My five-week series, How to “Right-Size” Your Home and Life with Your Next Move, will help you determine when it’s time to “right-size” your home and move on to one that will better match the life you’re living now or the one you want to live. Your home should reflect your needs, wants, and budget — and maybe those have changed since you last bought your current home. Even a home you have loved!
Whether it’s moving up to a larger home or moving to a smaller one, you’ll learn about the steps you can take for this next “right-sized” purchase and also see how to buy and sell at the same time with maximum profits and minimal stress.
Timing is everything when it comes to right-sizing. Selling your current home and buying a new home requires significant coordination to make sure all the pieces come together at the right time.
Many homeowners aren’t sure what to do first, sell or buy. And that’s where I can come in to help you avoid ending up with the dreaded homeowner’s Catch-22 dilemma — having two mortgages at once OR having no place to live at all!
That’s why I always tell my right-sizing clients that we should be in communication WELL before you need to move — several months or a year beforehand. That way, we have enough time to make decisions on what happens and when to ensure it all happens as seamlessly as possible.
When we meet to discuss your right-sizing move, not only will we go over the process from start to finish and what to do when, I’ll also be asking you a set of specific questions to determine if you should:
- SELL your current home first and use the proceeds to buy a new home.
- BUY your new home first and then quickly and profitably sell your current home. This can be easily done in most cases using financing options that help those buying and selling at the same time.
Keep in mind that your decision will depend on several factors — the current real estate market in your neighborhood and also where you plan to buy your next home, your particular finances and any loan options available to you, and finally, what you truly feel most comfortable pursuing.
Once you make the decision to buy first or sell first, we’ll both need to take some specific steps so that everything aligns in your favor. I know exactly what needs to be done and have it down to a science!
And I’ll encourage you to be a well-prepared buyer AND seller well before we begin so that you can continue that momentum and take those necessary steps, ensuring a smooth move to your right-sized home (more on this next week in Strategies to Right-Size with Success).
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of selling first and then buying first.
Sell Before You Buy
Let’s explore the pros and cons of putting your home on the market first.
- You won’t be at a disadvantage at the negotiating table, feeling pressured to accept an offer that is below-market value because you have to meet a purchase deadline.
- Once your home is sold, you can buy your next one with no strings attached, basically no contingencies.
- You will have equity immediately available to use for the purchase of a new home.
- You know exactly how much money you have to put into your next home. No guessing as to what your final price will be for your current home.
- You may need to find interim housing – either renting back your old home or finding a place to stay between homes.
- You could feel more pressure to buy and it might lead to rash decisions when looking for a new home. I have strategies that help avoid this situation, however.
- Since you haven’t moved yet, you’d have to live at your home while prepping it for sale and while it’s on the market with people coming to see it, keeping it clean all the time, etc.
Buy Before You Sell
When the market favors sellers and buying is competitive, it can make the most sense to first buy before selling. In a nutshell, it’s when you know your home could be sold more quickly, and buying your new home could take longer and that should be your focus to complete first.
How this works — we prep your home as we are looking for your next home so it’s ready to go on the market right after you find your new right-sized home.
And if you are thinking of going this route, it’s really important to make sure you are approved to do so by a lender. You might be wondering how you can buy if the money you’ll use to buy your next home is coming from the sale of your current home.
The good news is that we can explore financing options for this and can see if you qualify. This financing will make buying first possible even if you haven’t sold your home yet.
- You can search for a new home without any pressure.
- No need to find interim housing.
- You could even move out of your current home before it’s on the market. This is especially helpful for people who have kids and pets at home and don’t want to be bothered with showings interrupting their day-to-day life.
- You run the risk of having double mortgage payments. I have a strategy to avoid this or keep double payments to a minimum. Plus, not everyone can get approved for another mortgage while still owning a home. There are, however, specific loan programs out there that can make this easier on the finances.
- You don’t know the exact price your current home will sell for, therefore you won’t know the exact amount of funds you can put towards your new home.
Timing It Right
Many people don’t know this but there are better and worse times of the year to both buy and sell. That said, the best time to buy or sell is when you need to. Of course, I’ll share with you what to expect based on the time of year you want to target.
For example, there tends to be more activity — more homes on the market and more buyers buying in the spring and early summer. Great for those who want to buy AND sell homes.
On the flip side, there tends to be very few homes on the market and buyers buying during the holidays in November and December. Something to consider if this timeframe is a must for you.
We can plan to move forward with buying and selling within your ideal timeline, but will need to consider certain factors that may help you make a decision about when to start the process and that you completely understand the market conditions at that time.
Right-Sizing Here You Come!
Whether you buy or sell first, we’ll need to coordinate two major transactions in a short period of time. Don’t feel like you need to figure all this out alone. I’m here to help you right-size to a new home and help you sell your current home.
We’ll focus on you, your goals for moving (whether that’s moving up to a larger, more expensive home or downsizing to a less expensive one) and how your financial situation can make it happen.
We’ll move forward based on your ideal timing, taking market conditions into account. And together we can create a solid plan that will get you from where you are to where you want to go next.
If you or anyone you know is thinking of right-sizing within the next few months to even a year from now, I’d love to hear from you or them so I can explain the process in more detail. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for next week’s article, Strategies to Right-Size with Success. It’s the last article in my five-week series and brings everything together so you can zero in on what needs to be done. You’ll learn the right steps to take along the way to be more strategic and prepared when buying and selling — and ultimately find success with this right-sized move!
I'm Beth Little and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
116 W Main Street
Northville, MI 48167
Buy & Sell
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