When you are both a Seller and a Buyer

 A lot of my clients are moving out of the area, or moving in, and may only need my help for one side of the transaction.

There are plenty, however, that I work with to both buy and sell their home.  This can be a particularly stressful combination. Not only are you buying a new home, but you are living in one that needs to be 'showing ready,' at all times.  
But how can you structure both deals to minimize moving-week stress?
So often, settlements are delayed by financing not being ready or a transaction earlier in the chain not settling.  If you line up your movers to be finished loading at noon, assuming you will sell your house at 1:00 p.m. and the settlement to buy your new home at 4 will happen on schedule, you may be in for a stressful afternoon.
What are some things that you can do to minimize your stress when buying and selling at the same time?moving van
  1. If you can, sell before you buy, by several days. When negotiating your sale contract, ask for a couple of days rent-back (free, if you can get it). This way you can move right from the house you have sold to the house you are buying.
  2. Alternatively, if finances allow, buy before you sell.  This can be particularly helpful if you are doing any pre-occupancy remodeling. Obviously, this does not work for everyone.
  3. Plan to store your belongings with the moving company, friend or at a storage unit for a couple of days and stay with friends or family. Sell your house, make sure the money is in your account and set up the settlement to  buy your new home for a couple of days later. This is more stressful than a rent-back, but might be less expensive.
  4. Invoke the contract contingency clause for coinciding settlements. At the end of the day, most people can't settle on a new home before theirs has sold, but this clause puts the buyer on notice so that they know a delay on your sale will mean a delay on your buy. Of course, this is adding a contingency to your offer, so it can make your offer less attractive to the seller than a competing offer.
  5. Write a contingent home sale purchase contract (least popular option). When it was more of a buyer's market, this option staged a bit of a comeback, but in a seller's market, you will probably lose out if you include this contingency. It is a big risk for the seller to agree to wait to see if you sell your house. They don't have much control over your sale (if any) and so they really have to take a 'leap of faith.'
There are things you can do to minimize your stress when you are both buying and selling. The best thing you can do is some contingency planning. The worst thing you can do is plan back-to-back settlements--while they sometimes work, they often don't!
Plan ahead and minimize your stress levels!



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 Momentum Realty

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Comment balloon 3 commentsHolly Weatherwax • August 27 2013 01:52PM
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