If you are thinking of selling your home and buying another there are a few things to consider.  First and foremost you want to determine whether you have to sell in order to qualify for the loan on your next home. Talk with your lender to see what options you have and then of course there’s the decision of whether you want to buy before selling and take on what comes with maintaining two homes until yours sells.


Needing to sell before you buy can get tricky.  You don’t really want to look too seriously too fast because it can be very disheartening to find the perfect home and then have it sell before yours does, not to mention the time you may waste looking at homes.  With the average days on market in our area, Roanoke, Virginia being over 200 it’s going to take a little time to sell in most cases.


What we generally recommend is that you initially get access to all homes that are currently for sale based on what you’re looking for and then have your agent keep you posted daily as any new listings come on the market.  It’s helpful for you to go ahead and drive by the ones you like to see the outsides and different locations in order to determine the ones that meet your approval.  Then set these aside so once you get an offer on your home you’re set and ready with a list of those you want to see and aren’t starting from scratch.


There is the option of writing a contract contingent upon the sale of your home however due to market conditions fewer sellers are willing to accept contingent contracts.  As a seller it’s a little limiting because it does have to be disclosed that it’s under contract with a kick-out clause and some buyers won’t want to look at the home because of this.  They or their agents may not want to get involved in making an offer with the possibility of being kicked out by the contingency being removed. 


As a buyer if you know for sure that you can’t remove the contingency by qualifying for both homes it’s almost to your advantage to wait anyway because your contract doesn’t really mean anything unless and until you sell your home.  Again, very disheartening to write an offer on a house you love and then lose it to another buyer who doesn’t have to sell first.  And, in trying to get you the best price possible on your next home, it’s to your advantage to come in with an offer with your home already under contract scheduled to close vs coming in with an offer contingent upon the sale of your home.  This will give you much more negotiating power. I mean as a seller wouldn’t you be willing to negotiate a little more knowing the buyer’s home is sold and set to close vs sitting on the market?


Of course you don’t want to sell yourself out of your house without knowing you can find suitable housing.  You can make the sale of your home continent upon finding suitable housing however this also can be limiting as many buyers will not want to write a contract on your home in hopes that you find something suitable within a specified time frame, in fear that they may lose your house while wasting valuable time and potentially missing out on other properties. 


In my opinion, the best avenue if you absolutely have to sell before buying is to focus first and foremost on getting your home sold, then find your new home.  You can coordinate an extended closing date on your home to give you extra time or make arrangements for temporary housing in between.  You definitely don’t want to be forced to buy something just because yours has sold and at the same time you can’t buy until you sell so you have to give somewhere in this scenario.  I hope this helps you to plan ahead and determine what route is best for you and your family if you are thinking of selling and buying.


Please let me know if I may be of assistance to you with buying and selling in Roanoke, Virginia and surrounding areas.