Homeowners worldwide find themselves in the uncomfortable predicament of trying to buy a new home but needing to sell their current home to make the purchase. This transaction is full of obstacles, but it doesn’t have to be your fight to navigate through alone. These four tips are Realtor approved so that you can be prepared for this massive sale and purchase and get you and your family on to the next adventure.
1: Price Your Home to Sell
You might be new to selling a home, but Realtors have the last hundred years of data on hand, and the data is in. Homes that are correctly priced when listed sell quickly. Overpriced homes sit on the market for a week, lose the initial wave of interested buyers, and often end up selling for less than market value because they have to sell to whoever is eventually interested after the price reduction.
You don’t have time for that when your next home purchase rides on the profitable sale of your home. You can do market research yourself to try to price your home correctly, or you can hire an experienced and well-reviewed Realtor to get your house on the market at the right price the first time.
2: The 5 Day Rule
One of the worst parts of selling a home is having it available any time of day for interested buyers to do a walk-through. I recommend the 5 Day strategy– prepare everyone living in your house to live in a little bit of limbo for the first five days after the house is live on the market. These first five days are crucial to riding the biggest wave of interested buyers. This will help keep the competition high, making it unlikely to sell for less than the asking price. It will also increase the odds that the right buyer will see your home.
Here are a few ways to navigate this business week for buyers:
- If you can move out before selling, do it. This will give the most flexibility to interested buyers to view your home and provide them with an empty house to imagine as their own.
- Go on a local vacation. You can continue to get to work and the kids to school but be out of the house.
- If you’re not in a position to live anywhere other than your home, then get the family ready to be flexible. Plan a week of eating out to minimize dishes and mess during peak showing hours, and come up with a getaway location that you can go to for 20 minutes any time of day or evening while people walk through your home. Get the whole family involved with keeping the house extra tidy for one week.
3: Use a Great Realtor to Help With Hiccups
Now that we know what to do to sell let’s switch to what’s happening while you’re looking for your next home. Anything can happen in today’s housing market, and when your new home rides on the sale of your current home, you’re in no position to lose time or assume conditions that should be in a contract.
The best-case scenario is that both you and the seller of the home you want have great Realtors who are committed to a win-win situation. They will over communicate with each other and with you and make sure that any changes are put in writing. The goal for any home purchase is to work under the terms of the original contract. Of course, you may need to make changes under new circumstances, but you want a qualified Realtor on your side to both write the original contract and oversee any changes.
4: Have a Plan B
No one enjoys the vulnerability that comes with selling and buying a home simultaneously. So many things can (and have) gone wrong. That’s why it’s imperative to have an honest conversation with your partner and make sure you have things in place for things like your offer was excepted, but the buyers backed out or can’t get their mortgage qualified, the seller decided not to sell their house anymore, but you’ve already closed on your house, you’ve moved out of your home but find that the new house was damaged in a storm, or any number of other situations.
Make sure that you plan where you could live during an unexpected gap– can you rent short-term? Could you stay with the in-laws? Plan how you will handle the loss of a new home because of an uncompleted sale for the current home. Talk about what you could do to keep the new home or how to handle the disappointment of starting the whole process over again.
Anita Anderson is a premier Realtor serving Sonoma County. With 13 years of experience, Anita has seen everything and can help your family navigate the sale of your current home with the purchase of your next home. Call Anita today!