Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland
Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland

Buying or selling a home can be stressful. Buying and selling at the same time is even more challenging, but there are some things that you can do to make it a bit easier. Here are a few tips on buying and selling a home at the same time.

Prep your existing home for sale beforehand

With low inventory on the market, many people wait until they find a home to purchase before preparing and listing an existing home. This can be a mistake. If your offer is contingent upon the sale of your home, sellers will want to see that your home is either already listed or is ready to be listed immediately. 

It takes time to get a home ready for sale, it’s not something that you can do in just a day. You’ll want to prepare far in advance by completing repairs, decluttering, and staging Additionally, you will need to get an estimate of market value from a real estate agent to know how much equity may be available for your next purchase. 

Buffer financial estimates

As you prepare those figures and estimate cash available, be sure to include a buffer for unexpected expenses. For instance, the inspection on your existing home may uncover issues that require repair or a financial concession to the buyer. Closing costs might be slightly higher than expected on your new purchase. There are any number of things that could alter your figures, so it’s best not to work with too tight a budget.

Use the same agent for both transactions

As you coordinate the simultaneous sale and purchase, there are a lot of elements to both transactions: communication with different parties, constant updates on both transactions, and coordination of time frames. It is helpful to use the same real estate agent for both transactions. Obviously, this may not be possible if you are moving long distance. If you are upgrading or downsizing within the same area, a single agent and point of contact can make your life a lot easier!

Avoid Friday closings

In most cases, you’ll close on your home and then immediately take those funds to the closing on your home purchase. Closings may be back-to-back on the same day or just one or two days apart. It is best to avoid Friday closings for both properties. Why? 

Closings do not take place on weekends since lenders’ offices are closed, as are registries of deed where the paperwork must be filed. A Friday closing would be delayed until Monday. This might leave you homeless for several days or responsible for storage fees from moving companies. By selecting dates earlier in the week, delays will be easier to manage.

Have a contingency plan

One last bit of advice is to have a plan in place should there be a delay in closing on either property. As much as you and your agent may work towards a smooth and on-time closing, there may be issues out of your control. For example, many buyers and sellers are experiencing delays due to the government shutdown. They have no choice but to wait.

What will you do if your home sale doesn’t close on time? Is the seller of your new home flexible? What if the new home is not immediately able to close? Where will you stay? Can the moving company accommodate the change? It is helpful to have a contingency plan in place or to at least know what options are available to you.

By Suzanne Plewes. Suzanne is a broker associate at RE/MAX Alliance. Write to 750 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland, CO 80537, call 970.290.0373 or e-mail [email protected].