How to Buy a Home When You Need to Sell One First

You want to buy a new home, but your purchase will be contingent on the sale of your current residence, which isn't even on the market.  The thought of moving forward seems difficult, even paralyzing.  Where should you start?

Relax, and join the club.  Many other current homeowners are in the same boat.  You can get what you want:  it will take some strategic planning and of course, help from a trusted advisor.



My step-by-step plan to get you from where you are now to where you'd like to be:

1.     Schedule an appointment for a professional Market Analysis.

You'll need to know how much your home is work, and how quickly it's likely to sell, so you can shop for a new home in the right price range, and project your down payment and mortgage needs with accuracy.

2.     Call a trusted lender to get started on the Preapproval process.

Pull together your recent bank statements, pay stubs, and tax returns.  You'll need a solid preapproval letter in your back pocket so that when you identify a great home, you'll be ready to strike.

3.     Walk through your home with a critical eye.

Create a list of repairs and touch-ups to address now, so your home will attract buyers like a magnet when it hits the market.  If your baseboard trim or stair treads are scuffed from years of use, a coat of paint will make them like new.  If your front door looks a bit lackluster, make it stand out by applying a color that handsomely complements your home's exterior hue.

4.     Don't ignore the major issues, either.

If your roof is at the end of its life but you've been postponing a replacement, do that now.  If your furnace is overdue for routine maintenance, schedule that soon, so it will be humming when it's time for your home inspection.  You get the idea.

Now that you've got these practical matters out of the way, what's the best way to move forward?

You've got some choices to make.

You can list first and take a leap of faith, trusting that you'll find something you love once your home is under agreement.

The trickier path forward is to wait until you've found something, and only then put your home up for sale.  In a buyers' market, that approach can often work well.

But if you're trying to buy during a brisk sellers' market--where homes are going under contract within days or even hours after they're listed--sellers may be reluctant to consider an offer that's contingent on the sale of your home, especially if it's not already on the market.

Here's my bold strategy to navigate this potential snag:

*** Once you've decided that you'd like to work with me, we'll sign a contract on your current home now--before we know what date you'll end up listing it and even before you've found a home you want to buy.  We'll file that paperwork away, for the time being, but as soon as the ink is try, I'll arrange for a home staging consultation so we can map out precisely what you'll need to do to get your home looking "picture perfect."

*** As soon as you've implemented those home staging pointers, my professional photographer will shoot a package of interiors, exteriors, and video so that we'll literally be able to get your home on the market on a moment's notice, the minute you've found something that you'd love to call "your next great place to live."  We'll keep everything under wraps until then.

***Our ability to get your home on the market so quickly--and so professionally--will undoubtedly impress the homeowner whose property you'd like to buy.  Along with a competitive bid, our preparation will go a long way toward persuading that seller to look favorably on your offer because you've demonstrated that you're ready to produce a successful outcome.

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