In 2021, it was an all-out seller’s market, and chaotic real estate sales became the norm: offers before showings began, seller’s agents trying to facilitate crowded open houses like
How To Sell and Buy Simultaneously in a Seller's Market
Dated: August 8 2022
In 2021, it was an all-out seller’s market, and chaotic real estate sales became the norm: offers before showings began, seller’s agents trying to facilitate crowded open houses like herding cats, bidding wars, and skyrocketing home appreciation. Every Realtor's mantra was "Sell, Sell, Sell!"
Sellers were the kings, and everyone who hadn’t been living under a rock knew it.
But not all sellers.
I remember hearing countless people saying "Oh sure I could sell. But I would have to buy something too!" Are you asking yourself, how do I buy and sell a house at the same time?
If you find yourself in a hot market where buying a new property with a home sale contingency is out of the question, you may feel backed into a corner. Thankfully there are other options that can alleviate the stress of trying to buy and sell at the exact same time.
#1. Find a temporary living space so you can sell without stress
If you are able to take this route, you can eliminate your home sale contingency when you go to buy. This saves a great deal of stress by eliminating any time constraints given by the buyer of your current home, or the seller of your next home. If a buyer agrees to buy your home on the condition that you find a suitable house for yourself, they will likely give you a deadline by which to do so. The clock is running as soon as you accept such an offer.
On the flipside, if you offer to buy a home with the contingency that you must sell yours first, the seller will most likely reserve the right to use a kick-out clause. A kick-out clause allows the seller to accept a better offer if you don't complete or remove your home-sale contingency within a set amount of time (usually within 48 hours of receiving the other offer).
I had a client who was having a new house built and wanted to sell while the market was hot. They were fortunate to be able to move in into a vacant home owned by a relative. They ended up with a nice chunk of sale proceeds that they were then able to contribute to the new construction. I had another client who moved into a month-to-month rental and was then able to sell their home without the stress of hastily finding something else to buy.
If you have a wealth of equity, the sale of your home may even net you the amount you need to make a cash offer on your next home. You then position yourself to have the best offer on the table when you find your next home.
#2. Take out a second loan for your new home
The possibility of this option will depend on the equity you have, your current loan payment, and overall financial profile. It will not be a feasible solution for everyone, especially if rates are high. However, it can be a game-changing alternative to a home sale contingency in a strong seller’s market. If you’re a seller with 10 offers on your home, you’re not going to pick the one with a home sale contingency.
Once you have completed your new home purchase, you can then put your old home on the market. After it’s sale, your old loan will be payed off, and you can use any remaining proceeds as you wish.
I had a pair of sellers who owned a condo and wanted to move to a different condo. They were able to take out a loan, and won a out against five other offers. Once their loan conditions had been satisfied, I listed their condo, and it was under contract within days. They both closed on their new home and sold their old one within a month.
While not everyone can take out another loan, it's an option that gives you more control over buying and selling. If you'd like to explore the possibility of taking out a loan, I'm happy to put you in touch with a few great lenders.
#3. Sell your home with a sale-leaseback
If you are unable to temporarily rent or move in with family/friends while you sell your home, and if getting a loan is not an option, then you will have to purchase and sell simultaneously.
If you are attempting to do this in a hot market, you will have to be very strategic. You do so by finding a cooperative buyer who will let you rent your house back after closing. This is known as a sale-leaseback and can be a real win-win for the following reasons:
- Your home sale hopefully produces the funds you need to make your next down-payment.
- You still have a place to live after the sale.
- You take some stress off of yourself by having more time to find your next home.
It is crucial that you protect yourself thoroughly when selling. When you put your home on the market, make sure that buyers understand that you need a leaseback. They may try to negotiate for more favorable terms, such as a high rental rate or other concessions as compensation. You and the buyer will have to sign a special contract outlining the terms of the leaseback. You may want to consult legal counsel on how to structure this contract.
Your Realtor can market your home strategically to attract buyers or investors who are open to a sale lease-back.
Please keep in mind that these strategies are most necessary when the market is hot. In a very slow market, you may be able to use a home sale contingency with success. It may be frustrating to hear the words "it depends." The reality is that your local market forces dictate the strategies you need to employ to achieve real estate success.
If you have questions about what's happening in your market, or if you'd like to discuss strategies for the sale of your home, please contact me today! I can also get you set up with a free local market report so you can keep an eye on neighborhood activity.
I first became interested in real estate after graduating college and buying my first house in Louisville. By the time I moved, I gained an appreciation for homeownership and the real estate process. ....