The Commonwealth Blog

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

How to Buy a House Before You Sell

Locals and transplants agree: Boston is a great place to call home. More people are moving to this beautiful East Coast city to take advantage of its attractive job market, higher learning institutions, and superior healthcare providers (and let’s not forget about Boston’s beloved sports teams, famous baked beans, and fresh seafood).

It’s safe to say Boston is a seller’s market, with a large buyer population and fewer available homes. If you’re looking to snap up a house in the Boston area before you can sell your current home, consider these strategies for making the process more manageable—our friends at Zillow offer excellent advice.

Some Handy Tips 

Sale and Settlement Contingency

Make an offer on a new house with a sale and settlement contingency to communicate that you’ll only buy it after you’ve successfully sold your current property. The seller can still sell to someone else if another offer comes through first, but you’ll have the option to either close the deal early or decline if your home still hasn’t sold. 

Extended Closing

Ask to extend your new home’s closing date past the traditional 30- to 45-day time period if you’re sure you only need a little extra time to sell your property. This can be tricky in a seller’s market where other buyers might make more appealing offers without conditions, but it’s a tactic worth trying. 

Use Your Savings

Use your savings for a down payment on a new home if you’re able to do so. Waiting for cash flow from your own sale to make a purchase will limit your opportunities. 

Find Tenants for Your Old Home

If you’ve already moved into your new house, rent out the old one to continue making mortgage payments before it sells.  This allows you to delay selling if you don’t need the money from your old home for a down payment. 

Pros of Buying Before You Sell

There are several benefits to buying a new house before selling yours: You have a place to move without delay, you’ll save money by not having to pay for temporary housing or storage units, and you’re less pressured to make a buying decision when you have the option to stay in your current residence. 

Boston’s population has grown every year since 2004, with a current population of around 700,000. As more and more people move to the city, it’s likely you’ll be able to sell your own Boston property quickly—buying another one may be a different story. Use some of these strategies to get a leg up on finding a property in the area you love before vacating your current one.

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