How To Time The Sale Or Purchase Of Your Home

If you’re like most people, you’re probably concerned about selling your house before having one lined up to buy.

You don’t want to sell your house first, not having somewhere to go.

But, at the same time, you know you can’t buy another house, without selling the house you already own.

Ideally, you want to time the sale and closing of the house you have to sell, with the purchase of the house you’re moving to. Ideally…

But, it isn’t always easy, or even possible. You certainly can’t bank on it. So, it’ll help you to have a few tips to up the chances of timing the sale and purchase as much as possible, or at least have a plan just in case it doesn’t…

Negotiate time to find a home.

Probably the easiest solution is to sell your home to a buyer who’s willing to give you some nice terms in the contract.

You can negotiate in that the sale of your home is contingent upon finding and buying the home you’ll move to.

Not all buyers will be willing to agree to this, though. And you may have to budge a bit on your price or other terms of the agreement.

But, if it makes your life better, less stressful, and costs you less than any other alternative, it makes a whole lot of sense to give a little to get a little.

Note: This can be hard to pull off if your buyer is also selling their own home and need to time the sale and purchase on their end as well. There’s a whole “trickle down” you might need to be sensitive to. This approach works best if you’re selling to a first-time home buyer.

Get a bridge loan.

These aren’t the easiest thing to find, but you might be able to find a bank who will lend you money without selling your home, or as long as you have a viable contract on your home. It could be a bridge loan. Or it could just be that the lender feels you can carry both mortgages for a short period of time.

Of course, you can do away with all of these concerns if you have enough cash on hand, or own your other house outright. But most people aren’t in that position.

Note: Don’t look into these options once you have your house under contract and have found one you want to buy. Do this before you even start the process. Look into different lenders and the options they may have for you. You might be happily surprised.

Have a back-up plan.

Most people don’t have so much extra money that they can just rent a hotel room and storage for all of their furnishings while they’re in between the home they sold, and the home they’re buying to close.

But, if you have that kind of money, that’s a good option. Go on a local “vacation” for a while, and send your stuff to a storage facility.

Or, maybe you can find a short-term rental in your area. But, again, this might not be budget-friendly for everyone.

If you don’t have that kind of money, line up a place to stay with someone in your family. No, this isn’t ideal, but it can do the trick.

Note: Having any of these as your back-up plan can take the pressure off of you to just buy whatever house happens to be available and line up with your timing. It can buy you time to wait a bit for the perfect house, and take some of the pressure off when you are negotiating. If you are pressed for timing, you may be forced to pay a higher price for the house you are buying. So having a plan for where to stay “just in case” can cost you…but it could also save you in other ways. So, look at the silver lining.
First things first…

No matter what, don’t expect to just wing it and hope everything works out for the best.

Come up with your game plan beforehand.

Maybe you don’t even have to worry all that much. That depends on your local real estate market. It may just be that the house you have to sell will be easy to sell, and have such demand that you can call the shots in regard to the terms of the agreement and get time to find the perfect home.

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And, who knows…maybe there are plenty of houses for you to buy that are just sitting there waiting for you, and the owners would be just fine helping to time the closings with you.

And the best way to find that out, is to call your real estate agent, and work hand in hand with your agent from the get-go.

Real estate agents deal with these concerns day in and day out and can help you make the best decision and plan considering your wants, your needs, your situation, and the local market.

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How To Buy a Home In a Hot Market

When a market is hot, finding and buying a home can feel like an uphill battle. In a seller’s market, homes go quickly. They can be on the market one day and gone the next. And on top of the challenge of finding a home, most homes (especially the desirable ones) have multiple offers, making it harder to get into the home of your dreams.

But buying a home in a hot market isn’t impossible! You just have to approach it strategically and stack the deck in your favor to find – and successfully buy – the right home for you and your family.

Here are four tips for buying a home in a hot market that will put you a step ahead of the home-buying competition:

1. Make Your Offer As Attractive As Possible

When faced with multiple offers, sellers are going to go with the offer that’s the most attractive, both in offer amount and the actual terms of the offer. So if you want to stand out from other potential homebuyers and make an impact on the sellers, you need to make your offer as attractive as possible.

The first thing you can do to make your offer attractive is to put more money down towards the house. Cash offers are always the most attractive, but that’s unrealistic for most people. So if you can offer a larger down payment than the standard 20%, that will immediately make your offer stand out.

If you don’t have extra cash, there are other ways to make your offer more attractive to sellers. You can offer a short inspection period and agree to take the property as is, which will sweeten the deal for sellers (just make sure you know what you’re getting into; obviously, any large repairs discovered during inspection can add a significant cost to owning the property). Or, if the owners want to stay in the house longer (for example, to finish out the school year), you can offer to rent the home back to them after purchase and delay your move in.

Anything you can do to make your offer more attractive to sellers will up your chances of landing a home in a hot market.

2. Be Willing To Be Flexible

In a hot market, the sellers are the ones holding the cards. And if you want to find a home, you need to be willing to be flexible.

Chances are, when you find a property, there are going to be things about it that don’t fit your image of your “perfect” home. But if you wait too long on a property or ask for too much from the sellers in terms of repairs or changes, you risk losing out to other people who are ready to make a move.

Don’t budge on your non-negotiables; you want to be happy with your home purchase and not feel like you moved too quickly out of fear you wouldn’t find another property in such a competitive market. But don’t let a great home slip through your fingers because you aren’t willing to be flexible in your wants and needs in a home. Because in a hot market if you’re not willing to be flexible, someone else will be.

3. Be Willing To Be Aggressive

While you always want to get the best deal possible on your home purchase, a hot market isn’t the time to go in with an ultra conservative offer. In sellers markets, houses routinely go for well above asking price. And while you don’t necessarily have to make an offer that’s above asking price, if you want to land a home in a hot market, you need to be aggressive.

If you find a property you love, talk to your real estate agent to come up with a strategy to make your offer aggressive and competitive. Look at the recent sales in the neighborhood to get an idea of what homes are selling for and make sure your offer is in line with the recent comps. Make your offer competitive, but don’t commit to more than you can comfortably pay.

4. Write A Personal Letter

It seems like a minor detail, but when you’re looking to buy in a hot market, is a good idea to write a personal note to the sellers.

When faced with similar offers, many sellers end up following their emotions and going with the potential buyer they most want to sell to. And by writing a personal, sincere letter that introduces yourself and your family and lets the sellers know why you want to purchase their home, you can differentiate yourself from other potential buyers, appeal to their emotional side, and land the home.

Buying in a hot market isn’t easy, but it’s possible. And with these tips, you’ll put yourself a step ahead of the competition and get yourself a few steps closer to buying your home.

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