This is a real estate question that arises often. We’ll discuss the different scenarios and the people you need to consult to make a seamless transition.
The answer is ultimately yours and depends on many factors: your location, the style of home you currently own, where you’re moving to, and most importantly it’s about your tolerance for uncertainty. Your realtor has the pulse of the market and knows whether it’s a Buyer’s or Seller’s market.
When you buy first, you know what you’re getting, and you can take your time to find the right property. You must be prepared to sell your current home quickly though. In this scenario, your house needs to be sale-ready. We’ll discuss selling your current home in a future article.
When you sell first, you know exactly what your budget to buy will be, and the home sale is behind you. At this point though, you may feel rushed to find the right home without making compromises that are not ideal. Make sure you have a closing date far enough into the future (e.g., 90 days) to give yourself enough time to find another home.
Having a plan B, somewhere to stay in the interim, for example, staying with friends or short- term rental, can relieve the urgency, even if it will involve an additional move.
What should I do to Prepare?
In either scenario, it’s important to get your home showing in its best light for a top dollar sale. The sooner you get this done, the more flexibility you have to act quickly once the right property comes up.
Don’t forget, that as a Seller while you want to get the highest price, so do the Sellers of properties you may be interested in buying. Also, the listing price may be artificially low to entice buyers to view and possibly make an offer on the property. It’s becoming increasingly important to seek the advice of an experienced realtor in the market you wish to buy in (your target market) to give you an expert opinion of what a property will realistically sell for.
Some downsizers have sold their homes for a great price only to find that prices in their target market are now significantly higher than even a year ago. All these factors need to be taken into account. Your realtor can refer you to experienced mortgage brokers and financial specialists who can suggest financial products such as lines of credit and bridge financing to help with the transition from your current home to the next. This should be done before you even start looking.
As well, do advance reconnaissance in the areas under consideration, so you have realistic expectations. As part of our service, whether buying first or selling first, I have many experienced and vetted Buyer agents in to help wherever you choose to live.
There are certainly many paths to success; you just need to be aware of the important considerations and decisions you will need to make to avoid unexpected surprises and to prepare you for this important part of life’s journey.
As always I invite you to call for a free personal consultation. See you here next time. Let’s talk Downsizing!