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Move-up buyers are in an interesting position. They understand how to navigate the home buying process, but there’s a new layer of difficulty now that they need to sell their current home at the same time. There’s a lot to juggle, especially trying to figure out whether it’s best to buy a new home or sell your current home first. If you need to buy and sell a home at the same time, check out some strategies to use while navigating the homebuying journey from both sides of the road.

Before you get started

Before you launch into your home buying and selling journey, it’s important to learn about your individual market. You’ll want to know if the market is favorable to buyers or sellers. This will set your strategy moving forward. Meet with a trusted real estate professional to discuss the market status and your options.

Plan your schedule

Managing the selling and buying process can be overwhelming, but an experienced real estate professional will be able to guide your though the challenges of your current market. It’s a good idea to create your ideal timeline to determine when you’ll begin looking for a new home during home selling process. You’ll also need to know how much you can afford based on the expected sale price of your current home.

Just remember: your timeline is a guide and not rule. You may end up selling your home or closing on your new home faster than anticipated. It’s important to be prepared for any situation.

Selling before you buy

Selling first is the most financially secure option. Selling first allows you to know how much you’ll have to spend on your new home and possibly give you a healthy down payment. However, you run the risk of needing a place to stay if you haven’t closed on your new home before you need to leave your current home.

Here are a few options to consider if you sell first:

  • Schedule your settlement date close to your closing date: Scheduling the same settlement date for both homes (or close to the same date) will allow you to move directly from one house to the other. You can negotiate your closing date but you may need to be prepared to be flexible on other areas.
  • Negotiate a rent-back contingency: a rent-back contingency allows the seller to remain in the home for a set period of time agreed up by both parties. The rental term will begin at the date of closing until you move. This will give you a bit more time in your home after it sells.
  • Find a short-term rental: You can find a short-term rental (or stay with family) to bide the time between selling your current home and closing on your new one.

Buying before you sell

Buying your new home first before selling can be a bit trickier. It will require more financial coordination but it’s not impossible. A definite bonus is that you’ll have a home to move into at your leisure.

Here are a few options to consider if you happen to find your dream home sooner than you planned:

  • Get a HELOC or bridge loan: unless you’re able to purchase your new home with cash, carrying two mortgages can be difficult. In this case, you can use a HELOC or bridge loan (a short-term loan meant to cover the gap between buying a new home and selling your current one) to cover the costs until you’re able to sell.
  • Create a home sale contingency: this contingency will hinge on you successfully selling your current home. If you’re in a particularly competitive market, this may not be a good option. Home contingencies aren’t used as often because it makes the sellers wary about the buyer’s ability to purchase the home.
  • Keep both homes: it can make financial sense to hold onto your current home if you can either afford it or can find responsible renters to cover the mortgage and maintenance costs of your current home.

Each strategy comes with its own sets of pros and cons. Its recommended to talk to a trusted real estate professional to figure out what’s best for your individual situation.

When you’re ready to buy your new home in Lodi, Manteca or Stockon, visit us at FCBHomes.com to learn more about our new home communities. We can’t wait to welcome you home!