Upsizing: Your Guide to Buying and Selling a House When You Need More Space

Matt Norton
December 24, 2018

Your Guide Buying and Selling a House When You Need More Space

As your family grows, you may find that you begin to outgrow your home. Learn more about buying and selling a house when you need more space.

The number of children per household has gone down in recent years, but multigenerational households are on the rise. In 2016, a record-breaking 64 million Americans lived in a home with more than one generation.

No matter the reason, a growing household means you're going to need more living space. That means you'll be buying and selling a house soon.

If you already own a home, closing on a new one at the same time can get dicey. How do you sell your current home while making sure you've got the next one ready for move in?

Here's a guide to help you through it.

Be Budget Wise

Knowing your budget before you begin shopping is a good start. It makes for an easier buying and selling process. Here are some ways to make sure you know your financial stuff before you begin.

Estimate your Profits

Take a moment to look at the market value of your home. Get an idea of how much your current home might sell for. That way, you'll know how much down payment you have for the next one.

This affects the price range you can look at for your next home. A larger down payment can get you into a bigger home. A realtor can help you do this if you don't know where to start.

Prequalify for a Loan

Now that you know about how much you can profit from your current home, you can talk numbers. Take a look at interest rates for various types of mortgages. Shop around online and in your local market for a lender.

Go ahead and apply for a prequalification on a loan. You're a serious buyer when you have a prequalification letter in hand. It'll strengthen any offers you write, too.

Ways To Buy and Sell

There's more than one way to handle your current property while you're buying the next one. It's all in the timing and there are some important deadlines to know when buying and selling a house. Here are two ways it may happen.

Contingent Sale

When you buy and sell at the same time, you'll get involved in a contingent sale. Your current home will need to sell in time to close. That's important for the financing to go through.

In a contingency sale, your contract on the new place depends on the sale of the old place. There will be a deadline by which it must be under contract, or the contract on the house you want to buy is void.

That doesn't mean there isn't room to negotiate. It means the sellers have the right to pursue other offers.

Contingent sales can be frustrating and stressful. Yet, they work out more often than you might think. It all depends on the market and your home.

Bridging Loan

If you're struggling with the sale of your current house, you might consider a bridging loan. This loan helps you with the expenses of owning two homes at once. It can help bridge the financial gap in buying your new house while you wait to sell your old one.

It's a gamble though. Bridging loans come with steep interest rates and you could end up paying a lot back. You can't predict how long it will take to sell your current home.

Before you take out a bridging loan, make sure you understand the current housing market. It may not be a wise idea in an unstable seller's market.

Prepping To Sell

Between handling all that financing, take some time to prepare your current house! The better it looks, the more likely you are to sell it fast. You can do a lot to help.

Here are some things to help you prepare your current house to sell quick.

  1. Get a storage unit for excess stuff
  2. Hire a cleaning service for a deep cleaning
  3. Clean up the landscaping
  4. Have a plan for keeping it clean and organized
  5. Know where you'll go during last minute showings
  6. Stage furniture to maximize space
  7. Reduce personal items to only a few

Everything you do now is a step ahead in showing a beautiful, desirable home to potential buyers. Make it look good!

Shopping For Your Next Home

When you're planning on buying and selling a house at the same time, it will go easier with a realtor. Interview more than one and go with someone that inspires your confidence.

Hire one to help you navigate putting in offers. This is trickier than you think. Especially when you have a contingent sale involved.

More important, your realtor can help you find the right home at the right price for you. They know the market and can help you write offers that work for your situation.

Realtors are also a great point of contact for you. They are masters at managing all the players at the table, like lenders and buyers agents. A good realtor is crucial to making it to the closing date.

Be Ready For Closing

Speaking of closing dates, you need to be ready for a couple of possibilities. Title companies try to give an expected closing date.

Things happen in the process that can speed up or delay closing. You'll need to be flexible.

You may even have two closing dates if you have two homes under contract at the same time. It's possible to close one house before the other. Make sure you and your family have a place to stay if your current home closes first.

Be prepared to take time off for your closing. Talk to your manager about it ahead of time. They should prepare in case you need to step away to close the deal.

Need Help Buying and Selling a House?

No matter the reason for your upgrade, you can upsize your house with confidence. Get your finances ready and remain flexible during the process. If you do, buying and selling a house at the same time is definitely possible!

Looking for a realtor in the Frisco, Texas area? We'd love to help! Give us a call or send a message here.

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