44 Realtors Tips On Selling And Buying A Home At The Same Time
Selling and buying a home at the same time is very challenging, especially when you are moving in another state. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible. To get the best outcome you must pay a lot of attention to all the details and work with professionals that will help you and guide to make the process easier for you.
There many things of which you aren’t aware or you haven’t taken into consideration, like financing (can you afford two homes at the same time, do you have to take a loan), where you will live if you already sold your home and haven’t finalized the buying transaction yet, and all other options and decisions that you have to take.
To help you make things clearer for you, we hired Minuca Elena to reach out to 44 real estate agents and ask them:
How to sell and buy a house at the same time when moving from state to state?
We received answers from realtors all over the US that shared with us their experience and also the lessons they learned with their clients. You can read their advice in the post below.
Negeen Masghati – Center Coast Realty
First and foremost, moving between states requires a lot of coordination. This is especially true if you’re selling in your home state and buying in your destination state. There are a lot of moving parts and if your communication and organization between parties aren’t adequate, it can make the process a lot harder than it needs to be.
Figuring out a timeline is one of the first things you’ll want to do in the process. Start from when you want to be completely moved into your new home and work backward from there. Some things to consider; if you purchase your new home with a loan, speak with a lender to find out what contingencies might be at play.
For example, do you have to sell your home to use those proceeds to buy a new home? This will make it trickier, though certainly feasible, to configure your timeline, so definitely something to look into sooner rather than later.
It’s also important to evaluate whether your home needs any renovations before you sell. These will obviously need to be worked into your timeline as well. It goes without saying that you’ll want to plan these things as far in advance as possible.
Of course, sometimes when dealing with job relocation, your timeline is much shorter. In these cases, you’ll want to bring in a Realtor as early as possible to help the selling process go more smoothly and quickly.
As for purchasing a home, if your job doesn’t offer a relocation program that pairs you with a Realtor in your destination city, there’s a chance that your listing agent is a part of a nationwide network that can pair you with top agents in that city to help you find a home there.
This eliminates the stress of going into your new city blindly and having to find a real estate agent on your own. I had a seller client last year who did not have relocation benefits with their job; they had to do everything on their own. Luckily I was able to refer them to a buyer’s agent in their destination city and within 48 hours they were viewing homes with that agent.
Again, if you’re dealing with a job relocation, in some cases you may have only a week or weekend in your destination city to visit homes. My best piece of advice would be to do your research prior; check out the schools, neighborhoods, etc. online before visiting so you feel adequately prepared when you arrive and are able to make the most of your time.
I also more recently worked with a seller who was relocating from Chicago and was using the relocation benefits provided by their company, which included a relocation company that was at the core of the whole process. Everything ran through the relocation company and I had no contact with the realtor helping my clients buy their new home across the country.
Their new purchase was contingent on the sale of their Chicago home, so timing and coordination were key. In that experience, I found that I was somewhat isolated, and it helps when the client can bridge that gap and when all parties are effectively communicating throughout the process. This best ensures the client’s goals are met.
Gary Lucido – Lucid Realty
I’m actually facing this issue myself in a couple of years and have given this some thought. I think you only have two choices:
- Play it safe and rent in the new location for a period of time to learn the market and then buy when ready – this is what I will probably do
- Take a chance that you won’t buy the best house in the best neighborhood for the best price and try to do it simultaneously. First, you become familiar with the new market so that you know the prices, the locations, and the types of homes you want.
You have to make sure that you could be happy with something that is on the market right now. Then you put your existing home on the market. As soon as it goes under contract you attempt to get a contract on something in the new location. You can’t be too picky at this point in time so compromise is the name of the game.
You make an offer with a CLOSING contingency and try to get a contract within about a week with a close date the same as the close date on your existing home. People do this all the time but I find it too stressful.
Mark Ferguson – Invest Four More
One of the trickiest parts of buying and selling is finding the right house to buy. Many sellers are wary of accepting an offer when they buyer has a contingency to sell their house.
I am an investor and had one deal fall apart three times this year because the buyers had contingencies and could not get their home sold.
It is best if a buyer already has their home listed for sale and it is under contract before they make an offer on another house. The timing can be very tricky finding the right house in a short period of time.
The best option is for the buyer to sell their house first, move into a short-term rental in the new area and then try to buy a house. This way the buyer can learn about the market before they decide where to buy as well, they can wait for the right house, and there will not be nearly as much pressure.
Rob Wittman – DUTKO | RAGEN
Do’s and Don’ts:
- Connect your realtors together to communicate and update each other on progress with each transaction. A small delay in the sale of your home can dramatically affect the results of your purchase if you need the money to move into your new home.
- Ask your realtor for a recommendation on who to use in their new state, many realtors have huge national networks or colleagues with whom they interact with at company meetings.
- Include a few days between your transactions if you can, this will alleviate delays in you moving company or delays caused by the sale of your home. Think of the dominoes if one or two stakeholders in a chain of buyers or sellers get delayed by a few days.
- Consider an agreement to stay in the house after closing. In many areas, a “rent-back” or post-settlement occupancy agreement is a great tool to make the transition easier. This allows a seller to close on their sale, receive the proceeds, AND maintain occupancy of their property. This gives a seller flexibility to ensure their movers can come after everything is a done deal.
- Assume that the state you are leaving and the state you are moving have the same real estate customs. There may be nuances that a local agent can educate you on to make the move more comfortable. In my market of Virginia, the customs in Northern Virginia are different from the customs in Richmond. The contracts are different, the systems to find homes, and even some of the experiences, once you are under contract, are different.
- Wire your money with confidence, most settlement companies now require funds to be wired. Wiring money is particularly susceptible to wire fraud scams. The scams send a slightly modified email address (like getting an email from Money@settlements.com vs M0ney@settlements.com) similar to the email of a trusted individual. They request that you wire funds to a new account, the account is real but once money is sent they transfer the money and close the account.
The best practice is to call a trusted number to verify the wiring instructions before sending the money to the new settlement company for your purchase. Once the money is gone it is very difficult to get it returned.
Kevin Deselms – KD Houses
It’s always far easier as a Realtor when you are helping a seller relocate locally, as you are able to control the timetables of both transactions and coordinate things more smoothly. When one part of the transaction is under someone else’s control in another state, it becomes a bit trickier. There are a couple of tools that we have at our disposal to help with this process, though.
The first is what we call a “post-closing occupancy agreement,” also commonly known as a “lease-back.” This is done by the listing agent of the house the relocating party is selling and it requests that interested buyers offer a set amount of time after the closing for the seller to occupy the home, while they close on another house and prepare to move.
Since most buyers are given a grace period of a month or so by their lenders, before they need to make their first mortgage payment, this can be an effective way for a buyer agent to make their offer stand out against any competing offers – giving the sellers a free lease-back period sweetens the deal and in a case like this, where the sellers are relocating to another state, a longer possible term will help enormously. So that can be to the advantage of a buyer in a competing offer situation if they have the flexibility to offer a longer lease-back.
The Realtor representing the relocating party as a buyer agent in their destination city can help by connecting with the listing agent well in advance of the move, to attempt to coordinate the transactions. It’s critically important that the buyer agent in the new city be very aware of the timetable involved.
This agent also needs to be highly communicative, intuitive about their buyer’s needs and technology-savvy… because the house hunt will often be conducted while the buyers are still out of state.
Such a buyer’s agent needs to be very good at getting into the mind of their buyer and know exactly what they want in a home. Not just in terms of the size, number of rooms and acreage… but what kind of lifestyle do the buyers want it to enable?
What commute distance are they comfortable with? What are their needs and desires in terms of proximity to entertainment, recreation, etc… All of these are massively important considerations when searching for the right place, on behalf of an out of state buyer.
As a native and active participant in the Front Range Lifestyle, I am extremely familiar with the best areas for each home type, price range, commute and lifestyle… so I can more easily make recommendations that will resonate with buyers.
Once my buyers have seen listings that appeal to them, I will schedule a preview showing and shoot a video walkthrough of the entire home and its surroundings (including the drive up to the place), which I will have posted online within a few hours of shooting it. This enables the buyer to determine whether making a quick trip to see the home in person is worthwhile. If they do, I will often prepare several showings of similar properties during their visit.
Knowing the status of the home being sold in the buyer’s home state enables me to create a closing schedule that is of sufficient length to accommodate the receipt of the net proceeds from the sale, for use in the purchase of the new home here, if the seller requires those funds to close. It’s really all about communication.
When relocating to an unknown location it’s best to break down the process into steps.
Research local agents by reviewing testimonials closed transactions and experience level. Lean on the selected agents to recommend local vendors.
Many agents provide concierge level service accommodating relocation. However, utilize discretion to diminish conflicts of interest.
Once property search arrangements are complete. Contact title companies or attorneys to coordinate settlement services. Oftentimes, financial approvals require conditions such as property settlements to fund. This is the part where following proper agent selection becomes imperative. With two properties transferring hands, there’s little room for error
Optimally, inspections, appraisals and negotiations are successful, Seek to close on the primary residence a day or two before the second closing. That way, last-minute problems or delays do not impact the second purchase.
Eric Sztanyo – We Buy NKY Houses
If you are selling and buying a home at the same time, there are always a lot of moving parts. Here are 3 tips to help as you move from state to state:
- Thoroughly Understand Your Buying Options
Do you need to sell your home first before you can buy? Can you qualify for a bridge loan? If you buy before selling, can you handle two mortgage payments? These are all questions you need to know before you go house hunting in your new state.
If you need to sell your first how before you buy, make sure the language in the purchase contract gives you some flexibility and time to find and purchase the new house. With rigid contracts, everything could potentially fall through, leaving you with wasted time and money.
- Use Experienced and Competent Agents
If you are staying in the same city and looking to upgrade homes or are in a hot seller’s market, many sellers may opt to go FSBO. However, when you are jumping from state to state, you can’t afford any rookie mistakes.
Make sure you are working with pros on both ends – both buying and selling, who are working for your best interests and know what potential pitfalls might be lying in waiting.
- Don’t Worry About The PERFECT Home
When you are jumping from state to state and selling and buying, often the time period is crunched. You don’t have weeks and months to find the perfect dream home with every single detail you want. Focus on the top priorities of the home you need, make sure it is in good shape, and pull the trigger.
You can always buy and sell again once you are settled in your new city. When you may only have a few days or even hours to tour homes in your new location, find a home that fits the top items you need and hold the other wants loosely.
Will Friedner – The Montana Life Realty
My biggest piece of advice for anyone moving from state to state is to stay in constant contact with both real estate agents. The two agents should be in the loop about everything pertaining to both properties. The agents should also be in close contact with the buyer and seller agents on the other side.
There are really 4 agents involved in this type of deal. It would be a good idea to send each agent the contact information for the other at the beginning of the process. Any holdups or delays on the selling end could affect the buying end of the deal.
There are so many moving parts in a double transaction, that communication between the agents is imperative. Timing is everything! You do not want the movers showing up to a house that you don’t really own yet because the closing was delayed for some reason.
Lenders, Title Companies, and Moving Companies all need to be coordinated to ensure a smooth transaction. Sit down with your agent at the beginning of the process and map out the timeline.
John Bodrozic – HomeZada
One important aspect of selling and buying a home at the same time is the immense volume of paperwork for both transactions at the same time. It is important to get organized and have some sort of digital method to store, retrieve, and access the paperwork.
It is also important to track all the financial aspects of both transactions including the selling price and balance on the mortgage for the home you are selling, and of course the purchase price and new mortgage you are getting for the new house.
This is important for tax filing purposes as well as just understanding your personal finance situation regarding what is probably your largest financial asset and biggest expense.
In addition, you have to switch insurance policies for the house you are selling to the house you are buying, and deal with moving your possessions and personal property from one home to another. Then there is shutting off utility accounts at the house you are selling and turning them on for the one you bought.
Courtney Poulos – ACME Real Estate
My advice is to speak with a lender regarding bridge financing or you get a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) on the property you currently own. That equity would give you the down payment for the home you wish to purchase.
There are also some lenders now offering what is called Bridge Financing when you get a loan and you haven’t sold your current property. In California, there is an alternative lean program called point.com. Point.com will provide you a loan in exchange for a portion of your home’s appreciation. So you have to be creative from moving from state to state, but it does not have to be difficult.
If the market that you are buying in is not competitive, you could write an offer and include a sale of home contingency.
John Myers – Myers & Myers Real Estate
Selling your home and buying another home in a different state is the most complicated, challenging and stressful real estate transactions.
One of the first steps is to work with a lender to determine whether you need to sell your existing home in order to purchase your new home.
You will need to find a great real estate agent in the location you are selling and a great real estate agent in the area you are moving. Make sure you let both agents understand what you are trying to achieve. Ask your real estate agent to start sending you information about the neighborhoods in the location you are moving.
Ask your real estate agent to send you a listing of homes that meet your criteria. Ask about the real estate market and find out how long houses are on the market. Is the real estate market a buyers or sellers market?
Understand it is going to be extremely challenging to make this all happen with the timing that is best for you. You may want to think about temporary living accommodations.
Get your existing home listed with a high performing real estate agent. Price your home at market value. Ask your agent how long homes are on the market before they sell. Ask them how long they think it will take to sell your home.
You need to get serious about finding your new home. In today’s market, most sellers will not accept an offer contingent upon you selling your home. Depending on the market you are moving to, sellers will accept an offer on their home if your home is under contract. You will need to speak to your real estate agent about the market to understand your options.
You will need to plan a trip to check out home in your new location. You will need to plan this trip based on the feedback from your real estate agents. In some markets, homes are selling in a few days on the market. In other markets, homes may take several weeks to sell. Plan on spending a few days in your new locations.. You should probably find at least three houses you would like to buy.
Have your real estate agent make an offer on a home you wish to purchase. If needed, make sure your offer is contingent upon selling your house. Also, if necessary, set the closing date to meet your needs and hopefully you won’t need temporary living arrangements.
Be prepared this is going to be stressful as this is a complicated transaction.
An alternative that is much less stressful is to find a rental for 6 months to a year in your new location. This is much less stressful and you can spend more time learning about your new location and the neighborhoods that best meet your needs.
If you need extra time to find your new home, you may try to negotiate a little longer escrow to give yourself more time. Another option may be to lease your house back from the buyers until you purchase your new home.
Shelton Wilder – The Shelton Wilder Group
If you have a contingency sale, the first thing to do is have your property prepped to sell, and then identify the house that you want to buy. Make an offer on that house at least $5,000 over the asking price. I call it the $5,000 handshake. That says, “We’re committed, we want to do it.”
Then you put your current house—already prepped to sell—on the market with “event pricing,” which means pricing it under market in order to obtain multiple offers and create a frenzy around the property, a bidding war, and get it sold over ask. That way, you also have backup offers in case a deal falls through. And then you can also shorten the number of contingency days because you have multiple offers.
The last two contingency sales I did got $70,000 over ask with eight offers, and $200,000 over ask with seven offers. The most important thing to remember in this situation is constant, daily communication between all of the agents.
Susanna Haynie – Co-RE Group
There are many moving parts to this for sure!
- First of all, assess your situation and answer these questions to get a baseline for your relocation plan: When do you want to be in your new location, more importantly, when do you HAVE to be in your new location?
Once you have a goal, work backward and find the time you’ll need to start making your wheels turn in order to accomplish your moving time frame. Of course, being under time pressure will be more stressful, than if you have flexibility in your timing.
- Call a lender in your new location and discuss with him/her what your financing options are.
Not being under pressure having to sell a home first before purchasing a new home, then move at buyers convenience is a great benefit.
Therefore you’d want to ask your loan officer:
- a. do I have to sell my house first before I qualify for a new purchase
- b. what are my options to not have to sell first? Can I get a bridge loan? Maybe getting a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) for a needed down payment or a cash purchase on a new home.
If you find out that you have to sell your home first get details on what loan you might be utilizing:
- a. FHA loan
- b. VA loan
- c. Conventional or other options.
Get a consultation from at least 3 real estate agents in your current location, to give you details about your home sale. Learn about:
- a. the real estate market and how long it takes to sell a home
- b. how the real estate pro evaluates the home and for how much
- c. get estimated net proceeds calculation
- d. what do you have to do to the home, to make it very attractive to buyers (staging/repairs) and get it sold quickly.
Take all of this into considerations in time calculation
- 3. Put your home on the marketscenario:
- a. Your home is under contract and you are pursuing the house hunt in your new location. Having your existing home at least under contract will give you a greater chance to get your offer on a new home accepted.
- b. Your home is not under contract, and you might run into sellers not wanting to accept your offer -even if it is above list price- because it’s a risk for them to proceed with you. Especially in a strong sellers market sellers will look at your offer as inferior, even if you’d end up paying cash after the sale of your current home.
- Getting to a close:
- a. A back to back closing is somewhat stressful, because of many variables that could prevent a timely closing (on both ends). If this was intended at the beginning of the transaction your real estate agent has hopefully negotiated a few extra days to move out of your current home and into the new home, which is ideal (unless the seller in the new location demands the same, then you are back to square one).
- b. regardless, of what you negotiated and how your transaction comes together, it is important to plan to store your household items and stay in an Airbnb or Hotel until your new home is available. It might cost you, but it might cost you even more NOT to do this in regards to concessions on either end of your transactions.
- Avoid being put in a tight spot.If your home is NOT under contract but you have offered on a new home in the new location, you will feel so much more pressure which will leave you in a less desirable position to negotiate price and conditions on the sale side.At the same token, if your current home is under contract, and you feel you HAVE to do a door to door move, you are putting yourself in a position to possibly buy a home that you are not 100% in love with, or overpay for a home.Allow yourself room to move (pun intended) and anticipate several scenarios where things might go sideways and solutions for them.
Thomas Kutzman – Prevu
If you are planning to sell your home in one state in order to move to another state, there is one idea that can make the process much smoother.
When deciding on a listing agent that you trust to sell your home, ask if they have the ability to introduce you to an expert in the state that you are moving to.
There are modern technologies such as Referral Exchange that enable agents to refer sellers and buyers to reputable agents across the country.
Cornelius Charles – Dream Home Property Solutions
First and foremost, selling and buying concurrently from state to state can be a bit tricky as everything needs to line up seamlessly so you are not left homeless.
The most important thing(s) to have are two wonderful and very communicative Real Estate Agents (one from each state) that are willing to work together to make this happen or one Realtor who is licensed (and up to date on each market) in each state you’ll be selling and buying in.
It is very important that all the important dates (contingencies) line up from home to home. When selling your home, it is important that your Realtor makes the sale “concurrent with your home of choice” while the Realtor helping with your purchase in the other state make that purchase “contingent upon the successful closing of [1234 Main St. in Your City, Your State].”
This will make the sale and the purchase contingent upon the other to make sure you are not left in the cold. Once those are done, it is also important that your Realtor helping with your sale make sure you have possession of that home for however many days you need in order to pack up and get the move completed after your purchase closes.
Many times, when countering an offer, you can ask for 3-days of possession without any cost out of pocket. When it goes beyond 3 days, there is typically a daily rate asked for by the Buyer to compensate their cost of their new mortgage, etc. Other than those very early on negotiations, you want to make sure the home you are purchasing always has the “contingent upon the success closing of [1234 Main St. in Your City, Your State]” contingency in play.
Some Realtors will ask you to remove this prior to when it is due, but this is, in fact (if written correctly in your contract) not due until the day your sale actually records and ownership has changed.
The main issue being – what if you remove this contingency prior to the sale closing and (heaven forbid) your for sale home burns down between removing the contingency and closing day? You would then be stuck with purchasing the new home, even though you don’t have the proceeds from the old home. Unlikely to happen, but it can and it may.
In the end, selling and buying homes in different states should not be difficult, if you choose the right Real Estate Professional(s) that are willing to work together and not bog you down with the little things. They should work together to line everything up properly.
But remember, sometimes things happen that are out of the Realtors control, so be patient and understanding as you maneuver through these types of transactions and surround yourself with a great team!
Mariko Baerg – Bridgewell Real Estate Group
Selling and buying a house at the same time, especially when moving from state to state, requires a lot of preparation and coordination to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
My first piece of advice is to assess what the real estate market is like in your current state versus your future state to determine whether it is smart to buy first or sell first. Is it more of a seller’s market in the state you’re moving to? If so, then you’ll want to consider selling before buying to avoid the undesirable position of attempting to carry 2 mortgages.
You’ll want to plan your schedule carefully and know all of your financial options. If you’re moving for work and are on a time crunch to buy, then you’ll want to ask your work and/or realtor if they provide a guaranteed sold for your current home in the case it doesn’t sell by your relocation date. You will also want to ask your mortgage provider if bridge financing is an option in case your dates don’t line up perfectly for your purchase and your sale.
At the time of relocation, it is best to hire a moving company, as they will have the skills and experience to handle a more complicated move. It’s well worth the cost and will lower the risk of you breaking something, damaging your new property, or injuring yourself during the move!
What’s more is that if you’re moving from state to state, your time will be better spent with friends, family, and your favorite places in your current state before the big move. Make sure the company that you hire has insurance, is a properly licensed moving company, and is reliable, experienced, and punctual.
Chris Haro – Keller Williams Realty Hilton Head
Selling and buying primary homes at the same time when moving state to state is rarely boring.
From experience with past clients, it’s also not impossible. For many in today’s job market, it’s inevitable. How it’s done is a matter of what, who & where.
You’ll vastly minimize common hassles and painful surprises that can arise along the way by
- doing your homework early (what)
- assembling a strong, trusted team ahead of time (who) and
- having a back-up “in-between” place (where).
First, doing your homework means giving careful thought to the more predictable, measurable changes that come into play for any big move:
- Cost of living adjustments
- State income tax
- Schools ( ratings, zoning and daily commute)
- Work commutes ( distance, peak traffic times, traffic, etc)
- Flood insurance ( costs, maps, zones, history and trends in the local area )
- Ownership costs (utilities, fees, dues, etc.)
Anticipate these as soon as you can. Get crystal clear on the purpose, practicality and intended benefits selling/buying simultaneously for your move.
Next, think logistics.
These can be harder to pin down since they can vary by area, property size, season, timing and distance of the move.
Don’t try to anticipate all the logistics on your own. Build a team to help you.
The best case scenario for this is to have a national relocation company (many employers have existing relationships with relo companies for this purpose). They can help you assemble your team and may even handle some of the logistics for you. So inquire with your current/future employer to learn about what options might apply.
If you don’t have the benefit of relocation company, you can still assemble a strong team. Your state-to-state move team consists of two groups: a group of local people committed to helping you sell (aka A Group) and another group to help you in the local area where you plan to buy (aka B Group).
Each group should include people you trust, who will take or return your calls quickly:
- A local attorney
- A Realtor
- A lender
- An insurance broker
- A title company
- A moving company with availability
- A storage facility with availability
- That current/future neighbor who will keep the little stuff from falling through the cracks, save packages sitting on the porch, etc.
Be careful not to mistake Facebook groups, blog posts or online forums for members of your team. While helpful in specialized cases (e.g. military changes of station) these sources are at best once removed from your team. You will still need both A Group and B Group in direct communication with you.
With homework done and your team in place, the final step in the “how” of your move can be the most critical: the “where.”
By “where” I’m not talking about the place you’re selling or the place where you plan to buy. Both are important.
Once contracts are signed and money is at risk, the most vital “where” is the back-up place you could stay for 1-3 months.
Unless you are selling AND buying 100% in cash (two all-cash transactions), you probably wont sell and buy *exactly* at the same time.
Most home sales involve financing. If you need the equity from property A to close on property B in another state, plan to be amiably homeless for 1-2 weeks anyway. Having the option to extend your stay could help immensely.
Even for the best teams, plans can go awry. Its great when a seller agrees to a home-to-sell contingency for their buyer. No contract can guarantee a same-day closing. Perfect planning does not ensure perfect timing. Misconceptions about this can cost tens of thousands of dollars or worse: cause closings to fall apart.
Expect change. Expect temporary unexpected inconvenience for long-term gain.
A booking deposit or cancellation fee is a small price to pay for flexibility when the closing(s) get delayed, the moving truck crashes… or someone somewhere gets cold feet. Reserving a furnished room or house for short-term rental, or planning to stay with friends or family in between places can pay off exponentially.
In the end, having a furnished in-between place on stand-by for the intervening time between closings (even if just a week or two) is the biggest factor in how to successfully sell and buy primary homes at (practically) the same time when moving state to state.
Jordan Scrinko – Precondo
Selling and buying a home at the same time, in another state, can be very stressful. Most people can’t afford buying a second home without a loan, and that’s why you would be pressured to sell your home quickly so you can get the money that you need to buy another one.
To avoid this situation, the best thing you can do is to sell your home and then rent a place for a couple months in the state where you are moving.
This way you can do proper research while living there. No matter how much online research you do, when it comes to a big investment like buying a house, it’s best to check everything yourself. It will be less stressful and you can take your time to find the perfect home in which you want to live.
Doug Willis – up2date Real Estate
Selling and buying a home at the same time can be done but definitely takes some coordination.
Generally, once your current home is in escrow, you place a “contingency for purchase” on your new property.
This affords you the protection that if something happens to your home sale and it does not close, then you are not obligated to purchase the new house.
The parties involved have many factors to consider such as:
- length of escrow period – the shorter the better
- amount to be financed- lower loan to value is better, meaning more cash involved and easier to qualify
- motivation of the parties involved – are they moving for a job transfer, is someone already relocated and living in temp housing?
- how much equity does the Seller have in their current house – can they be more flexible on price?
This can also allow you to delay your inspection period on the new house until you have confirmation that the buyer of your home is committed to purchase and will not back out
Providing everything goes as planned it definitely will take some coordination between both escrow companies handling the sale and purchase. Communication is paramount so that funds are wired and arrive on time handling the sale and purchase.
Ben Mizes – Clever Real Estate
In most markets, I recommend starting your search simultaneously. Once you’re confident there are houses that fit your needs and price range in your new market, list your current home for sale. it’s important to price your home correctly so it sells in a reasonable time. While your house is for sale you can begin making offers, and add in a contingency clause that lets you back out if your house doesn’t sell.
If you aren’t able to buy a home while selling your current one, you can put a leaseback clause on your current home, so you can rent it out from the new owners for a month or two while you buy your next home without any extra contingencies.
Cedric Stewart – Entourage RG
- Assemble your team – We all know it makes sense to hire a real estate professional to sell your home, but how many tap into that Realtor’s network when moving out of state? At Keller Williams, we have two conferences every year where we connect with top agents out of state. Those relationships have allowed me to introduce my clients to top sales pros and thereby ensure a smooth move. Aside from knowing you’re working with a vetted agent in your future home state, having the agents connected allows them to make sure timing, contingencies, etc. for both transactions are managed properly to ensure your move is successful.
- Visit the new area – We always recommend taking a short trip to the future home state to accomplish a few things. While there, you can meet the agent(s), tour potential homes, explore the area and make other arrangements as needed. This is one of the most important steps in the process.
- Map out the entire process – Your agents should provide you with a roadmap of how each phase (the sale and the purchase) will go from beginning to end. This will help to lessen surprises that could impact your move. Every cost, contingency, timeframe, and potential hiccup should be discussed at this phase.
- Control what you can control – If you’re in a seller’s market, your home may not stay on the market very long. This is great if you’ve already identified another home. If you haven’t, you should make the contract contingent upon your home purchase. This will buy you time to find a home if you haven’t done so already, and the buyers should agree to this unless they’re on a time crunch. Be swift though, as these contingencies typically last for 21 days or less.
State to state moves and double closings are precarious and stressful transactions. There are so many moving parts on both sides of the transaction and on top of it all, you’re having to move across state lines.
It’s definitely possible to sell your house and have the funds from that closing transferred over to the title company of the new home. We’ve personally seen cases where they can do same day closings if needed. But again, it’s such a stressful and precarious transaction for all parties — you’re having to line up all the dominoes and hope they fall into place.
Sometimes it’s worth the tradeoff of finding a short-term rental of where you’re looking to move so you can truly get the bearings of the area they are wanting to be in. You can close on your old house remotely and at the same time take your time looking for your new home.
But it is completely possible to coordinate that setup and having all of the parties involved working together to make it as smooth of a transaction as possible.
Kate Hart – Fantastic Removals
Trying to sell your previous property while making a deal for buying a new house is possible but creates a risky property chain. This comes with certain risks and complications that should be carefully considered and taken into account during your process of relocation.
Make sure that you carefully research the law at the place where you live as some procedures might be executed differently based on your geographic location.
Make sure you’ve closed the deal for selling your old home. This way you will know what amount of money is already secured. The only drawback is you’ll have to move out after closing the deal and might end up looking for a temporary place for living until you finish your next deal for buying the new property.
Consult or hire a solicitor. It’s impossible to be updated about everything in the real estate niche, especially when you’re also planning a house move in the meantime. Your solicitor will carefully research everything about both deals and will make sure you won’t get tricky proposals, leaving you a victim of a real estate fraud.
The cost for hiring a solicitor is always worth it and will help you remain calm until all deals are closed.
Wait for the building inspection report before closing the payment. You need to be 100% confident that the house you’ll be paying for the new house is adequate. You can be sure about this only after the official report from the building inspection is ready. In any other case, there’s a risk of paying for a property that will later turn out to need a renovation for tremendous costs.
Make sure you’ll get a moving Insurance. If you book your removals with a reliable hose move service provider you will most certainly have the option to get a moving insurance. The terms and conditions for the insurance are different with each moving company.
Discuss the terms for your moving insurance with the company you’ve hired for the job.
Emile L’Eplattenier – The Close
The first step in any purchase of sales transaction is to do your due diligence and have a good sense of both the value of your current home and the value of comparable homes in the area you’re moving.
You can do this by a combination of research on Zillow and house canary, As well as interviewing multiple real estate agents to get a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). Make sure to also question each agent about his suggested timeline for selling for the best price. On the buy side, make sure there are no seasonal variations that may affect your purchase. For example, the winter housing market in Los Angeles is relatively stable, while the winter housing market in Maine slows to a crawl.
Then, put your home on the market and begin looking for a home. Once you find something you like, put in an offer with a settlement contingency, or acquire a bridge loan so you’re not stuck paying two mortgages while your home is still on the market.
Jonathan Faccone – Halo Homebuyers
If sellers are not strategic and realistic about selling their property, they find themselves in situations where they would prefer to take a large hit on their on the sale price to sell to an investor for a quick cash offer rather then letting the house they want slip away.
As a seller, It’s important to be conservative on how long the house can take to sell, as well as realistic about the true market value of the house so as to not overprice the home from the start. That is where a competent Realtor will be an important resource.
So before starting the buying process and letting the emotion, stress and or excitement of the home buying process get the better of you, find out all the particulars from a experienced Realtor on the process of selling your family house first.
If you could be under contract to sell your property first, this will make your offer stronger to the buyer of the home you want to purchase and maximize how much you will get for your own home, instead of selling the investor-route in an attempt to salvage your dream home purchase!
Fred Glick – Arrivva
There are a few different ways and it depends on the person’s situation. There are what are called swing loans where there is a mortgage put on both properties in order to give the money for the new home ahead of time.
If cash is not the issue, there are lenders that I broker to that will not count the current payment against someone if they have their home on the market.
Also, there are ways to prepare to do this ahead of time with a line of credit or family gift.
Evan Roberts – Dependable Homebuyers
One of the most stressful parts of moving to a new state is needing to buy a new home while your old home is still on the market. You’re stuck in a catch 22. You need to buy a new home so that you have a place to live but you can’t qualify for the new loan if your previous home hasn’t sold yet.
In this situation most lenders will make an exception and qualify the new loan contingent upon you selling your old home in the short term, but that could mean thousands of dollars out of your pocket as you are stuck paying both mortgages at the same time.
When you go to make an offer on a new home you put up an Earnest Money Deposit to let the seller know that you are serious about purchasing their home. If you were to break any of the terms and conditions of the contract then they would have right to end the contract and keep the Earnest Money Deposit as compensation.
Traditional purchase agreements are worded so that you forfeit this deposit if you walk away due to your previous home not selling. This leaves you stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do you push forward and pay both mortgages or do you walk away and forfeit your deposit?
To protect yourself in this situation you add an addendum to your offer making the purchase of the new home contingent upon the sale of your old home. This means if your old home does not sell before closing then you will have the right to walk away while keeping your deposit.
We find that given this contingency, sellers are more likely to work with buyers who need to extend closing due to a previous home not having yet sold.
Aaron Bowman – Mazz Real Estate
When selling in one state and moving to another there are a few points you want to keep in mind.
First, start off with interviewing a few Realtors. To see which one understands your needs when it comes to selling your home. Don’t be afraid to ask for a few referrals either. It’s a good way to find out how a Realtor really is. Don’t pick a Realtor on how long they have been in the business either, as some fall behind on technology and marketing tools.
Ask your Realtor for referrals for Realtors in the area you are moving to. In this day in age, your Realtor should be connected to Realtors in almost any state.
Second, keep security in mind when it comes to the property you are selling. This is especially important if you already moved into the new home. Request that your Realtor does weekly inspection along with weekly status reports on the properties condition. This ensures that the curb appeal is kept up and no break-ins occur.
Third try and relax as this can be a stressful time, as moving alone can be stressful. Just think you’re adding a purchase and a sale into the mix.
Alayna Summanen – Starr Home Search
We are currently working with a customer that is doing this exact thing. They had the luxury of being able to stay with family in their new location while they focused on selling their home in another state. Then, once they received a contract on their home, they were able to begin their home search in the new state location and make an offer that is contingent upon the sale of their home here in Florida. For buyers who have the same goal of selling in one state and buying in another, here are some tips they may find helpful:
First, determine if you have an interim place to stay in between, or if you need to make the buy and sell happen simultaneously. If you are hoping for a simultaneous closing, know that they can come with a little more stress, but it is possible. In all scenarios it is good to have a Plan B or back up plan just in case.
The best plan if you are working towards a simultaneous closing is to first target a buyer for your existing home. If possible, during contract negotiations request a 45-60 day closing to give you a little time to search for a home in your new location. Then you can potentially make an offer on a new home to close in 30-45 days and make your offer contingent upon the closing of your existing home.
Some sellers will not accept a contingent offer, but if you make all of the other terms of your offer attractive and competitive, it is possible to find sellers that will consider a contingent offer. In our market it is uncommon for sellers to accept a contingent contract when you have not received an offer on your home yet.
Another great option is to ask your lender if they offer a “Recast Loan” option. This allows you to purchase a new home and close on it, and then when you sell your existing home you can make a downpayment and readjust your monthly payment on the new home. It is similar to the old “Bridge Loans” that used to be available. There are some requirements (you have to qualify for both properties and you also have to have enough money for your initial downpayment and closing costs) to qualify so speak to your lender to make sure you are a good candidate.
Sophie Kaemmerle – Neighbor Who
Research the real-estate market:
It’s often a challenge to decide whether to sell first, then buy or buy first, then sell. It’s a good practice to research the prices of the homes in the areas where you’re selling and buying. This will tell you whether the current market is in favor of sellers or buyers. That way, you can make an informed choice.
The general rule is in a buyer’s market, you sell first while in a seller’s market, you buy first. In a buyer’s market, the idea of selling first is to avoid paying interest on two mortgages or losing equity in your property. In a seller’s market, the idea of buying first comes with the assumption that your property will sell fast.
Remember to remain objective, and not include your own personal feelings about your home, when selling your property. That way, you can foresee and prepare a property that others will want to purchase.
Coordinate your closing dates:
A good practice is to coordinate your closing date on your new home to come prior to the closing date on your old home. That way, you don’t have to coordinate temporary housing for yourself in between the selling of one home and the buying of the new home.
One way to get the two dates to line up is to prepare for one activity at the same time you are actively completing another. For instance, you can actively be selling your home at the same time as planning to purchase a new home. Make sure you research all your options, keep your credit score as high as possible, and know which home loans are available to you.
A contract contingency.
Adding a contract contingency will allow you to coordinate your closing dates closer to each other. This refers to adding a contingency to your contracts, whether buying or selling. Where your sellers are concerned, you would make your new home purchase “contingent” on your current home selling. For your buyers, you would make their closing date line up with the closing date of your new home.
A rent-back agreement.
In a rent-back agreement, your buyer will agree to a short rental period of your present home after it’s purchased. For agreeing to this, you can either present them with a lower purchase price on the home or pay them rent during your stay.
This way, you are able to remain in your home for a short period of time, typically 60 – 90 days, while you locate a new home to purchase. It can be less challenging, and possibly less expensive, then selling your home, renting a new place for a few months, and then moving again once you’ve purchased a new home.
Consider bridge financing:
Bridge loans are temporary loans which help homeowners purchase a new home before they have sold their current home. The borrower will take out this short-term loan to finance the down payment of a new home. The loan is taken out against the home equity of their present home.
Once they sell their present home, they can repay the loan. This loan allows the borrower to place their current home on the market void of any restrictions.
Oscar Florea – Avida Land
A straightforward answer to your question is to buy and sell at the same time in a Seller’s Market.
First, you buy a new home. Note that to do this, you must qualify to own two homes.
Next, you rent back after selling your house. This will give you enough time to prepare yourself and move into your newly purchased home.
But I’m sure you already know this by now.
What I can give you are some tips that would be useful for you. Here are some of them:
So as not to incur additional cost/interest, it is always better to use funds on hand on all transactions. So, make sure you can afford to move to another state (meaning you have ample funds on hand) before taking any action.
An alternative to renting your old house is to rent in your new state after selling your house. This will give you an opportunity to settle in your new neighborhood before moving in.
Be more knowledgeable than your realtor, by this I mean you should do your due diligence in your “moving endeavor”. Research, research, research. Your realtor is only your guide or adviser, but you ARE the driver in this exercise.
James McGrath – Yoreevo
The number one piece of advice I can give is to be transparent with all parties about your required timing and protecting yourself in the event something goes wrong.
For example, you’ll probably need your sale proceeds to purchase your new home so you need a sale contingency in your purchase contract. If something happens to your sale or it gets delayed, you need to make sure there’s a plan B.
Conversely, if your sale goes fine but your purchase gets delayed, the contract should say something like “For each day the closing is delayed at no fault of the buyer after X, buyer will be reimbursed $Y” so you can pay to keep your belongings in storage and stay in a hotel.
If you assume everything will go smoothly and don’t tell anyone about your delicate timing, the complications will pile up very quickly if something goes wrong.
Matt Hernandez – AceableAgent Real Estate School
In short, you’ll have to get your first house under contract first. Then you can go under contract on the new home you plan to purchase and make a requirement to close contingent upon the sale of the first home. Depending on what state you live in/are moving to, you may have to have an attorney include this language in your agreement, or there may be a state-approved contract addenda.
There is a risk with this route, however. Adding this contingency protects you from ending up having to pay for a new home before you’ve sold your old place, but can put you at a disadvantage as a buyer. This is especially true in a seller’s market.
Sellers are more likely to favor an offer from a buyer who doesn’t have this requirement, and may even be willing to hold out for another offer even if yours is the only offer they have at the time. At the end of the day, a qualified real estate agent should be able to help you navigate all of the nuances of this process with your best interests in mind.
Trey McCallie – Real Satisfied
We have had some success with back to back closings on the same day if the client is moving within the same area. You can wire the proceeds from one closing to the next. It really helps if they are closing at the same title company.
Sometimes, my clients request possession after the closing so they can move comfortably and close a few days later on the other house. This helps if they are moving out of the area or out of state.
It mainly takes coordination between all the agents involved as well as the movers and title companies. Communication or over communication, I should say, is key.
The other key is to not to wait until the last minute to coordinate all this. The time to start is when you are negotiating the contract.
Shawn Breyer – Breyer Home Buyers
How to Handle the Move
Buying and selling houses at the same time provides you with a small window to pack your house and move. It’s important that you don’t want until the last minute to start packing everything, especially if you are going to be moving long distances with only one trip.
The first thing you should do is prioritize what you need to keep to sustain your family’s life and what you can live without for a few weeks.
Dedicate an area in your house close to the door that you’re going to be parking the moving truck to start stacking all of your boxes. You don’t want to box everything up, haul it down to the basement, and then have to haul it back up to load it in the truck.
Set a packing schedule to pack, say, 1/4 of a room every night. Making daily progress towards packing your house up and organizing your boxes in an easy to access room will make your moving week much more manageable and faster.
I actually have a client going through this process right now. I am working on the sell side for them in Massachusetts, and they are using a different agent to accommodate for the buy side in Rhode Island.
It’s been key that the agent in RI and myself keep in very close contact as this is a domino transaction- there is a home to sell contingency on the buyer of my sale side, they are scheduled to close early in the morning, so that our sale can happen midday and then early afternoon, my sellers will be closing on the RI home.
There are already so many moving parts in real estate, so when you throw in multiple transactions, and a variety of state rules a successful transaction really relies on the ability of the real estate professionals involved.
Daniela Andreevska – Mashvisor
If you want to sell your house and buy a new one in different states at the same time, the first thing you have to do is to research and evaluate the two markets. The best situation for you will be if your home to sell is located in a seller’s market and your home to buy is located in a buyer’s market.
If you are selling your home in a seller’s market, this means that there are relatively few properties for sale, so you will be able to sell relatively quickly. Thus, you can ask the buyer to go for a rent-back, which means that you will be renting your old home until you are able to buy a new one.
If you are buying your property in a buyer’s market, you will probably be able to find a new home fast. As buyers are few in such a market, you should be able to convince the seller to sell with a contingency offer, which means that you will buy their home contingent on you selling yours first. You can also try to request an extended closing, over the standard 30-45 days, to get some extra time to find a new home.
Work with good and experienced real estate agents. They will be able to get you good deals and coordinate the two transactions.
Do careful real estate market research in both locations to know exactly how much you can expect to get for your old home and how much you will need to spend on your new one. Figure out your financing options in advance.
For seller/buyers that need to make a distance move, the most important piece is to find a Realtor on one end that can connect you with a Realtor at your goal location. Having Realtors that can communicate regularly with each other will take a lot of stress off the dual transactions for the seller/buyer.
Experienced Realtors can advise on the timeframes needed on both ends of the transaction and create a workaround if a glitch should happen.
As much as we want to take everything online these days, real estate transactions, especially complicated ones need human, offline line solutions.
Dan Lesniak – Orange Line Living Team
When selling and buying a house simultaneously, talk to your lender and your realtor to get a sense of what’s possible. Scenarios differ. It’s often important to work with a reputable real estate team that has a proven record of selling homes quickly. Ask the realtor selling your current home to refer you to a good real estate team in the state you’re moving to.
When moving, you have two options.
Option 1 is to sell your home first and then start fresh with a lender to buy a house in your new state. This is the option many movers choose, because they require the equity out of their current home in order to make a down payment on their next home.
This approach might mean you need to seek temporary housing and/or storage space in your new state while searching for a house to buy. A good realtor should be able to put you in touch with some local short-term housing options while you’re shopping.
Option 2 is to buy your new home first while subletting your former home in preparation to sell. This option is for those who don’t need the equity out of their current home in order to make the down payment on their next home.
If you are selling your home in one state and moving to another it is very important to have professionals working with you on your behalf. Your selling Realtor will keep the Realtor on the buying end informed of your progress.
If you need to sell the first home before buying the second then the contract for your new home should be contingent on the successful close of your first home.
Your financial circumstances and timing will dictate how your Realtors will guide you in the process. You may want to rent for a short time if you need to move prior to the sale of your current property.
Kristina McCann – Off Market Homes
One of the best ways to buy and sell at the same time is to do so ‘off-market’. By ‘off-market’, you dial yourself in with a Realtor who has access to private list servs in their community and get the word out amongst Top Agents. These deals are often private and do not have the same pomp and circumstance associated with painting, packing, staging, etc.
Once you find your buyer, you have a lot more leeway in negotiations – as well as the luxury of doing the painting and repairs after you move out. After you secure your buyer, you can travel to your new home state with the details of your home sale complete and have a much easier time buying.
Preston Robinett – Nexus Home Buyers
Trying to sell a home while at the same time relocating is an easy process. While there are some challenges, It should be no problem for an educated Realtor® to get the job done. The great thing is, you can leverage two different agent’s expertise in both markets. Here’s what a good agent should advise:
- List your home for sale.
Before you can buy your next home you will most likely need to liquidate the equity you have in your current home. It will be advantageous to get that process rolling asap. It could take some time before you find a legitimate buyer. Don’t worry if a buyer wants to close before you can. It’s still a seller’s market and the right buyer will be patient.
- Make lots of offers.
Find a reputable Realtor® in the market you are looking to relocate to. Do not be afraid to submit offers on properties you are interested in. Your Realtor® should know to put a contingency in the offer stating the purchase of your new home is contingent on you selling your current home. Make lots of offers. Here’s why some sellers may not want to agree with your contingency. That’s not a bad thing (just put yourself in their shoes). It just means you might have to make more offers to find the right home and the right sellers.
- Utilize technology.
If you are relocating to another city or state you will probably not be able to lay eyes on every property you make an offer on. And you shouldn’t worry. It’s 2018 and technology has made it possible to get a very good look at any property. Utilize your agent’s skills and relationships to make it happen. Getting high-quality video footage of the property is easier now than it ever was. Most agents will be glad to help with this.
- Thousands of families relocate to different cities and states in the U.S. every month. A great way to start is to find a Realtor® in your market who specializes in helping families relocate. They have helped families in your situation before and already have developed relationships with other Realtors® across the U.S. that also specialize in helping families relocate. Piggy Back off of their knowledge and experience.
Craig Mracek – Keylo
How to sell and buy a house at the same time when moving from state to state?
People assume they have to sell and buy at the same time when they’re moving across borders. Unless you have to move on very short notice this isn’t the case. In fact, the only time you need to buy and sell simultaneously is with very short notice. Pause for a minute and consider the following questions on whether buying or selling first may be the right choice before crossing that border.
Will Your Home Sell Quickly?
If you live in an area where the housing market is red hot, it may be best to buy first. Keep in mind that every house is different so I’m assuming the home you would like to sell is an average, well-maintained home compared to others in your area.
Once you find the home you want to buy, you should be able to list and sell quickly, and might even be able to encourage a closing date on the home you are selling that matches up exactly with your preferred move to your new home across the border.
Can you Afford two Houses?
If the thought of paying property tax, maintenance, and utilities on two houses brings instant nightmares then you may want to sell first. This becomes particularly difficult when you no longer live in the same State as your old home. Selling first will provide some financial flexibility since you will have the proceeds of the sale even if buying takes longer than expected.
You can use savings or the equity in your current home as a deposit or down payment for your new home. This will also give you the flexibility of time to find the exact new home you want. If you need the proceeds from the sale of your current home for the down payment on your new home then selling first is your only option.
Are you Buying or Selling a Unique Property?
If you’re selling a unique property it may take much longer than others in your neighborhood to move. You may want to list early and then consider buying in case you don’t get an early offer.
Then again, if you’re a picky buyer and want unique features in your new home, you should buy that home when you find it. Another option you could consider as a picky buyer is to sell first and purchasing a home that you can renovate to match your requirements.
Is the Housing Market Unstable?
If the market is shifting quickly and you can’t reasonably predict how much your current home will sell for, you should sell first. That way, you know your buying power when looking for your next home. Having the advice of a good agent is invaluable in this scenario as they will know your local market. Ask questions! An informed seller is a smart seller.
Also, don’t rely solely on the recommendation from your agent for someone to help you buy in another State. Use a reputable referral service that works nationally and can find you a great agent. Otherwise, you may end up with someone mediocre just because they know your agent personally.
Is the Housing Market Against You?
This one is similar to the last column but provides a more direct answer. If you’re selling in a market that isn’t attracting buyers, you should sell first. This is because it will be difficult to sell and you won’t be able to predict how long or how much you will make.
If you’re in a seller’s market then you should focus first on buying because you may find it difficult to find your next dream home at a price you want (plus you know you can sell quickly when you find it). Whichever is going to be more difficult in the current market—selling or buying—should be the priority.
Jeff Miller – AE Home Group
The hardest thing about buying and selling a house at the same time when moving from state to state is qualifying for a new loan when your old house hasn’t sold. Instead of trying to buy and sell at the same time you should consider a lease-to-own or “lease option” purchase.
The way it works is instead of purchasing the home up front, you lease (or rent) the house for a year and then pay a fee that gives you the option to purchase the home at today’s price at the end of your lease.
This fee is typically around $5,000 and sometimes can be applied toward the down payment of the purchase.
This gives you the time you need to sell your old home while having a place to live in the new state.
I have two of those situations going on right now.
A. My sellers are both going to sell and ask for a rent back. That means my seller pays the buyers PITI (Principle, interest, tax and insurance). That way the seller turns into a strong buyer. They have the money to get the loan they desire and if they get into a multiple offer situation they are strong buyers.
B. Another way is put their house on the market and look for homes. If they see something they like they can write an offer based on their home selling. This is more difficult as sellers typically don’t want to accept these offers unless their house has been sitting on the market for a while.
C. You can also get a bridge loan. This is a loan that can get the buyers qualified to buy a house and is a temporary loan until the sellers sell their house. It makes the sellers a strong buyer but if they buy something and there house does not sell for a while they would be stuck with two payments.
Thank you so much to all the realtors that contributed to this expert roundup! Hopefully now, selling and buying a home at the same time is not as scary as it seemed before. If you need help with moving your furniture and all your possessions contact us right away.