Moving Up… how to buy a home when you have another home to sell

Are you bursting at the seams, wondering if it is time to sell the house you bought when you were single or BC (before children) and move up to a bigger home? The time has never been better for sellers… but when you are also buying there are more things to consider.

Know your reasons for moving

The smiling family in the photo above didn’t think they were ever going to move… they loved their walkable neighborhood and didn’t want their kids to move from the schools they loved. But as their family grew from two to four, including two growing girls and a cat, they started to wish for more space… including a room for each girl and an extra room for the kids to hang out when entertaining family and friends. Still, they loved where they were living so much they figured out how to make it work.

It wasn’t until they passed a house for sale that attracted their attention while taking the girls to school one day that they thought about the possibility of actually moving.

They thought about it enough that they contacted us to see if it would be possible… and to learn what would be involved if it were possible.

What net proceeds could you expect upon the sale of your current home?

First step is doing a market analysis of your current home and calculating an estimated net proceeds after subtracting selling expenses including paying off your mortgage(s) and selling expenses.

What price range can you afford to buy? Do you have to sell before you buy?

With estimated net proceeds info in hand, next step is talking to a lender to find out your pre-approval price range for your next home. Also find out if it is financially possible for you to buy your next house before you sell your current one.

Is it realistic for you to find your next home in a location you feel good about and price range you can afford?

With pre-approved price range in hand, go on a tour of potential next homes… don’t rely on information you find online, a home can look very different in person! If it seems realistic to find a home you would like to buy, move on to the next step.

Do you buy first or sell first?

With such a shortage of homes for sale, the first question that comes to many a potential move up buyer’s mind is not selling your current home but finding your next home. Fear of potential homelessness is a reality in today’s market.

BUY FIRST – By this point you will know if buying first is an option for you. Why would you want to buy first when you know you are going to sell? Here are a few reasons…

  • If you have specific wants or needs in your new home so your options are more limited, buying first can be a good option if it is possible… it means fewer worries about finding the right home in a short time frame when you accept an offer on your current home
  • This can also be a good option if you have a busy household with children and pets… it can be a real pain keeping your home in showing condition with toys and other ‘kid stuff’ everywhere
  • Leaving your house for showings can also be difficult… coming home from work to take out the dog during showings, disrupting dinner and nap times, not having a chance to come home and relax because of showings
  • Some sellers like the option of clearing everything out of their current home and moving to their new home first … then doing needed updates while the home is empty, and hiring a stager to bring in everything to take care of making it showing ready
  • Not having a set timeline to move out of your current home can be attractive, giving you the opportunity to make updates on your new home and take your time moving in

SELL FIRST – Even if you qualify to buy without selling first some people don’t feel comfortable at the prospect of having two mortgages, even for a short time. You still have options.

  • If you are afraid you won’t find a new home in a short timeframe after accepting an offer on your current home, you can make the sale contingent upon you securing a ‘home of choice’ within a specified timeframe or the agreement is cancelled… this isn’t as attractive to buyers, but with the shortage of homes currently available it could be a good option
  • You can make an offer for your next home contingent upon the successful sale of your current home, but in this competitive market most sellers won’t consider this option… meaning you will likely have to wait until you come to an agreement on your current home with inspection contingencies cleared before making an offer on your next home
  • You can make your offer on your next home contingent upon the successful closing of your current home… seller may ask for a copy of the purchase agreement for the sale of your current home
  • You will have to coordinate closing dates for both transactions
  • If you close on your sale first, you may need to find temporary housing until you find or close on your new home

Celebrate… you did it!

In the words of the happy family above who just finished their transition buying their new home, then selling their first house…

“It’s official! This chapter has ended… We will miss our wonderful neighbors and the perfect location, but we are so pleased we have sold our house. Many thanks to the Remax Results – Homes MSP Team for guiding us every step of the way!”

Contact us – we would love to help you, too! Be sure to ask about out “Move Up Home Buyer Program” for special savings. Get started searching for your next home at Twin Cities homes for sale near parks.

RE/MAX Results HomesMSP Team – – 763-694-1073


Written By

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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