Even though it is a pretty common process to sell your old home and move into a new one straight away, there aren’t many resources about how the process actually works. Timing is absolutely crucial here. You neither want to end up paying for two properties nor having no place to stay. We’ve reached out to our expert agents to find out how to handle this issue.
In a follow-up article, you’ll find out how exactly to finance your new home while still selling your old one.
Matching Closing Dates
Triplemint agent Lucas Callejas knows the struggle of doing two transactions at once. “It becomes a balancing act, let’s say you list the apartment today and you start looking today. If you have a buyer with cash who wants to close quickly, you won’t be able to close on your new apartment fast enough to move in once you need to move out of your old home,” he explains.
Lucas and his business partner Jim Moorehead are convinced that there is a way to time it just right. “If both the offer from the buyer of your old apartment and your offer on your new place are accepted at the same time, the chances are high that they will go through at a similar time as well,” says Jim.
The best way to make this happen is to start searching for a new home before you put your old apartment on the market. “It’s best to have zeroed in on one or two places by the time you list your apartment,” says Lucas.
Joan Kagan, Head of Sales at Triplemint, agrees with this strategy. “When you’re looking to buy and sell at the same time, you should be very familiar with the market beforehand and know the inventory at the time,” she advises. “Don’t put your own apartment on the market before you were able to actively look for a new home and know that the current market is going to meet your needs.”
Selling Too Soon?
If life throws curveballs at you and your buyer wants to move in before you were able to put in an accepted offer on your new home, business partners Lucas and Jim are there to offer creative solutions.
“Negotiate with your buyer and try to stay as flexible as possible. Try to delay the closing until you have also closed on your new apartment. Your backup plan would be to have your buyer rent out your old apartment to you until you’re able to move,” suggests Jim.
If none of that works out, another option is to find a short-term rental during the transition period and put your furniture in storage. “This is obviously the least favorable option,” says Jim.
Already Found Your Dream Home?
Already laid eyes on your new dream home, but haven’t sold your current apartment yet? It’s the opposite problem, but equally stressful. Again, you have several options.
Jim has had this issue with one of his clients before. “She delayed the closing on her new apartment to avoid having to carry maintenance costs and taxes for two properties at once,” he explains. There’s a minimum of three months between putting in an offer and signing the contract on both sides. “That means, if you were to place an offer on an apartment before your current home is sold, you would still have time to hopefully get an accepted offer on your property,” concludes Lucas.
Doing two transactions at the same time and having to jump through so many hoops can be daunting. Approach this strategically, come up with an effective timeline, and take one step after the other to avoid stressing out.
Jim’s advice will also lift your spirits. “It can be done, you just need a proper support system. You basically need a full team of people you can count on, not only trusted brokers, but possibly a mortgage banker as well to stay on top of your finances.”
Speaking of money, in the second part of this series, we’ll talk about how to manage the financial side of things when selling your old place and buying a new one at the same time.