Are You Ready to Move Up in House? Moving up to a larger home can feel like a complicated task. But you’ll gain confidence by working with an experienced Realtor like myself
- Find out what your home is worth and your estimated net proceeds
- Pre Approval contingent on Selling home. Find out what you’re eligible for and what your new mortgage payment would be after using your proceeds towards a new home.
- Once you know and decide your budget, put your house on the market for sale and start looking for your next home.
- Decide whether to sell first or buy first.
Typically, it’s better to sell your old home before you buy a new one. By doing so, you’ll have the funds from your sale already, you’ll be able to make a larger down payment on your mortgage, and you’ll avoid spending time with two mortgages at the same time.
If you are able to and qualify to buy while you still own your current home, it will be more convenient but you will have the added expense of 2 mortgages along with holding costs (taxes, insurance) and utility bills in the meantime.
If you need to sell your home before being able to buy a home and want to get into contract for a home before closing on your home sale, this is called buying contingent on the sale of your home. This is very common. Purchase options can be:
- A clause that lets you list the day after your offer’s conditions on your offer are waived. Get a 90+ day closing, so that you have enough time to sell your home.
- Sell your home, get into contract during escrow and time the new closing to be just after close of escrow on sale of your home. With the Buyer of your home, negotiate a lease-back clause or find temporary housing in between the close of escrow of the sale of your current home and the close of escrow of the purchase of your new home.
While the scenario of buying first is very appealing to you as a Buyer, if it is contingent on the sale of your home it is not an easy feat to convince a Seller to accept a contract with that contingency – especially if you are competing with other offers that are not contingent.
While in a Seller’s Market, it is more possible to sell your home with a leaseback option. This is basically a rental agreement with the new home owners that buy your home so that you have a place to live until you move to your new, larger home. In this scenario, expect an agreement in place that includes the rental amount (usually prorated from close of escrow to the date you vacate), security deposit (amount held back by escrow until another inspection is done after you move out and you & new homeowner give written permission for escrow to release funds to you or new homeowners to cover damages that occurred after close of escrow or a combination thereof).
If a leaseback is not possible, then temporary living options will be needed until you close on your new home and are able to move in. Options include living with friends or family, hotel, short-term rentals, etc.
PREPARE YOUR HOME TO SELL
Declutter your home, and have all the interiors professionally cleaned. Do all the handyman work you’ve been putting off. You can also have a home inspection company do a home inspection so you know for sure if there are any hidden issues with your home and have them fixed as quickly as possible.
BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION
At this point, you should be getting ready to list your old home, and you also have a pretty good idea of the type of home you want to purchase and can purchase.
As mentioned earlier, the best case scenario is that you’re able to get your home purchase to coincide with your home sale. This is especially important when you want to use your home sale earnings to purchase your new home, or use them to make a substantial down payment.
Of course, getting the timing right can be tricky. There are many issues to be aware of, such as:
What kind of market are you in?
If you’re in a seller’s market, there will be more buyers than homes for sale, and selling your home would be fairly easy and quick.
At the same time, that would mean a lot more competition when buying a home.
You could easily lose to another buyer, or you would need to offer more money and fewer contingencies to get your next home.
Writing a contingent offer means that the purchase is contingent upon you selling your old home. In essence, this would protect you in case the sale falls through for whatever reason. And while this would seem like a good way to protect your own interests, said clause could actually keep a home seller from accepting your offer.
There are two types of contingent offers. One where your home is currently listed, but you don’t have a buyer yet, the market. The second one is when you do have a buyer lined up, and the transaction is already in escrow, just waiting to be closed.
As you can imagine, the second one will be more attractive to the home seller, since it has a high percentage of success.
So if you’re trying to purchase a home in a strong seller’s market, your best bet is to submit a non-contingent offer, or find a way to make a more competitive offer (usually by raising your offer’s dollar amount) in order to have a greater chance of having your offer accepted.
It’s very tricky to negotiate two closes in parallel. Though its possible to have a simultaneous close, you do need to have all dates aligned, and use the same escrow company for both transactions for the process to work..
In case you do end up selling your home before you buy a new one, you have to consider where you would live in the meantime. Would you get short-term rental, stay with friends or family, stay at a hotel, or negotiating a rent-back with your home buyer?
And what about your possessions? Are you going to keep them in a storage facility, or at a friend’s home? Or would you negotiate with your moving company so it can store your items for some time?
Sometimes staging your home can be a good idea. Speak to your Realtor for recommendations on a professional stager to hire.
If you have made the decision to upsize, contact me to set up an appointment so we can discuss a plan that is right for you. Thank you for considering me to guide you through the entire process as smoothly as possible.