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How To Sell Your House While Buying A New One

Curbed University delivers insider tips and non-boring advice on how to buy, sell, or rent a house or apartment. Additional questions welcomed to seattle@curbed.com. Today, real estate expert Christian Nossum, founder of RealesDate, tells you how to sell your old home while trying to buy a better one.

At some point in everyone's life, it becomes clear that it's time to upgrade. This can apply to your romantic life, your car, job, and your living situation. Imagine if you still lived in your college dorm. At the time it was probably fine, but it wouldn't work for you today.

This is especially true for homeowners. Sometimes, it's time to upgrade to a home that better fits your current needs and lifestyle. With today's current real estate market, now is the perfect time to put your home up for sale and find a new place. However, it can be a daunting task to take on selling your current home while also looking for a new one. That's why having the right real estate agent working for you is especially important. Both buying and selling a home are major undertakings, but the right real estate agent will be able to coach you through the process. We recommend choosing an agent with whom you are comfortable looking at houses with, but who is also well versed in marketing and selling homes in your area.

After you've found a well-rounded agent, it's time to think about your strategy of selling and buying a home. The first thing you should keep in mind when upgrading to a new home is that timing is everything! Make sure you have a plan for selling your old house before purchasing a new one.

If you can qualify for a loan and make the downpayment without needing the proceeds from selling your old house the process is pretty simple. You can buy your new house and then sell your old one on your own time.

If you need the proceeds from selling your home to buy your new home, the timing gets a little more tricky. Ideally, you should first find a really good agent and mortgage broker to guide you through the process. Secondly, you and your agent should figure out a sales price for your old home and set a budget for looking at new houses.

Since you will need the proceeds from the sale of the old home, you will need to close on your old home before your new house closes. You have a few options about how to accomplish this. First, you could sell your old home and then move your belongings into storage (or a POD) and stay with friends while you wait for your new house to close.

Another option, which an experienced agent can set up, is called a Simultaneous Closing. This means that both your current house and your new house close on the same day, back to back. A good agent may also be able to negotiate a Rent Back for you, which means that you sell your old house but remain living there until you take ownership of your next home. It's kinda funny when you think about it, but basically you become a tenant in your old house for a pre-arranged amount of time - often paying a negotiated rental amount to the new owner. With this option you don't have to move all your belongings twice.

As always, give yourself the best chance of being successful at upgrading by finding an experienced agent. They'll be able to tell you what options you have based on your specific market conditions, and help you create a plan that works for your specific situation. Good luck and happy upgrading!

Christian Nossum is a Seattle real estate expert and the founder of RealesDate.