Buying a New Home Before You've Sold the Old One

You've found the home of your dreams and you want to buy it before someone else does...but you already own a home. How can you afford to but the home of your dreams if selling your present home may take some time?

Make the Purchase of Your New House Contingent on the Sale of Your Existing House

Be aware however, that sellers dislike contingency clauses and often add an escape clause to protect themselves. With the escape clause, if another buyer makes the seller an offer, you must remove the contingency within a specified amount of time, or the seller is free to sell to the other buyer.

Arrange for Financing As Soon As Possible

First consider your source of cash for the downpayment. Life insurance policies and gifts from relatives and friends are possible ways to secure money for a downpayment. This will show the seller that you're financially qualified to buy.

Obtain a Bridge Loan

If you want to be sure that you get the home and want to avoid a contingency sale, a bridge loan can enable you to bridge the gap between the purchase of your new home and sale of your existing home. Bridge loans generally are short term and are available in many different forms. A REALTOR® will be able to supply you with the names of lenders who can provide you with additional information.

Whether you choose to purchase the home on contingency or obtain a bridge loan, you'll want to sell your existing home as soon as possible. The following suggestions can help you speed the sale of your home.

Consider Lowering the Price

If your home is priced at the high end of a fair range, adjust the price every month or so.

Provide Financing to the Buyer

If you don't need all the revenue from the sale, you can enable the buyer to pay off part of the price over a longer period of time.

Make Some Cosmetic Home Improvements

A fresh coat of paint, new carpet or some simple landscaping can go a long way in impressing prospective buyers. A REALTOR® can provide you with suggestions on improving your home's "curb appeal."