Should I Sell My Home Before Buying a New Home?


by Sharon Lee

Home buyers and home sellers each face their own challenges, but for many, the two processes go hand-in-hand. Most people cannot afford to own multiple homes, so the decision to move generally means both buying a new home and selling your current property.

If you are attempting to both sell your home and buy a new one, you may feel overwhelmed and could benefit from turning to your real estate agent for help.  There are some important considerations to discuss, and it’s important that you and your agent are on the same page with the plans.

Buying a Home First

It may be impossible to perform the closings for both deals on the same day for several reasons. For example, when moving to another state, travel time may make this arrangement impossible or impractical. Even if the two deals are closed on dates very close together, you should expect a lapse between the two closing dates.

If you are buying first, be prepared to temporarily cover the cost of two households. If the first home does not yet have a buyer, or the deal is not yet finalized, be sure to keep the property you are selling in good condition.

Buying first may provide you with some logistical benefits. You can move furniture and personal belongings more conveniently from your old home into your new one without having to coordinate with a new homeowner.

Selling a Home First

When selling a home first, the most immediate problem becomes the need for a place to live between the two transactions. You may be fortunate enough to have relatives or friends living near either destination, and can try staying with them briefly.

You can also rent a home during this interim period. Home buyers may be willing to rent their new purchase back to you for a brief period while you complete your purchase of another home.

If you own only one home at a time, there are fewer overlapping responsibilities. It is a good idea to take some time at the beginning of the process to determine whether it will be easier for you to buy or sell.  Your real estate agent can help clarify the housing market conditions in both neighborhoods so that you can decide which step to take first.


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