You may spot the perfect home in the perfect part of town and not want to let it get away. If that’s the case, you may want to make an offer on it and buy it before your home sells. You could also put an offer on a home and make it contingent on selling your home first. In this market, buyers are more able to make an offer contingent on their home selling than in the past few years. If the seller has multiple offers, though, an offer with contingencies may not be the best; it may look like a less serious offer than others.
If you have to move to another state right away, you may want to buy your home in the new location before you sell here. In fact, if you can afford to move and then stage the home you’re selling you may be able to make more money when you sell. Staging helps buyers see themselves in your home.
If you’re comfortable making payments on two homes at once, you may also be in a position to buy before you sell.
For most people, it makes the most sense to sell your home before you buy. Most people can’t afford to pay two mortgages at once, even for a short time (if they could even qualify for two!). Selling first also gives you money you’ll probably need for a down payment on the home you’ll buy and moving expenses. Once your home sells, you won’t be guessing how much profit you’ve made – you’ll know. That puts you in a great position to know how much home you can afford and what your new mortgage will look like.
If this is your first sale, you’ll almost certainly be in the best shape if you sell your home first, then buy.
The best real estate agents are excellent negotiators and will make sure that you aren’t without a roof over your head or stuck with two homes at the same time.
A great agent can help you plan the sale of your home and the purchase of the next one. If, for example, it seems like it may take a while to sell your current home, your agent may negotiate a longer period until closing than if it looks like your home will sell quickly.