It used to be a moot question. When the real estate market was super hot there was no question about whether you should buy your new home while still selling your current one. You’d lose the new one and the old one would sell likety-split anyway. Today it’s not such an easy question to answer, even though the market value is trending upward.
So today do you sell your old home first? Or do you buy and then sell? It’s a good question and the answer depends on a few different things. One is you, the seller/buyer and whether you fall into one of two categories: someone who has to know where you’re going before you sell or someone who has to know you can sell before you buy.
Some things to keep in mind
First, those who are able to make an offer without the contractual out of selling their current property are favored over those who make offers contingent on selling their home.
If it’s a buyer’s market, you are at a disadvantage trying to sell, but at an advantage in looking for a new home since there are more to be seen. So selling first is probably a good idea.
In a seller’s market you could probably get away with listing while you look, just remember that there will be competition for the home you want to buy, so don’t offer on a new one unless you are sure yours is sold or just about sold.
Do your homework
Your best bet if you are going to take the chance and buy and sell simultaneously, then do some homework first. Start by talking to real estate agents to get an idea of market value of your home. Then talk to your mortgage company and find out two things: first, if you qualify for a loan for a new property, second, if you can get that mortgage before your current home is sold. Then be prepared to have a time period of paying both mortgage payments. If you can’t stomach that thought, sell first, then look and buy.
Look at the options
If you sell first, then buy, there are a few things you can do as well. First, look at the options for temporary housing while you look for your new home and close on it. Don’t rely on the assumption that the buyers of your current home will allow you to rent back from them. Then enjoy the experience of buying and having the negotiating edge!