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Buying and selling a house at the same time

You found your dream home, and you want to put in an offer. But there’s one problem: You also need to sell the house that you currently own. What should you do?

List your current home ASAP.

If you currently own your home and don’t already have your house listed on the market, you need to do that first. It would be hard for a seller to take an offer seriously if the buyer owned a house and didn’t yet have it on the market.

Choose your closing dates very carefully.

If you close on the house that you are buying before you close on the house that you are selling, you will effectively own two homes at the same time. We’re not pessimists, but not all closings go smoothly, and you don’t want to set yourself up for a potentially bad situation.

Make a contingent offer.

When you’re putting in an offer on a home in a very hot market (like Boston’s current real estate market), it isn’t advisable to have too many contingencies within your offer. That said, you need to protect yourself against possibly being able to close on your new house – but not being able to sell your current house. The most common way of doing this is to add in a contingency saying that you can only buy the new house if you are able to sell your current house.

Lease back your home.

This won’t work in all situations, but sometimes a seller can close on their home (meaning they have sold it to someone else), but then lease back (meaning they are renting from the new owner). By doing this, the seller is able to sell their home (and not be responsible for the mortgage on that home) but also be free and clear to buy a new home because they are only renting and no longer own.

Buying and selling a home at the same time can be complicated, but it happens often and an experienced agent should be able to make the process go smoothly!