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The Real Estate Circus – Buying & Selling Concurrently


If you are buying a home at the same time you are also selling a home, it can feel like a three-ring circus! With an experienced ringmaster directing the performers in each ring, it can be a beautiful and rewarding experience.

I am the real-estate ringmaster, balancing multiple facets of a real estate transaction that is both fluid and as orchestrated as a choreographed dance under the big top.

There are multiple couples in this dance, Mr. and Mrs. “A” just want to buy their dream home, Mr. and Mrs. “B” also want to buy their dream home, but must sell their home first, and Mr. and Mrs. “C” just want to sell and move to Florida to be near their grandkids!

What I’m describing is the typical real-estate transaction that is known as buying and selling your home at the same time. It is more common than you think and in today’s market you need a real-estate professional to help you pull of this feat of magic.

It’s actually not magic, no dancing bears or clown cars except a seemingly endless array of professionals coming in and out of the transaction at their appropriate times. All of which is under the watchful eye of your trusted real-estate agent.

Let’s dig deeper: imagine we are Mr. and Mrs. “B” doing both the buying and selling of property.

First you need to have a game plan in place, you don’t want to end up with 2 homes, 2 mortgage payments and more space than you really need.

On the other hand, if sell your home to fast and then you may not find another one to move into and you risk having no home at all. Then you could face the embarrassing situation of crashing on your relative’s brown leather couch in their living room!

The first things to do is get a qualified professional real-estate agent who is familiar with the area.

They can get the first ring of the performance started by giving you a promising idea of the value of your home and a projection of how long it will take to sell. This may be anywhere from weeks to months, depending on where you live and the current market conditions. This includes the timelines for the buyer’s inspections, appraisal period and the lender getting the closing documents to title to sign, you packing and moving and finally passing the keys to the buyer for possession.

Enter the second ring! You need to find a good local bank loan officer or mortgage broker that is also local and familiar with the market. Your trusted Realtor® may have some referrals. A great lender will help you with your financing on the purchase of your new home by helping you through the many financial documents required.

Sometimes it can seem like the endless trail of small dogs at the opening parade on opening weekend; just as you think you have sent them everything needed for your loan application, they will need just one more document, perhaps a paystub, verification of employment, fresh bank statement or proof of downpayment funds. Once that is done, they may ask you for it yet again for verification, banks have already jumped through the ring of fire and got burned, so they jump slower and with bigger hoops now than ever before so as not to get burned again. Be patient with them.

Your trustworthy real-estate professional will be standing by to encourage you, reassure you or fight for you if needed.

Once you have determined what you will list your home for, there will undoubtedly be some items that your real estate professional will want you to do to help dress up your home.

Just like a red nose and fresh paint on the clown’s face, it draws attention; and after all, the more attention your beautiful home attracts, the more people come to look and the better the odds are someone will like it and actually write an offer.

Meanwhile in the third ring… All this time you have been scouting homes with the custom search tools provided by your Realtor for the perfect home. Zillow and Trulia are fun but are not always correct and can lead to disappointment.

Naturally, your personal life will likely add to the fun. Perhaps your family is growing by adding another monkey to the mix! You have the neighborhood picked out and you know the style and builder that fits all your criteria. It is next to the lake and in a great school district, also an easy commute to and from work. Wow, it looks great also! Big open room concept, clean carpets, not like the saw dusty looking ones in the old tent,… uh, I mean home! With your sights set as keenly as the audience’s gaze upon the trapeze artist preparing to leap, you have found the perfect home and need to take action…

Now the performances in each of these three rings must cooperate. Your home is now listed for sale and you have found the home you want. With your ringmaster at your side, you decide to put a contingency offer in on the one you really want. This means your offer is contingent on your home selling first. Then, when your old home’s sale closes, you have the funds to close on your new home.

Timing is the key to both transactions. Closing on your existing home sale to late could make the closing on your buy run over the projected closing dates, then what?? That’s where the real-estate professional comes into play, they can work to speed up the closing or slow it down depending on the situation and what is needed. They may also be able to speed up or slow down the buy side of the equation.

Believe it or not, it is a very common transaction in today’s real estate world, and nothing to be afraid of or hold your breath over like a high-wire walk. Just make sure you use real-estate professionals. They will help guide you through to a successful transaction leaving you as smiling as a kid with a fistful of cotton candy and a mouthful of roasted peanuts.

John Harings is a Tucson Broker at United Real Estate Southern Arizona that specializes in investment and residential real estate. Get more information; discuss with him directly by calling him at 520-488-8363.

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