Updated: Apr 18, 2019
Should I list my home before finding my next home? There's quite a bit to consider here and there may be more options than you realize!
No Matter What Get Your Home Ready To Sell
It is vital that you get your current home ready to sell first no matter what your situation is! This doesn't mean you have to go ahead and list it before you find another home to buy! Here's why - getting a home ready to sell takes time...a lot of time if you do it right. You need to make repairs (these may be minimal or sometimes major), you need to declutter and depersonalize your home to prepare for pictures and showings, you need to meet with your Realtor so together you can prepare a pricing strategy.
When you find your next home and place an offer with a contingency for the sale of your current home you must list your home on the MLS within 48 hours! That is not much time! Get your home ready before this - that way you have the best chance for selling your home quickly and for top dollar no matter when you list.
What is your financial situation?
This can be the biggest determining factor when deciding if you should list before you sell. If you are blessed to be in a situation where you can afford to buy a home with out selling your current home you can shop for a home without the stress of a deadline! This can be a great option because there are some lenders provide a service called Recasting. In short Recasting looks like this: you can find your home, put minimal amount down, and once you sell your old home you can take the proceeds and pay down the loan. They will then recast your mortgage payment or adjust your monthly payment to fit the new loan amount - without having closing fees!
Most people will need to sell their current home in order to get a loan to purchase their new home. Timing for this can get tricky! The first thing you need to do is talk to a good Realtor about the home you need to sell. A good experienced Realtor will take a look at your home, develop a pricing and marketing strategy for your home, and will be able to tell you if your home should sell fast or if it may take a while. As a Realtor, there are some homes I walk into and know that they are going to sell in a week or less as long as our pricing is right. Others may be harder to pinpoint because of the price range or uniqueness of the property or they may be in a saturated market or maybe they aren't in the best shape. I will always be honest with you about whether I think it will go fast or if it may take a while!
If your home may take a while to sell it is probably best to list your home first and maybe even get a contract on your home before putting in an offer on your next home. The downside to this is you may be locked into a strict timeframe for when you need to find your next home. This can be hard but it is doable. If you are picky or are looking for something unique in your next home I recommend coming up with a back up plan just in case we close on your current home before we can close on your next home. Is there anyone you can live with for a few weeks? Can you do a short term rental? This is obviously not ideal but can buy you a little more time to find and close on your next home.
If your home is likely to sell fast you can find your next home before you list your old home. In this situation it is vital that you get your home ready to sell before you find your next home! Like I mentioned earlier, it can take a while to get your home ready to sell! Get your home ready to sell then go find your next home. When you find your next home and get it under contract, that is when you can list your home - and not have to stress about getting it ready in the next 48 hours!
Ultimately the best thing to do is consult your Realtor early! You aren't locked into selling your home now if you talk to your Realtor now. Talk to them and they can help you come up with a plan! We do this everyday!