sale of two properties at once, you're orchestrating a move from one house into another, and hoping nothing goes wrong in the process, and you're relying on two different sets of buyers, sellers, lenders, and agents to get it all done. You MUST know these three tips, if you're wanting to make the process be as smooth and successful as possible.
Tip #1: It's Going To Be A S#!t Show!
Prepare that things will get hectic, at some point. Don't worry, this is totally normal! But I want you walking into the whole process with open eyes so you're not stunned if and when something goes awry.
This past summer, I had a client selling her current home and buying another home simultaneously. She wanted to move straight from her current home into her new home without having to move in between. It was all totally doable, as long as timelines were negotiated correctly. At the beginning of the process, we discussed all of the unknowns that could take place, and how rocky it could get. In her situation, she was not only moving her family and belongings, but also moving many animals, including two horses, two dogs, and a few other animals thrown in there.
Then we had a couple of kinks in the plan... my client chose to stick with a national bank as her lender. As a consumer, you have every right to work with whatever lender you choose. However, you should be prepared that not every lender is created equally. In this case, this national lender consistently has closing delays, has horrible customer service, and causes problems during the transaction. This is exactly what happened, and they told us they couldn't close on her new home purchase on the same day as her home sale. I'm here to tell you that there is no reason why this can't happen, but in this one instance, they said that's never an option. So of course this created serious issues with the moving timeline, as my client had gotten a moving truck, had planned for people to help her move, and had arranged transportation for her animals, all of which had to be delayed.
So why am I sharing this? Because I want you to be prepared for how things can unexpectedly throw a kink in your plans. And a bonus tip, that you've heard me preach time and time again, every single person part of the transaction can make or break the experience. A dramatic agent can create a tailspin and cause drama. Certain lenders can cause completely unnecessary delays, which can sometimes cost you your new home. Just go into the situation with open eyes, and also find an expert agent who will help you navigate it through every step of the way.
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Tip #2: Make A Plan Of Action
Don't go at this process without creating a plan! If you wing it, it'll surely create more stress for you, which goes back to tip #1. Right now, more buyers are making an offer on a new home and getting it accepted, and then listing their home for sale, versus the other way around. This is a fine way to go about the process in this market, generally speaking, just because it's becoming more common, but you must have your ducks in a row if you're going to make it happen.So what sorts of things should you include in this plan of action?
--Make sure your home is ready to be listed for sale. That means that you've completed any last minute projects you want to complete, you've lined up someone to clean your home (or prepared how you're going to do it), you've cleared out any extra items in your home so it looks nicely staged.
--Have professional pictures taken of your home already, or be prepared to get them taken within 24 hours of having your offer accepted (because this may be necessary). You DEFINITELY want to use professional photography always, because you want the sellers on your new home to have faith in you that you're doing everything possible to put your best foot forward so that you can sell your current home successfully.
--Have a plan for listing your home for sale. Per the state contract, you have five business days after your offer is accepted on your new home in order to get your current home listed for sale. Just keep in mind, some agents are negotiating that you have to list your home for sale in 24-72 hours after your offer is accepted. So that doesn't give you a lot of time to get anything done. You want to know what your home will sell for, how your home will be marketed, how long to expect your home to receive an offer, things like that.
Tip #3: Prepare For Moving
This tip is one of the most-often forgotten aspects of buying and selling a home at the same time. You have no idea how many times an agent doesn't consider this when working with a client who's buying and selling at the same time, and then must go back and renegotiate this after all contracts are signed, which doesn't guarantee any new negotiations can be made.
You have to figure out how you're going to coordinate moving all of your belongings, your family, and your animals. One option is to rent a storage unit and begin storing stuff, until you buy your new home. But who really wants to do that? You can negotiate extra time to be able to move, so that your move is more seamless. What I mean is this: on the sale of your home, you can negotiate that the buyers give you three extra days' possession of the home after the sale has closed.
Now this particular negotiation works well in a strong seller's market, like what we've been in for so long. However, what if the shift happens to where we are more in a balanced market or in a buyer's market? You may negotiate where you have early possession of your new home, instead of keeping possession of the home you're selling. In general though, there is less overall risk with negotiating extra days' possession in your current home, no matter what market we're in.
If you're thinking about buying and selling at the same time, or have any real estate questions, don't hesitate to reach out!
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