You need more space for a growing family. The kids have gone off to college and it’s time to downsize. You’re ready to follow your dream of living on a horse farm. Whatever the reason, you have to sell your current home while simultaneously finding a new place to live.
This situation can be anxiety-provoking, but it’s quite common. The majority of sellers look for their next home while attempting to sell, according to the 2018 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report. Younger sellers in particular (ages 24-38) are most likely to be in this position.
At Showcase Properties, we’ve guided numerous homeowners through the simultaneous selling and buying process. Read on for our best tips for a smooth experience!
Prioritize Selling over Buying
While there’s always an element of uncertainty in real estate, you have the most control over selling the home you’re in. The effort you put into preparing your home for sale will affect the amount of money you get for it. And the more you’re able to sell it for, the more you’ll have to spend on your next place. This is why it pays to prioritize selling.
How to Find the Right Listing Agent
You don’t want to trust the sale of your most valuable asset to just anyone! How do you know who to rely on to be your advocate in the selling process?
- Look for a REALTOR®. This designation means that the licensed real estate agent is also a member of the National Association of Realtors. REALTORS® follow a set of ethical guidelines to maintain their integrity and protect clients.
- Talk to more than one person before making a decision. You want to find an agent with experience selling homes similar to yours and a proven record of sales volume in the previous year. It’s also important to feel comfortable with your listing agent; after all, you’ll have a close working relationship for the next few months.
- Can your listing agent represent you in your search for a home? Most real estate agents in Florida are able to represent both buying and selling clients, however, some focus exclusively on one type of transaction. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but if you have a preference, it helps to find out at the beginning. If your listing agent does not do work as a transaction agent, they can always refer you to a buyer’s agent at the same brokerage.
At Showcase Properties, we’ve assembled a phenomenal team of Ocala REALTORS® with decades of experience between us. Meet our individual agents here, or contact us today to be put into contact with an agent.
Prepare your Home for Sale
Readying your home for sale can be a months-long process. You may want to start with a home inspection to uncover any potential issues. While you’ll have to pay for it, you’ll be able to address any issues before they turn up in a buyer’s home inspection and become leverage for lowering the sales price.
Your realtor can help you determine which repairs are necessary before listing. She or he can also provide advice on staging your home, whether that means using a professional staging company or simply decluttering and storing personal objects like photos.
Should you buy or sell on contingency?
One of the first decisions you’ll make is whether to sell your house contingent on finding a new one. Likewise, if you find a new home you love before your current house sells, you may be tempted to make a contingent offer.
In general, contingent listings and offers are weaker because they aren’t set in stone. A buyer may fall in love with your home, only to be disappointed and back out if you can’t find another one in their preferred timeframe. And if a seller receives multiple offers, a contingent offer will be less attractive than the others.
Ultimately, the contingency choice is one to make with your realtor, who can help you reach an informed decision based on the current state of your real estate market.
When to Start Looking for Your Next House
Although you may wait to make an offer on a new house until your current home is under contract, you can start looking right away. After all, once you do find a buyer, you’ll want to move quickly to find a new place to live. Identifying the neighborhoods and housing types you’re most interested in will get you ready.
Your agent can help you identify possible locations and home sizes that fit your budget. This is also a good time to figure out your priorities. For example, would you rather have “the ugliest house in the best neighborhood,” as the real estate adage goes, or do you want something completely renovated and move-in ready? Most buyers have to make certain compromises during the process, so now is the time to list your make-or-break qualities.
When to Make an Offer
Here’s where the timing gets tricky. Your current home is under contract and you’re wondering how long to wait before making an offer on a new home. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. If you find your dream home quickly, you can make an offer on it before the buyer on your current house closes. Sometimes the stars align so that you’re able to do both closings on the same day.
However, same-day closings are not the rule. For many, there is a gap either because it takes you a while to find the right place or because you need the cash from your current home before you can get pre-qualified for a mortgage on your next one. In this situation, you can put your belongings in storage and move into temporary housing, such as staying with family or friends or using a short-term rental. This can be stressful, but it isn’t permanent. When it comes to a big purchase like a home, it’s better to take your time and get it right than to rush into a decision you’ll regret later!
Partner with local Ocala REALTORS® for your buying and selling needs!
Contact a Showcase agent for help when you need to buy and sell simultaneously. Our extensive experience in North Central Florida real estate makes us your perfect local partner for a smooth process from start to finish. Get started today!