Buying and selling a house at the same time?

Do you have to sell your home first?  What is the best way to do this? Those are some big questions.

If you are planning on buying and selling a house at the same time, there is some homework to do first, to make sure it goes smoothly.  Here are some strategies.

The most important step is to figure out your goals - Here are some questions to ask yourself – What is your goal?  What is your timing?  Do you need to close the same day? Do you have some flexibility?  What does your financing look like –are your finances in order? How much money do you have or need?  These are some super important questions you need to be sure you answer before you begin the process.

Next – You will want to Choose the real estate agent you plan to work with. You will want to pick someone you like and trust and are comfortable with. You will want to share your goals and work as a partnership through this process as there are a lot of moving parts and things can get a bit tricky when you buy and sell a house at the same time.  You will both need to strategize the best plan of action to reach your goals.

Keep watching to the end and we will go over 4 specific strategies for buying and selling a home at the same time..

Do you know what you are looking for in a home?  You will want to fine tune your new home criteria with your real estate agent and get a search set up so you can be sure there are houses in your price range, that fit your needs. You will want to do this before you begin to sell your home.  We don’t want you to be homeless!

You also will need to get a good idea of what your home will sell for, what the costs are to sell and what you will net.  Watch my video on closing costs to sell a house – the link is shown above.  This will give you  a good idea of what costs are involved in selling. Your real estate agent will be able to help you with this. Make sure you account for any possible market changes.

Do you need to get a loan for the new home?  You will want to talk with a lender right from the start – if you need a referral for one – ask your real estate agent.  A lender can make or break a transaction.  It can be helpful, if your lender real estate agent do business together often. There is lots of communication and coordination that has to happen behind the scenes and if there is already an existing relationship it can go much smoother.  

You will need to get a preapproval for a loan and make sure you are qualified to purchase a new home to your liking.   During this process  you will find the costs involved in getting a loan (if you need one) and estimated payments. Be sure to account for any possible rate increases. If the rate increases just a little bit, sometimes it can throw off your whole purchase plan if your numbers are tight.   You should also ask your lender if you can qualify to purchase your new home without having to sell your existing home first.

You will also want to begin Prepping your home for selling – Staging, Cleaning, and de cluttering are super important.  As well as making any necessary repairs needed to make your home shine.  Your real estate agent can guide you on what to do and what not to do.  You want your home to make a great first impression and have great photos, but you don’t want to do any unnecessary expenses.  You want to save that money for your new home!


I will share with you 4 strategies to buying and selling a house at the same time.  I am going to number them 1 through 4 – not necessarily meaning #1 is the best. It all depends on your situation.

Strategy #1  Sell your home first and then use the proceeds from your existing house to purchase a new one.

You would sell and close on your existing home and then put an offer on the new home and close 30-45 days later (ideally). 

The advantage of this would be  You will not have a home contingency and it is much less stressful because the timing is not as critical,  AND you will not be homeless!.  It is much easier to get an offer signed around on your new home without a home contingency.  What is a home contingency?? – A home contingency means you have to sell your existing home first and use the proceeds in order to buy another one.  In most market timeframes – it is very difficult to get a contingent offer signed around.  It does happen, but not very likely.  In this scenario, You can take your time finding exactly what you are looking for in a new home.   If you find that perfect home a home contingency will not stop you from being able to purchase it in this case.


Disadvantage:  You will need an alternate living plan until you find your new home. Stay with relatives, rent month to month, and extended living are some options. It could be very easy to find your new home or it could take some time to find your new home.  If you are looking for something unique or if inventory is low. It could take a couple months for you to find exactly what you are looking for. You could ask for a rent back for a month or so to help  give you a little more time before finding an alternative living place.

Also, Depending on the time of year and the market – prices or interest rates can increase – or (decrease for that matter) during the time you are looking for a new home which could alter your buying power. So be careful there.


Strategy #2: Buy your new home non contingent and then list your existing home for sale.

In this strategy we are trying to avoid having to buy your new home contingent on selling your existing home. You could try to close the 2 homes at the same time or close to the same time or you can buy your new home move in and then list your home so you are not so rushed.   If you wanted to close near the same time you  could try to buy your new home with a longer closing timeframe – say 60 days or so to buy you time to get an offer mutually signed around on your existing home with a similar closing date.

In order for this to work you would need to be able to purchase your new home non – contingent - You will need to check with your lender to see if you are able to purchase your new home without needing the proceeds from your existing home  .You can get a home equity line of credit from your existing house for free for a down payment or There are some loan programs out there that will let you do a one time re amortization of your new home loan when your existing home sells. Using those proceeds so you don’t have to refinance.  You can also check on a bridge loan. 

The advantages to this -: It is much easier to get an offer accepted for your new home without having a home contingency and you would possibly only need minimal  alternative living arrangements. The other main advantage would be you would have found your new home already – sometimes that is the hard part – especially since we have been short on inventory for years.  It is also can be less stressful than some alternative strategies

Disadvantage:  Your existing home may not sell as quickly as you want it to. You may need a plan b for housing for a little while and You may have to pay a double payment for a month or so. OR  You may not qualify financially to buy non contingent.



Strategy #3  Buying your new home with a pending home contingency.

A pending home contingency means you have listed your home for sale and have a mutually signed around offer.  Having a pending home contingency – is less risk for the seller and a better advantage for them.  We want to benefit the seller as much as possible so they accept your offer.  In this scenario you would list your existing home, get an offer mutually signed around and pending and, then find your new home. You can then write your new home offer with a pending home contingency. 

The advantage here is It could be easier to buy your new home. Some sellers will accept a “pending” home contingency because they know you already have an offer in  escrow on your existing house and it is a little less risk for them to take their home off the market. If your home is in pending status or through the appraisal phase vs pending inspection it is even stronger

Ideally you would close the same day or within a week of closing on your existing home so you wouldn’t have double payments

Disadvantage: .  Many sellers still will not accept a pending home contingency. ( it depends on the market and the seller situations).  There still is risk to the seller if your existing home does not close for some reason. 

Another big disadvantage - You could find your dream home and not be able to get it because the seller will not accept any kind of home contingency.

The timing can be tricky Here. There are 2 sellers, 2 buyers and likely 2 lenders and 2 title and escrow companies.  Everyone has to coordinate and be on the same time schedule with no hiccups.

Also, You may not find your new home as fast as you hope to, especially if you are looking for something unique.  You can ask for a post closing rental on your existing home so you have a little more time to find your new home and not have to find alternative living.

Strategy #4   Find your new home and buy your new home with a home contingency.

 This is the route most buyers would like to take but  This is very difficult to do .  Your would either  already  be listed (with no offer) or you would list after you get a mutually accepted offer on your new home. The home contingency contract has a default of a 5 day period to get your home listed.

Advantage – This is the least risky way for you financially  There is less risk on your end. If your home does not sell you are not obligated to purchase the new home.

Disadvantage – This is very very difficult to do.  Timing can be tricky.  This is definitely the most stressful strategy because of the timing and everything has to work exactly right. – which doesn’t always happen in a real estate transaction unfortunately. All parties try their best to meet deadlines with in the purchase and sale but it doesn’t always go as smoothly as everyone hopes for.  Closing dates can get delayed on either the existing sale side or the new home side and then it can get messy.


Also one of the big bummers is you may not get that home that you loved – either because they would not accept a home contingency or maybe your home doesn’t sell fast enough or another buyer loves the same home and bumps your offer (yes they can do that)

If You do this strategy would need to be sure you have your existing home priced to sell and have good terms on the offer you receive.

So as you can see there are many factors to consider.  All of these strategies are very dependent upon what is happening in the market at the time  you plan to buy and sell. How much inventory is there? How long are homes on the market (days on market) before getting an offer? What are your finances like?  These are all factors that contribute.  If it is during the slow months or long days on market, or if it is a buyer’s market- it is easier to get a contingent offer signed around.  It also depends on what type of home you are selling and the saleability of it and what type of home you are buying and the demand and availability of it and what your goals and needs are.   As you can see it is super important to have an experienced and knowledgeable Real estate agent and lender to help you through the pros and cons of each scenario and help you find the best strategy to meet your needs. There are so many moving parts.

Thank you so much for watching.  If you would like to find out how much your home is worth – go to and look me up or comment below.  If you have any general real estate questions I am always here to help!  Please like, comment and share with your friends – and subscribe!  See you next time!