If you’re in the process of simultaneously buying AND selling a home at the same time, you may be in for one of the most stressful experiences of your life. One UK-based real estate survey of over two thousand people found that buying and selling a house is more stressful than a divorce, a bankruptcy, a death in the family, becoming a parent for the first time, and even planning a wedding!
Every real estate transaction in Maryland has a lot of “moving parts”, but when you combine purchasing a new home, while at the same time going through the process of selling your current home, timing becomes EVERYTHING, and the skills of your real estate agent must really shine. It’s not easy, but staying calm (which without a doubt should be Step #1) will help you to plan for your upcoming home purchase and sale and make the process go more smoothly then if you went at it without a careful strategy.
So how can you avoid the stress? Here are three strategies that will keep you calm, no matter what may happen.
1. Have a Concise and Organized Plan
Much of the stress that you will experience will probably be the result of poor planning. You will certainly feel stressed if you feel like you don’t have enough time to move, or if you won’t have enough time to find a new home if your home sells quickly, or if you have to pay mortgages on two homes because your old home isn’t selling fast enough. Planning not only for the best, but also the worst, will help immensely at the times where things aren’t going “picture perfectly”.
Before you get too far into the buying and selling process, talk with an experienced real estate agent and ensure you have a solid plan in place for how you’ll manage buying and selling at the same time. Leave a time and expense buffer for unexpected complications – even if nothing goes wrong, it’s still nice to know you have some room to work with. Be ready to except that not everything will go to plan, but the experienced Realtor we just mentioned will know exactly what to do when these times arise.
2. Be Ready to Improvise
As we have already expressed, there are a number of ways that buying and selling at the same time might, and probably will at some point, result in complications. Timing is EVERYTHING because BAD timing might mean you need to move out before you have a home to move into, or it might mean you don’t have the money for your new home if your old home hasn’t sold or settled fast enough. Be prepared to rent a hotel room or even plan to temporarily move in with friends or family (“YUCK… I KNOW”), take out a short-term loan, or move your belongings into storage if the sale doesn’t go according to plan.
Other solutions for timing can come with careful negotiation of the terms of your purchase and/or sale contract. For instance, before you agree to settle on your current home, you can write in a contingency giving you time to find a “home of your choice” for an allowed amount of time, or you can negotiate a “rent-back” which allows you to sell AND settle your home but continue to rent the home back from the new owners till your new home is “ready”. When purchasing your new home, you can write in a contingency that gives you a certain amount of time to find a buyer for your home, and doesn’t put you “on the hook” to follow through with the purchase unless your home is sold within an allotted amount of time.
3. Talk Out Your Problems with Loved Ones
In most times of stress, it’s truly helpful to turn to friends and family for a helping hand or a listening ear. Studies have shown that having a strong social support network can mitigate the effects of stress, and even the Mayo Clinic suggests reaching out to loved ones when you feel overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends for emotional support, and whenever you have an opportunity to socialize, take it – you’ll find it easier to handle stress after a fun night out with friends.
What’s even more important is keeping very open lines of communication alive within your immediate household. You and your partner (and even your kids) should try to remain on the same page throughout the process, and everyone should have the insight to make sure that their goals are aligned and the plan is devised and is carried out as a team. Disagreements will definitely arise, but it’s always easier to handle them with understanding, compromise, and most importantly communication.
Buying and selling a home at the same time is bound to be stressful, but an experienced real estate agent can minimize the agony. Turn to ExecuHome Realty, Maryland’s Own Real Estate Company and Home to Over 350 of the State’s Finest Realtors. We can’t wait to help you… Call Us Today At 443-632-3800