How to Buy A Home When You Need to Sell your Home
By: Amanda Ferrari, Bend Realtor
Are you wondering how you can buy a new home when you need to sell your current home? If you aren’t a first-time home buyer, the process of moving into a new home can feel overwhelming.
Let's walk through 3 options to get you out of your current home and into your new dream home! This is a common occurrence and it CAN be done with ease. Whether you are moving TO Bend, moving WITHIN Bend, or moving OUT of Bend, the process is the same.
Option 1: Temporarily take on two mortgages.
You will want to meet with your lender to really understand your finances. Do you NEED to sell your current home before purchasing your next? Most people do need to sell first, but you may be surprised to find out that you can afford a home without selling your current home. Of course, this can be scary to take on two mortgage payments, so you may not WANT to go this route even if you CAN.
You can also talk to your lender to see if you qualify for a re-cast or bridge loan. Bridge loans roll the mortgages of two houses together, giving the buyer flexibility as they wait for their old house to sell.
Even if you have crossed off the possibility of taking on two mortgage payments, you will want to meet with a local Bend lender and get pre-approved. The last thing you want to do is sell your home and then discover that you can’t afford what you thought you could. You will also want to meet with a real estate agent who can give you the best idea of what your current home will sell for. This way, you will know how much equity you have in your current home and paint a picture of what you can afford in your next home.
Option 2: Write an offer contingent on the sale of your current home
In this case, you are a buyer first. This option can give you that guarantee that you will be moving into your dream house. The downside to doing it this way is that you are writing an offer with the contingency that your house will sell, making it more difficult to get your offer accepted. In a multi-offer situation, which we see a lot of these days, the sellers might feel more confident in selecting an offer without this contingency. So especially in a seller’s market, an offer with a contingency of your home selling will decrease the likelihood of acceptance.
Now, if you are the only offer on a home, or if other aspects of your offer make it stand out above the competition, your offer can be chosen. Everyone’s comfort level is different, and this option can work, but it is essential to have realistic expectations if you choose to go this route.
Option 3: Sell your current home first
This is the most popular option right now in Bend, and gives you more leverage as a home buyer. This might feel like a scary situation in a market with low inventory. What happens if you sell your home and can’t find a replacement property that you love? These feelings are understandable!
If you are more comfortable with it, write in the contract that you are selling your property contingent upon YOU finding a suitable replacement property. You will want to work with your Realtor to ensure that language is in the contract to protect you.
So starting out in this process you want to focus your time and energy on selling your current home. Who doesn’t love shopping? I think just about everyone, except maybe my husband, would prefer to shop than declutter and repair their existing home. However, if you prioritize being a seller first, you will be glad you did. By investing time into prepping your house for sale, you should be able to sell your current home in less time and for more money. You should also have the upper hand in negotiations, such as the closing date.
As a seller who needs to find a replacement property, I suggest negotiating a longer close, somewhere between 45- 60 days to give you time to find your new home. Another option is a lease back- this would allow you to rent your home back for a specified period of time, so you have the time you need to close on your new home. Another great thing about selling first is that you will know exactly how much money your home is selling for and feel more confident about buying your next home.
Once you are under contract, meaning you have an accepted offer on your current home, you can then shift to becoming a buyer. NOW is the time to shop away, look at homes, and even make an offer. If you haven’t closed on your original home yet, you will still need to write an offer contingent on your home selling. You will want to specify on your offer that your current home is under contract, and you will also want to state if you are past the home inspection period and appraisal. Even though your offer is contingent, the sellers should feel much more confident the further you are along in the process.
Once you have an accepted offer, you are well on your way to your dream home! Congratulations!