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Vital Information About Buying a House Before Selling My Existing Property

By Bill Gassett | January 15, 2024

One of the most challenging aspects of real estate is buying and selling homes simultaneously. It strikes fear into consumers, whether doing it for the first time or on multiple occasions.

It's understandable as it is a stressful process. I have compiled frequently asked questions from potential buyers and sellers to simplify it.

These FAQs will put you on the right track to simplify the process. Let's examine the steps for a double real estate transaction.

If you are a first-time home seller, also look at the first-time selling checklist.

1. Can I Buy a House Before Selling Mine?

FAQs Buying Before Selling a House

Absolutely! In today's real estate market, buying a house before selling yours is possible. Maximum Real Estate Exposure provides several excellent tips and steps to make it happen.

One popular option is a bridge loan, a short-term loan that allows you to finance the purchase of a new home while you wait for your existing home to sell.

This type of loan bridges the gap between selling your current home and purchasing your new one, providing the necessary funds to pay down and cover other expenses associated with buying a new property.

It's important to note that eligibility for a bridge loan will depend on factors such as your creditworthiness and the equity in your current home.

Before utilizing this option, many buyers will look to qualify for two mortgages instead. They will take out a second loan to buy a house until their current property sells.

2. What Are Ways to Finance the Purchase?

When financing the purchase of a new house while still owning your current one, a few options are available. One option is obtaining a home equity line of credit (HELOC) on your current property.

With a HELOC, you can borrow against the equity in your home and use those funds to purchase a new house.

You can also get a second traditional mortgage and carry both until you sell.

3. What Are The Advantages of Buying a Home Before Selling My Current Property?

There are several advantages to buying a house before selling your current one. By purchasing a new home before selling your current one, you can avoid the stress and pressure of trying to find a new place to live while simultaneously selling your old one.

It allows you to take your time in finding the perfect home without feeling rushed or settling for something less than ideal.

Additionally, buying a house before selling yours allows you to secure a new property at today's market prices, potentially avoiding future price increases. It also allows you to move into your new home at your own pace.

It can be desirable for renovations or modifications to be completed before the transition.

4. What Are The Risks and Challenges of Buying Before Selling?

Potential risks and challenges are associated with buying a house before selling yours. However, there are also strategies to mitigate them.

One risk is the possibility of carrying two mortgages simultaneously, which can strain your finances.

However, you can minimize this risk by obtaining a second loan or securing a contingency clause in your purchase agreement that allows you to delay the closing until your current home sells.

Another challenge is the uncertainty of the real estate market, as the value of your current home may fluctuate during the selling process.

To address this, consider getting an accurate appraisal and working closely with a knowledgeable real estate agent who can help you navigate market conditions effectively.

5. How Do I Determine the Value of My Current Home to Access the Affordability of Buying a Second?

Determining the value of your current house is crucial when assessing affordability for buying a new one. It is something every seller must know first.

To do this, you can start by researching recent sales of similar properties in your area.

Look for houses with similar square footage, bedrooms and bathrooms, and comparable amenities. In addition, consider consulting with a local real estate agent who can provide a professional comparative market analysis based on market trends and the condition of your home.

Another option is to hire an appraiser to estimate the value of your property based on various factors such as location, size, and recent sales data. The cost of an appraisal is worth it to get your asking price correct.

By combining these methods, you can comprehensively understand the value of your current house to determine its impact on your ability to purchase a new one.

6. Do I Need a Pre-approval to Buy a New House Before Selling Mine?

Yes, obtaining pre-approval for a mortgage before buying a new house before selling your current one is highly recommended. Most real estate agents, including myself, will not consider an offer without a pre-approval letter from a reputable mortgage lender.

Pre-approval gives you a clear understanding of your borrowing capacity and demonstrates to sellers that you are a serious buyer.

Additionally, pre-approval allows you to act quickly when you find the perfect new home, as you already have the financial backing necessary to make an offer. This can give you a competitive edge in a fast-paced real estate market.

However, it's important to note that every situation is unique, so consulting with a mortgage professional is always advisable to ensure the best course of action for your circumstances.

Also, be cognizant of when your mortgage pre-approval expires.

7. What Are Common Pitfalls to Avoid?

When attempting to purchase a new house before selling your current one, it is crucial to be aware of common pitfalls that can arise.

One major mistake to avoid is overestimating the value of your current home, as this can lead to unrealistic expectations and potential financial strain.

Carefully considering both transactions' timing is vital to ensure a smooth transition.

Another pitfall to watch out for is failing to secure proper financing options in advance, which can result in delays or even the inability to complete the purchase.

Lastly, it is advisable to thoroughly research and select a reliable real estate agent who specializes in simultaneous buying and selling transactions, as their expertise will prove invaluable throughout the process.


Most real estate agents will recommend you sell your home first. It takes significant financial stress to carry two mortgages off the table. You will be able to look for a home comfortably without feeling rushed.

Many will look for temporary housing until they find their new permanent residence.

Other FAQ Guides

Bill Gassett is an authority in the real estate industry with 38 years of experience. Bill is well respected for his informative articles for buyers, sellers, and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, the National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Newsbreak, Credit Sesame, Realty Biz News, and his own authoritative resource, Maximum Real Estate Exposure. He has been on of the top RE/MAX agents in New England over the last two decades.
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