Can I Buy a New Home Before I Sell?

It may not be easy and it may not be for you, but you should be able to buy before you sell. The big question is, “Do you have the stomach for it?” Owning two homes at once can be scary. Many people may find this as being too risky considering the recent market when some homes went unsold for months or even years. The next two critical elements are the equity in your existing home and your credit history. To get financing to buy a new home before you sell you will have to qualify for the combined total of the two mortgages. Are you out of luck if you do not have enough equity in your current home or your credit is not spotless? Not necessarily, but it gets tougher. An experienced real estate agent can help you If you have equity and clean credit. It takes an agent with exceptional creativity and resourcefulness to do it without them. Where there is a will, there is a way!

Okay, I want to sell my home – FAST

Price may be the biggest factor for a fast sell. Homes priced at or below market price sell faster than homes priced above market. No secret there. No homeowner though, wants to “give away” their home. Yocum Realty - real estate agent giving house key to a clientBut price is not the only factor in a fast sale. It is just the biggest, but there is another side to the price coin: condition. Condition means how to what degree the property is maintained. Two identical homes, in the same neighborhood, priced the same – the only difference being that one has a new roof, AC, furnace and windows and the other does not. Which one will sell first? To increase the chances your home will sell, you need to fix it up. Everyone has things that should have been repaired, only they have gotten used to them. When you sell your home you need to step outside yourself and look at your home with “BUYER EYES.” Those cracked and missing wall plates – replace them. That junk closet, clean it out. The dirty carpet, have it cleaned – or, better yet – replace it. Knicks, scratches, scuffs and stains – paint it, buff it, clean it. Selling fast is a two sided coin, remember both sides: price and condition.

Top 5 Comparable Sale Factors

  • Location – Cannot say it enough, proximity matters. How close was the comparable sale to where your home is located?
  • Size – How many square feet? Bigger means more money.
  • School District – This why you want to always vote for those school tax levies. Better Schools mean more money when you sell.
  • Sale Date – 6 months to a year are good, five years ago and you’re living in the past.
  • Design – Ranch, two story, Cape Cod, tri-level – often in that order.

Comparable Sales: What They Mean to You

Before you put your home up for sale, understand how the right comparable sales help you and your agent find the perfect price.

How much can you sell your home for? Probably about as much as the neighbors got, as long as the neighbors sold their house in recent memory and their home was just like your home. Knowing how much homes similar to yours, called comparable sales (or in real estate lingo, comps), sold for gives you the best idea of the current estimated value of your home. The trick is finding sales that closely match yours.

What makes a good comparable sale?
Your best comparable sale is the same model as your house in the same subdivision—and it closed escrow last week. If you can’t find that, here are other factors that count:
Location: The closer to your house the better, but don’t just use any comparable sale within a mile radius. A good comparable sale is a house in your neighborhood, your subdivision, on the same type of street as your house.

Size: Generally bigger means more money. It is just math.

School District: Even if you have no school age children this is important because your buyer might use it as a deciding factor.

Home type: Try to find comparable sales that are like your home in style, construction material, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, basement (having one and whether it’s finished), finishes, and yard size.

Amenities and upgrades: Is the kitchen new? Does the comparable sale house have full A/C? Is there crown molding, a deck, or a pool? Does your community have the same amenities (pool, workout room, walking trails, etc.) and homeowners association fees?

Date of sale: You may want to use a comparable sale from two years ago when the market was high, but that won’t fly. Most buyers use government-guaranteed mortgages, and those lending programs say comparable sales can be no older than 90 days.

Sales sweeteners: Did the comparable-sale sellers give the buyers downpayment assistance, closing costs, or a free television? You have to reduce the value of any comparable sale to account for any deal sweeteners.