For homeowners aiming to sell their home and buy another, this presents a classic real estate dilemma that puzzles those involved: Buy or sell first? There is no universally correct answer but should be determined by each person’s circumstances and their comfort level.
If you sell first, you might find yourself under a tight deadline to find another home. If you buy first, you may be saddled with 2 mortgage payments for an extended period of time.
In most cases we recommend that you sell your home first, because most of our clients cannot afford paying two mortgages for an extended period of time. Selling first will alleviate stress as well. In rare cases, when money is not an issue, we do recommend buying first.
A third alternative has recently become more popular - selling your home first, AND leasing back the home for an extended period of time. This option is ideal, but not all buyers (of your home) are open to the idea. And if they are, you might have to sell at a discounted price and/or pay a premium rental fee to make it work. This option gives you time to find your “dream home” without having to settle or move into temporary housing.
If you choose to sell your home first (with or without a lease back), then you must simultaneously be “looking” at other homes to purchase, so you are not starting at scratch at the time you accept an offer on your home. This will give you a “feel” for the market place. In addition, you should be pre-approved (not pre-qualified) for a new loan, which will give you the ability to close quickly (if needed) on your purchase.