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Sales Representative | B.A., 2016 President's Gold Award

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Buy First then Sell or Sell First then Buy?

In an ideal world you would sell your current property at exactly the same time as buying your next one. Unfortunately, this rarely happens in real world. Even though there certainly are people who could afford to pay two mortgages (at least for a while), the majority of us would be a little worried about having to do so. Therefore, most of us have to choose either one option or the other. However, what to do first? Sell or buy?

Buying a Home First

Many people agree that this strategy makes more sense if you’re in a hot seller's market with bidding wars common over prime real estate. However, there are other factors that make people consider buying a house before selling the old one. Buying a new property in a rising market means you can always get rid of your existing property at a potentially higher price down the road. However, if prices start to fall, buyers could end up trying to finance two homes which are steadily losing value.

If you decide to buy first, and then you can't sell your current house, there is a possibility of getting a bridge loan to cover owning both properties at the same time. However, it is not necessary to mention how financially demanding such situation can be

So, if you buy another property and are not able to sell your current home quickly enough, you could be faced with owning and making payments on two homes. Plus, you might have to come up with the cash for a down payment. Since you don’t know the selling price of your current home, purchasing a house could be quite a gamble. You may even be forced to take a lower price for your property so you can sell in time for closing.

Selling Your Home First

Taking the equity of your current home, and then buying another one is considered the safest way to deal with the issue because you will know precisely how much money you have to work with. This will also allow you to look for a new house at your leisure, negotiate the best deal and find the best fit for you and your family.

Trouble is, if you’ve already sold your home you have chosen a moving date, and you could find yourself under time pressure to buy a property that does not meet your needs. One of the first things to do before you decide to sell your house is to devise a plan for temporary livingquarters in case you have to move before you find a new home. Also, don't forget that sometimes property prices might rise while you’re searching for your new home if we're in a seller's market.

In general, selling first will most likely put you under time pressure to buy another house in a really short time. You may end up settling for less than you want or overpaying for your new house or you might even have to look for a place to stay until you can find a new home.

Your Comfort Level

The bottom line is that whether you buy first or sell first is a personal decision. There are many variables you have to consider when making such major financial decisions. Are we in a seller's market or buyer's market? How quickly can I sell my house? How can I make sure my closing dates coincide? Is there a possibility that I will be stuck with two houses? How much money can I count on from the sale of my house? 

There are many issues that can arise when buying and selling real estate. I would be happy to meet with you to find customized solutions for your real estate needs.