The good news for sellers and buyers is that the market is moving positively in both directions. Sellers are getting top-dollar for their homes, giving them lots of leverage as they look ahead to their new home purchase.
However, selling and buying real estate is a bit of a dance, so these essential steps can keep the process moving forward smoothly and in your favor.
Steps To Take When Selling a Home & Buying a New One
Here are some essential to-do’s when selling and buying a home.
1. Find a qualified dual agent
Not all real estate agents are interested in working both the selling and buying end for a client. So, we recommend looking for a real estate agent with experience working as a dual agent. In many cases, you’ll be working with a broker.
The process of selling and buying a home can be stressful, so using a dual agent is a seamless way to accomplish both tasks with someone who can focus on your needs and already has a sense of where you’ve come from and where you want to be next.
2. Start packing early
If you’re considering selling your home, we recommend starting the packing process early on. There are so many “rarely used” or seasonal items stored away in the closets and cupboards. Or tchotchkes and display items that clients can live without for a few months. Packing these up not only simplifies things for the upcoming move but packing things away also begins the process of decluttering your house.
Research shows that preparing your home for a sale, including decluttering and staging, helps homes sell faster and for higher prices. Also, the months and weeks of packing and sprucing up the interior should involve depersonalizing the living spaces so prospective buyers can imagine it as their own.
3. Consider investing in reasonable updates
If you’ve been in your home for a while, it might be wise to consider investing in reasonable updates that appeal to today’s homebuyers. Your agent should help you with this as you don’t want to spend a single penny you don’t need to.
However, it is still a seller’s market, so the right upgrades or home energy improvements may pay off. The less prospective buyers feel they need to after moving in, the more they will offer. Some of the features homebuyers want in place include:
- A fresh coat of paint
- Roofs that are ten years old or less
- Attractive outdoor living spaces
- Energy efficiency
- Attractive, livable kitchens and baths
Again, your agent can tell you which ones have the most significant return on investment to avoid absorbing buyer credits or reduced offers.
4. Line up your loan preapproval ahead of time
If you’re not planning to pay for the next house using cash, line up your preapproval. It may have been a while since you had to do that, so give yourself a week or more to get the paperwork together for your lender.
If possible, you’re better off getting preapproved as if your home isn’t going to sell before the next property’s escrow closes. Hopefully, this won’t be the case. However, it’s always better to make offers in a seller’s market without any contingencies.
5. Sell first if it means a cash purchase is possible
On the other side of that coin, cash is always king in the real estate market. If the sale of your home does allow you to purchase the next house with cash, that’s the way to go. We’ll move forward on selling your home and then you can get that cash into savings or a liquid money market account.
Some buyers will let you rent back for a short period of time if necessary. Otherwise, we’ll help you find a short-term rental. Odds are, your cash offer means you can dictate a shorter escrow term, allowing you to move into the new home before moving out of the home you sold.
6. Prepare to pay double mortgages for 90 days
If you are getting a loan for the new home, see if you can swing finances to ensure you can pay two mortgages for up to 90 days. This provides a safe cushion for you in case you find the home of your dreams before you sell the one you’re in. Or, if the buyers with the highest offer need an extended escrow, you have the means to do that.
Odds are your home will sell in far less than 90 days, but we prepare our clients for every potential scenario to remove as much worry or hassle as we can.
Southern Exclusive Realty Can Help You Sell & Buy Your Home
Are you looking for an experienced real estate agency to help you sell your home while searching for the next home of your dreams? Schedule a consultation with Southern Exclusive Realty. We excel in that arena.