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Buy or Sell First?


When you’re preparing to move to a new home, you have a decision to make: Should you set your sights on finding your new home first or on selling your current home?

Yes, you can try to do both at the same time, but it’s likely that one will happen much faster than the other. Let’s explore both options:

OPTION A: Sell First

It makes sense to focus on selling your home before you get a new one. It’s what your lender would tell you to do. It’s what your mom would tell you to do. But is it always feasible?

PRO: You can focus on planning, staging and selling your home at the best time to attract the most buyers and get the highest price. BOOM.

CON: You might not have a place to go when you close on your home sale. Where would you stay in the meantime? Where will your stuff live? Does your dream home even exist? Cue existential crisis. 

If you sell and don’t and don’t have a place to live, are you open to staying with family or even in a short term rental or AirBnB? Are you open to putting your belongings in storage with your moving company or at a facility? As an alternative, you can make a deal with the buyer where you lease back your own home until you close. And you don’t have to pack and move twice.

OPTION B: Buy First

PRO: You’ve got your eyes on the prize–the dream home you’ve always wanted. Once you find it, you’ll quickly put your home on the market with the hope that you get a big offer quickly. If you purchase closing is earlier than your sale closing, you can use the time to do light renovations in the new home, like painting or new carpet.  

CON: Congratulations, you now own two homes. Your lender says “Eh, we can make it work for a little while.” You mom asks “Which location will be hosting Thanksgiving this year?” You feel squeezed for cash with two mortgages. You want to move into your new home but you also want to keep your old home staged. It’s quite a conundrum!

Chances are, with low inventory, you will be able to sell your home quickly and time your closings pretty close together. You can also have your purchase contingent on your sale but if there are other buyers without a contingency, you might not win the bidding war. if you skip the sale contingency, you’ll have to check with a lender to make sure you can get approved for your new home while you still own your old one. 

But before you do anything, give me a call. I can decipher today’s market and help you make the best decision.


Questions? Contact Heidi

Whether you are buying or selling a home, you’ve come to the right place to achieve success in Chicago’s exciting housing market.

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