Timing is Everything

At this time of year, many of our clients are starting to think about a move in the spring/summer before the next school year starts. Their objectives are simple:

1.) Get the highest price for their existing home

2.) Buy their dream home for at or below market value

3.) Don’t get stuck with two houses

4.) Don’t end up homeless

So you might be wondering how this all magically comes together. Sell first and then buy or buy first and then sell? It’s the chicken or egg dilemma of real estate! Well, the answer isn't simple and it’s conflicting for most of our clients. In a perfect world, we could all afford to buy the home we love and worry about selling ours later. We could take our time refinishing the floors and decorating our dream home while our children sleep comfortably in their own beds until everything in the new house is perfect. Once we have settled in, we would make minor repairs to our former abode and have it professionally staged so that photos are gorgeous and it’s stunning for showings. We’d receive multiple offers in the first few days on the market and close a cash deal in two weeks. For most of us; however, this is not our reality!

Most of us see a home online that we like so much that it gets us thinking about moving. Before you know it, we are emotionally connected, have our heart set on it, and all rationality goes out the window. Here’s the reality…if you live in a buyer's market, it is always a good idea to sell first. In a buyer’s market there is an abundance of inventory from which to choose, so no matter how long your house takes to sell, there should be a suitable home available. If that home you fell in love with is no longer available then it just wasn’t meant to be. At least you’ll be a highly qualified buyer when the next one comes along…and there will be a next one. Worst case scenario, you rent for a year or move in with your parents. Don’t be fooled that you will find a short term rental because very few actually exist outside of extended stay hotels. With kids it’s always a struggle because we want to keep transitions to a minimum and selling first could lead to multiple moves. We get it…it’s hard!

Another option is to talk to your financial adviser or lender. You might actually earn enough income to carry two loans or qualify for a bridge loan which could alleviate some of the stress. Compass Bridge Loan Services provides access to competitive rates and dedicated support from well established industry lenders, with the exclusive option to get up to six months of your bridge loan payments fronted when you sell your home with a Compass agent.

*Home sale contingencies are also not really a viable option. They are not often accepted by sellers, or they come at a high price tag.

If you live in a seller's market, you better buy that house while it’s still there. Make sure to check with your bank first because you will need to provide a pre-approval letter that states you do not need to sell in order to buy. Begin marketing your existing home as soon as you are through the attorney review/inspection period on the new house and wait for the offers to start rolling in. Just make sure you price it better than the competition!

Today's market in Highland Park is definitely a seller’s market. Buyers are having trouble finding a suitable home because inventory levels are at all-time lows and there are so many buyers wanting to move. Sellers are hesitant to list their homes because they have nowhere to go. The good news for sellers is that prices have gone up. So, if you’re thinking it’s time to move, let’s start fixing what’s broken, cleaning out the clutter, and start stalking the Private Listing Network.

It all comes down to a personal choice that requires a lot of thought, analysis and planning. Everyone's route is not the same. If you are struggling with which route you should take, please give us a call and we'll help direct you on the right course!

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