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Selling and Buying a Home Simultaneously: Tips for Success

Selling and Buying a Home Simultaneously: Tips for Success

Entering the season of buying and selling a home simultaneously is usually exciting for people who love change, and overwhelming for people who don’t love it. Can you relate? It can be a complex process that involves a multitude of decisions and intricate timing. And to add to it all, we might find ourselves saying goodbye to a home filled with cherished memories and embracing the change to create new ones elsewhere.

I'm Sarah Hordusky, a trusted Real Estate agent in Erie, Pennsylvania. I've been through this phase myself. Leaving my first home was a sentimental experience, even though I absolutely love the one I live in now! It can be an emotionally charged period, particularly for those of us who are not great fans of change. I want you to know that I understand the bittersweet emotions this season can bring, and I'm here to help ease the process.

So, before we get into the main tips for buying and selling a home simultaneously, I want to share a few quick things that helped me in that season of life:

Plan and Organize: With your real estate agent, plan an ideal timeline for your move. A well-structured plan can alleviate stress and give you a clear picture of what to expect. It also helps in prioritizing tasks and ensuring nothing crucial gets overlooked.

Set Up Support: Surround yourself with people who can offer support on hard days and practical help on busy ones. This could be your family, friends, or your real estate agent. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Self-Care: Okay, before you roll your eyes on this one, hear me out; Amidst the hustle of selling and buying homes, please try not to forget about self-care. And I’m not talking about anything extravagant here! Just try your best to eat well, get enough sleep, and take a few minutes to relax here and there. This will keep your energy levels up and your mind clear for decision-making.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Finally, visualize your end goal. Keeping the picture of your new dream home in mind can provide motivation when things get tough.

Remember, big transitions in life can be demanding, but they also present opportunities for growth. I'm here to help ease your process. It's my hope to ensure that your real estate journey is not only successful, but also enjoyable! Okay, now let’s get on to the tips for buying and selling simultaneously!

Tip #1: Understand Your Local Market

Understanding the current real estate market is a crucial first step when buying and selling simultaneously. Your real estate agent should be your guide during this process. Here are some questions I usually cover with my clients: 

  1. What are the recent comparable sales in my area?
  2. How many days, on average, are homes in my area staying on the market before they sell?
  3. What is the current list-to-sale price ratio in my area?
  4. Based on current market trends, should I buy or sell first?
  5. How will you determine the best price for my home?
  6. What’s your marketing plan for selling my home?
  7. What potential challenges should I be prepared for in the current market?
  8. What strategies do you recommend for timing the sale of my current home with the purchase of my new one?
  9. What are my options if my home sells quickly and I haven't found a new one?

Sellers Market vs. Buyers Market

It's also helpful to understand the difference between a seller's market and a buyer's market. In a seller's market, demand is high and supply is low, which could mean your house sells quickly. 

On the other hand, a buyer's market implies more homes for sale than buyers, potentially making your home sale slower but your purchase easier. Your strategy for selling and buying simultaneously should adapt to these market conditions.

Tip #2: Find the Right Timing

When it comes to selling your current home and buying a new one, timing is everything. If you sell your existing home before buying a new one, you might have to arrange temporary housing. This approach would let you know exactly how much you have from the sale to put toward your next home. Conversely, if you buy first, you'll avoid a gap in housing but might need to qualify for two mortgages.

Let's consider a few examples: Suppose you sell your home and move into a rental property temporarily. This approach gives you more flexibility when hunting for your next home, but you'll have to move twice. Alternatively, you might arrange a rent-back agreement, allowing you to sell your home and then rent it back from the new owner for a few months, giving you extra time to find your new home. Either way can be a good option — it really comes down to what fits best in your life. 

Tip #3: Finance Your Move

Financial planning is necessary for this transition. You might explore options like bridge loans or home equity lines of credit to manage your finances. A bridge loan, for instance, is a short-term loan that uses the equity in your current home to make a down payment on your new home before your current home sells. Of course, these financial tools come with their own risks and costs.

If you need help finding a great lender in Erie, contact me, and I can give you my recommendations. Please note that these options should be discussed with a financial advisor or mortgage specialist to understand their full implications. This article should not be considered financial or legal advice, and you should consult a professional to understand what works best for your circumstances. 

Tip #4: Coordinate Closings

Coordinating the closing dates for your home sale and purchase can indeed feel like a juggling act. In a perfect world, you'd close on your current home in the morning and then on your new home in the afternoon. Yet, life has a funny way of not always sticking to our ideal timelines, and delays can happen. This is why having a flexible mindset and a solid set of contingency plans is essential.

Here are a few ideas I have that may help:

Rent-back Agreement: This is a negotiation where you, as the seller, agree with the buyer to rent your old home for a few days or weeks after closing. This gives you a buffer of time to move your belongings and finalize the purchase of your new home. Keep in mind, though, that not all buyers will be open to this option.

Temporary Housing: If you're unable to negotiate a rent-back agreement, or if there's an unexpected delay in closing on your new home, consider temporary housing options. This could be a short-term rental, a family member, or even a hotel. While not ideal, it can be a backup plan.

Storage Solutions: If you are moving out of your current home before moving into your new one, you may need temporary storage for your belongings. Of course, it’s not ideal, but it can be helpful not to move all your belongings to temporary housing. 

Overlap Mortgages: If your financial situation allows, you might be able to close on your new home before selling your old one, effectively owning both properties for a short period. This provides extra time to move and reduces the stress of coordinating simultaneous closings.

Tip #5: Prepare for Potential Hiccups

Any real estate transaction can encounter hiccups along the way, even more so when buying and selling simultaneously — timing issues, financing hitches, unexpected home inspection results — to name a few. Having a proactive approach and a problem-solving mindset can turn these challenges into navigable speed bumps rather than insurmountable roadblocks.

Tip #6: Embrace the Change

Remember when I mentioned that this can be an overwhelming season of life? Understand that it's perfectly normal to have mixed emotions during this process — it's okay to simultaneously feel excited about the future and nostalgic about the past. Acknowledging and embracing this fact is a step in the right direction.

Tip #7: Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Working with an experienced real estate agent like myself can bring immense value to this process. With in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market and a dedication to serving the community, I can help you through each step, helping you avoid common pitfalls. As a mentor in the community and an experienced real estate professional in Erie, Pennsylvania, my priority is to ensure that your real estate journey is as smooth and successful as possible.

If you’re looking to buy and sell your home in Erie, Pennsylvania simultaneously, I can help you find the best home for your situation. I understand the complexities of this process, the mixed emotions of saying goodbye to a great home, and the anticipation of new beginnings. If you're considering buying and selling simultaneously, don’t hesitate to reach out!