As a repeat home buyer, things can get a little trickier for you since most of the time you’ll need to sell your current home while you look to purchase a new one. This tends to add a layer of stress to the home buying process that first-time home buyers don’t experience.
Most homeowners have two main goals when they’re looking to either upsize or downsize into a new home:
- To sell their current home at the highest possible price to make the most money
- To buy a new house at the lowest possible price to save the most money
So how do you obtain both of these goals when you want to sell and buy a house at the same time?
It’s All About Timing and Strategy
The best time to buy a house usually doesn’t coincide with the best time to sell a house, so it can be hard to balance the best of both worlds. Should you try and buy first, and then sell? Or look at the alternative of selling your home, rent for a while, and then take your time to look for a new home?
Selling your home first makes it easier to get another mortgage since you’ll be paying off your original mortgage (and not acquiring additional debt) before you sign on the dotted line for a new home loan. In addition, you don’t run the risk of having two mortgage payments each month if your house doesn’t sell immediately.
Getting Your House Ready to Sell
First and foremost, do some research about the real estate market where you live. It may be helpful to reach out to an experienced real estate agent to help you understand what the process of selling a house looks like, and at what point you should start looking for a new home. It’s important to get a handle on your timeline.
Stage your home—When you’re staging your house to sell it can make a big difference in how fast your home sells, and if buyers can imagine themselves living there. Take the time to declutter and get rid of things that you don’t want or need anymore. Spruce up the paint, do a deep cleaning, and make sure the yard is nice and neat!
Price it right—Make sure your house is priced competitively with similar homes in the area. Paying attention to what is going on in your local real estate market is crucial since many buyers will not even look at a home if it’s priced too high. Compare the square footage, updates and upgrades, floor plans, and the style of the home for starters.
List your house—Once your home is listed on the national MLS, you’ll start to get requests to show your home to potential home buyers. Make sure your home is clean before each and every showing! Once you get an offer, you can negotiate the details with the buyer and schedule a date to close on your home. Figure out your down payment options:
Tips for Buying a House
- Figure out your down payment options: Will you use the profit from the sale of your old home to purchase your new home? Or will you use some money from your savings account? Or a little of both? You need a game plan to help you and your Home Loan Specialist figure out which loan option is best for your situation.
- Become a Certified Home Buyer: This can help you avoid unexpected surprises when you have a tight timeline because you just sold your home! It's better than getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage and is a huge selling point if you get in a multiple-offer situation.
- Go house hunting and find a home: This is the fun part! A lot of people start the process online so be sure to take advantage of the best free home search app on the market. With the HomeScout® app you’ll get access to 100% of the homes currently for sale and receive price change alerts on your favorite properties. It also updates much faster than public search sites like Zillow or Trulia. Use the VIP Code: CHURCHILL to gain full access.
If you need a refresher on the home buying process, download How to Buy a House: Your Mortgage 101.
Whether you are thinking about upsizing or downsizing, every situation is different. So, it's important to look at all of your home loan options to make sure you're not into a home loan you'll regret.