So, now you've decided to make a move! Regardless of which Life Change you are experiencing (see TT Blog Post from 1.23.20), you now have the next important decision to make. Do you sell your current home before buying a new one, buy first and sell later or tackle both at the same time? Good news...any of the above is the correct answer, depending on what will work best for you and anyone else who might be affected by the move.
Are you worried about having to find a new home and not wanting to "settle"? Of course! No one wants to be in that situation. So, maybe a good option for you is to sell your home and move into temporary housing for a while until you find your next "dream home". Maybe you hope to find a home while you are selling your current one and you just run out of time. It is a great idea to have a "Plan B", whether that is living with a relative for a couple of months or maybe a short-term rental to give you more time. Purchasing a home, whether it is your first or fifth, is a huge decision and not one that you want to feel forced into.
On the other hand, some people don't want to have to worry about moving multiple times or finding temporary housing or feeling rushed, so they find their next home first and then sell their current home. Now, this option isn't for everyone, but can be really great so you can move right into your new home and have time to clean up and prep your old one before listing on the market. There are options financially, such as a bridge loan, to help you afford an option such as this. You definitely want to have open communications with your Realtor with this option, so you can have a good plan in place to keep you from owning 2 houses at the same time for too long. Your Realtor can help you determine a value for your current home, so when you do go to list it, you can price accordingly to get you the most money in a short period of time...again, to avoid paying two mortgages for an extended period of time.
If at all possible, the preferred option is to sell your current home and buy a new one at the same time. This can work out perfectly if you are able to find the home you love and want to buy and you are able to work everything out with the buyers of your home and the sellers of the home that you are purchasing. It can be a lot to coordinate, but again...that's what your Realtor is here for! When I have a seller that is looking to sell and buy, I always encourage them to start looking for a new home right away...even if it is just perusing online. Each situation is different, but ideally, we can get the current home on the market and as soon as we get an accepted offer, my priority becomes going out and viewing homes to find something ASAP. The hope is that you can get the buyer of your home to agree to an extended closing time, such as 60-90 days, rather than the norm of 30-45 days. This extra time allows a good amount of time to find a new home, without feeling too stressed about it.
Regardless of which option you choose, the best thing that you can do is to be prepared. It can be a very stressful time when you decide to sell your home and buy another one. Many things need to come together and that's where your Realtor should come swooping in to help you. :) There is a lot of coordination that is needed, but it CAN BE DONE! I've had buyers with the loaded moving truck in the parking lot of the closing office, waiting to be driven to the new home. The thing with real estate is that there are many people involved and many variables. So, it is always a good idea to have a backup plan, just in case things don't work out the way that they were supposed to. At the end of the day, where there's a will there's a way and anything can be figured out. So, don't stress about it (too much) and lean on your Realtor. If you don't have a Realtor, call me and I'd LOVE to work with you and help you with all of your real estate needs as your local neighborhood expert.