Selling a house can be a stressful process—and if you’re wondering how to buy and sell real estate at the same time, you’re not alone. Below is everything you need to know about simultaneously buying and selling a home in Lafayette or the San Francisco East Bay Area.
1. Assess the East Bay market
The market conditions in your specific corner of the East Bay is often the biggest factor in timing your home sale and purchase correctly. With that in mind, you’ll want to get a grasp on what kind of market you’re buying and selling in, whether you’re planning to move across town or move across the country.
Currently, the national market (and the East Bay/Lafayette market) is leaning in favor of sellers, with more buyers than inventory. Everywhere from urban to rural areas has experienced a decline in housing inventory. In fact, across the United States, housing inventory declined 39.6%
—and when purchasing a home in this seller’s market, it’s not uncommon for bidding wars
to take place.
2. Decide on timing
After evaluating the local housing market, it’s time to decide if right now is the best time for you to make a move. The real estate market tends to cool down during the winter months, particularly in areas with heavy snowfall. Fortunately, selling an East Bay Area luxury home won’t suffer from this problem.
Spring and summer are typically the busiest times of the year for the real estate industry. It’s a general rule of thumb that the first two weeks of May
are an excellent time to sell because homes sell an average of six days faster and for more than the listing price. You should talk with your Lafayette real estate agent to discuss other factors that affect when to buy and sell. Even if you decide that now isn’t the best time to put your house on the market, your realtor can help you prepare your Lafayette luxury home for the market.
3. Prepare your home
Even if you're weeks or months away from listing your home, you can use any time you have before listing to boost your home’s curb appeal and get it market-ready. An important component of preparing your real estate for sale is cleaning and decluttering. According to Consumer Reports
, your home will increase in value by 3-5% when it’s clean and decluttered. These projects can take a while, so be sure to give yourself sufficient time to tackle this.
The easiest way to approach decluttering
is in stages. Start by focusing on one room at a time and completing it before moving on to the next. Don’t forget to pay special attention to the kitchen and the bathroom, which you’ll want to keep as clean and sparse as possible. You’ll also want to eliminate any signs of pets, wash windows, tackle repairs, and freshen up your landscaping. When potential buyers view your home—both online or in-person—they make significant judgments very quickly. That’s why it’s important to get your home looking its best, from the interior to the exterior, to the storage spaces. Rent a storage unit and move any unnecessary items out. This will both help you prepare for your eventual move, and help you show off the best aspects of your Lafayette home for sale.
4. Hire an experienced local realtor
If possible, it’s best to work with the same experienced realtor for both buying and selling. Doing this will help simplify the home buying and selling process, and build on the personal trust you have with your agent. This is a great option for individuals who are aiming to buy and sell their property in the same city. Listing your home with a local real estate agent means that you’ll always have someone to guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
Selling with an agent
Your Lafayette realtor can help with everything from staging, to professional photography, to marketing. Real estate agents have a wide array of marketing techniques at their disposal, including both on and offline marketing techniques. Considering that 52% of buyers find their homes online
, your agent should be an expert at digitally marketing your home through a variety of methods—including websites, social media, and events. In addition to marketing, your listing agent will be responsible for finding buyers and showing your property.
Buying with an agent
When buying a home, it’s equally important to work with a realtor you trust. By interviewing local real estate agents, you’ll be able to find an agent who is well-versed in neighborhoods, home values, and variables behind the local economy. An experienced and well-connected real estate agent will learn about properties first, and will often know about properties before they hit the MLS. This means you can learn about what’s available on the market as soon as you’re ready to buy a new home, and can help with the strategic timing of buying and selling simultaneously.
5. Make strategic contingencies
Once you’ve found a home you’re ready to make an offer on, you should consider submitting your offer with a sale and settlement contingency
. As the name implies, this term means that the sale is dependent on the buyer selling their home. Additionally, this contingency enables the seller to maintain the right to continue marketing the home with other buyers. Oftentimes, a stipulation is added where the buyer will be given the opportunity to move the sale and settlement contingency within a specified period if the seller receives another offer, typically 24 to 48 hours. If the buyer’s home closes by the specified date, the contract remains valid. However, if the sale doesn’t close, the contract can be terminated.
6. Organize your financing
It’s critical to ensure that your finances are in order and that you understand your financial options before you start the financing process. Keep in mind that closing costs
include processing fees you pay to your lender when you close on a property. This includes everything from title policies, recording fees, inspections, courier charges, and reserves to set up escrow. According to Investopedia, it’s a good idea to plan on paying around 3-6% of the home's purchase price for closing costs
. It’s important to line up your financing prior to touring homes. This way, as soon as you find your desired property you can make an offer. Typically, buyers go one of three routes in order to purchase their home:
Purchase with a HELOC
A HELOC, or home equity line of credit, enables you to borrow against the equity in your current home. This uses the value of your home as collateral for your loan. Then, upon selling your house, you’ll repay the HELOC with the proceeds.
Purchase with a bridge loan
As the name implies, a bridge loan assists in helping to cover a gap between now and when your home is sold. This short-term loan is offered by a bank to cover your down payment and can be paid whenever you close
on your existing real estate.
Purchase with cash
If you’re in the financial position to do so, the easiest route is to use savings to pay for your new home. Paying with cash eliminates the need to pay interest on a loan and go through the bank for financing. Additionally, this will often give you an advantage over other buyers and help you attract the attention of the seller.
Ready to look at Lafayette homes for sale?
If you’re ready to explore buying or selling Lafayette luxury real estate, contact Paddy Kehoe
today. Whether you’re looking for a short-term rental or a forever home, Paddy can walk you through the process from start to finish—and help you find a property and a neighborhood that are right for you. With years of experience in Lamorinda and Lafayette real estate, Paddy and his team
are prepared to guide you through buying and selling simultaneously.
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