• Sheena Saydam

How to Sell Your DC, Maryland or Virginia Home and Buy Another

Selling your home. Buying a new home. Carrying two mortgages at the same time if you buy a home before your first one sells. All three of these scenarios can be stressful situations. How do you sell your DC, Maryland, or Virginia home and buy another one?

The stress and anxiety of selling and buying a home can be greatly reduced 1) by choosing to work with me as your real estate agent, and 2) by choosing a good mortgage lender.

Together we can guide you through difficulties and answer any questions you may have.

It is my job to help you through any confusion in the selling and buying processes. It is also my job to let you know what your options are, how to get your house ready to sell and to teach you about the real estate market in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas. I can help you know what you can afford and what your home is worth before anything happens with selling your home or buying another one.

Since getting your home ready to sell can be a hindrance when you want it to sell quickly thus causing stress, I suggest that you “Pretend your home is already sold. Since you’re moving, you must sort, purge and pack your belongings. All of this must be done because moving day is coming! So go ahead and get started on the moving process right away.” (From my blog “Home Staging Gets Your House Sold). Procrastination on this important first step could mean it will take many days to get your home ready and staged for showings.

Get an Offer on Your Current Home Before Buying Another

Do your best to get an offer on your current home before you put an offer on another home. Getting an offer on your current home before putting an offer on another gives you more buying power. It also allows you to put a contingency clause in both offers. The contingency clause should state that you need an offer on your current home before you can purchase the new house. You could disclose in your real estate listing that you are selling “subject to seller finding suitable housing” to alert those interested in your home that you must find a home to move into before the sale is final.

Foregoing such a contingency clause in both offers could mean you will have to find temporary housing (renting another home or moving in with relatives for a short time) after selling your current home and finding your dream home.

Simply put, selling your current home and buying another without a contingency clause in both offers is a bad idea. Moving once can be stressful, but moving twice because you can’t find the right home to buy, is doubly stressful.

Negotiate a “Rent Back” from the Buyer

What if you were to sell your current home before purchasing a new one? Is there something you can do?

Yes, and it’s called negotiating a “rent back” from the buyer. You can request that the buyer allow you to rent the home from them for a month or two after the closing date to allow you to find a new home.

Since the market is strong, you can even negotiate a free rent-back. For example, if your home is listed at $500,000, you could take $490,000 from the buyers and get a free rent-back. A free rent-back is more valuable than a little extra money in the bank for you as the seller in negotiations because you don’t have to move as quickly.

Consider a Home Equity Line of Credit

Real estate and lending have changed dramatically since the banking crisis a few years ago. It used to be very easy to buy a new home before selling your old one.

You could leverage the equity in your home by opening a home equity line of credit and borrow up to 95 percent or more of your home’s value and use that money as the down payment on the next home. You could close on the new home before ever selling the old one.

It seems that small banks are once again taking risks and more equity lines of credit have been offered. If you have enough equity in your home, some banks might let you borrow 20-30 percent of the equity.

If you are buying another home, find out as much as you can about the seller. Ask the listing agent a lot of questions like “Why haven’t they bought yet?” and “Who are these people?” The answers will give you better information which will help you write a better offer on their house. The offer will be easily accepted and allow you to negotiate more with them. For example, you might be able to negotiate another month or two on top of the typical 45-day closing. You as the seller can structure the deal the way you want it to go.

Contact Sheena at Sheena@SaydamProperties.com. Right from the start, I’d love to:

  • help you through the buying and selling processes

  • let you know your options

  • show you how to get your house ready to sell

  • teach you about the real estate market here in the DC, Maryland and Virginia areas

  • let you know what you can afford

  • let you know what your home is worth