How To Sell And Buy A Home At The Same Time


Selling your existing home and buying a new place can be a tricky process.  This is especially tricky if you NEED to sell the home first in order to qualify to make your next purchase. In previous years, lenders used to provide what were called ‘bridge loans’ to help you facilitate the process. Those had their own draw backs, but for the most part no longer exist. So what do you do if you need to sell your existing house to buy a new house? One option would be you could sell your existing home and then move out into some kind of temporary housing.  The problem with that is that it’s like moving twice and can be a headache.  Most people want to move out of their existing home and right into the new home with no kind of interim housing. The short answer here is you need to close on both homes on the same day. Yes, it is possible, and we are here to show you how to get it done. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Speak with your lender

a. Confirm with your lender how much money you need from your home sale to put down on your next home purchase. Also, get an idea of what your new home search will look like in terms of purchase price.

 2. Hire the right agent

a. Your real estate broker must be familiar with the process. There are a lot of moving parts and they must spearhead the process so nothing goes awry. The right agent will walk you through exactly how this works in greater detail.

b. Have them provide you with an honest opinion of what they think your home will sell for, and provide you with a Net Sheet that will help determine your net proceeds from your sale. The net sheet will show you a true walk away figure so that you are set up for your next purchase.

3. List your home

a. You want to put your home on the market BEFORE you start looking aggressively for your new purchase.

b. Ideally, you want to sell your house before buying another one. The reason for this is because you could have a hard time getting a contract accepted that is contingent upon finding a buyer for your existing home.

4. Accept an offer on your house

a. One of the things you want to make sure is that you are able to buy yourself time. We recommend pushing the closing date 60 days out during negotiations. This is important because it will allow you time to find your next house.

b. Now that you accepted an offer, the buyer will do their due diligence (i.e. inspection, review of condo docs etc.). Once this process is over and all issues are sorted out you should be in full home buying mode and find your next house.

5. Looking for your home

a. This is where you and your agent aggressively look for your next purchase. Remember that time is not on your side. You have approximately 2-3 weeks to find your home and put it under contract.

6. Submitting an offer on a new home

a. Your offer on your home will have a ‘Home Close Contingency’. Now, this is very different from a Home Sale Contingency, which stipulates your home still needs a buyer. At this point you already have a buyer for your home, they just need them to close on your home. A home close contingency gives you way more leverage in negotiations and relieves the seller worries of you having to still find a buyer for your home. Sellers will be way more likely to work with your offer knowing that you already have a buyer in place.

b. Get your offer accepted and do all of your diligence, such as the home inspection, fully applying for financing, and anything else your agent advises.

7. Juggling the process

a. This is where your Real Estate agent needs to do their magic. Remember this process has three different parties to the transaction and their affiliate real estate professionals. Your agent NEEDS to make sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of the different transaction nuances and their timelines. Lenders especially need to keep their fingers on the pulse so everything can come together in concert. However, it’s the agent’s job to stay on top of everyone involved.

8. Closing(s)

a. Once we have a clear to close for both transactions, it is time to schedule closing. The day of closing the buyers of your home will do a final walkthrough. At this point you will need to have everything out of the house and in a moving truck or storage. You will schedule this closing early in the morning. Once this transaction is complete you will get a closing statement and a check of your proceeds and go to your purchase closing. Your new lender will need your paperwork from the closing to confirm that your existing home loan has been paid off.

b. You close on your house in the afternoon and start moving in!

Yay! You are all done and ready to move into your new place. As you can see, there is a lot to do in not a lot of time with a lot of things that can go wrong in the interim. Timing here is everything. Make sure you surround yourself with the right team to facilitate this for you.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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