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Where Can You Live Between Selling Your House And Purchasing A New One?

Figuring out the living situation between selling, and buying.

Getting your current home under contract is exciting, but it's also one of the scariest times when you're set to buy a new home. If you're curious about that in-between time, and what to do when you're selling AND buying at the same time, let's get into it!

What We’ll Cover

Post-Listing Mania

You've decided it's time to sell, figured out your budget for a new property, spoken to a Realtor, and begun the necessary steps to get your home listed. Good news! All that prep-work has paid off and your home is now UNDER CONTRACT! That means you've reviewed offers and selected the one that best suits your needs. (not sure how to decide? Your Realtor is there to guide you, so ask them any questions you have and make sure they present the offers in a way you understand what they mean!)

Based on the terms you've agreed to in the offer and/or counter offer you've selected, you may need to move out right away during the closing process. But don't stress yourself out yet, your Realtor will help you negotiate terms that fit your needs, and make the most sense for you BEFORE you sign off on an offer.

Lining Up The Timing Of Your Sale & Purchase

The process of selling a house and buying a new one is complex, and often time stressful if you don't know how to line up the timing. The chances of a move between homes lining up perfectly, timing-wise, are slim, but not impossible! Making a compromise with the buyers is the best way to ensure the process will go smoothly if you expect that you will have a gap between selling your home and purchasing a new one.

In an attempt to make the buyers more prone to flexibility in this way, you'll need to be a little flexible in their favor, too. For example, if the buyer needs to store some of their belongings in the garage while they make their transition, or want to stop by to measure a room before they shop for furniture, you’ll want to agree to that. Within reason, of course!

Living Options To Consider

Your Realtor is the best resource to helping you find a living option for the awkward "in-between" phase of moving. Here are a few options to discuss with them before you list your house.

1. Rent-Back Agreements: when you sell your house you can negotiate a rent-back period with the buyer, allowing you to stay put for a specific amount of time after closing while your purchase finalizes on your new home. This can last a few days, a couple of weeks, or even up to a couple of months. I've seen rent-backs of a couple of YEARS, but I recommend those long term rent-backs only be enacted if the buyer doesn't intend to use the home for personal use. Just like you, they are probably worried about time! Speak with your Realtor about when and how to ask buyers for a rent-back if you believe this option is best suited for you!

2. Hotels & Extended Stay Hotels: This option is usually more expensive, and usually a last resort, but it is possible to move into a hotel for a matter of a few days/weeks, or an extended stay hotel if you suspect you'll need more than a couple weeks to close on a purchase. Speak with your employer about any potential discounts or stipends they may offer for your moving expenses, even if you're not relocating for a job. If it comes out of your pocket, consider researching other discounts such as AAA, AARP, Groupon, etc. to help you save a bit of money.

3. Short Term Rentals: AirBNB, VRBO, even travel sites like Expedia have short term rental options that may cost less than a hotel, but offer longer (or more specific) time windows without much hassle. Since majority of the options on these sites are full homes, you'll also be able to utilize the garage, shed, yards, or other storage options..of course if these areas are open for visitor use... to store your belongings in between homes.

4. Apartments: If you plan to look for a home in the more distant future, say, 6+ months from now, an apartment or other long term rental option may be better suited for you. Many apartments offer garage spaces these days, and some have month-to-month contracts that can be tailored for your unique needs as you wait to purchase your new home!

5. Stay with a friend or family member: If you have family or friends near the location you plan to purchase in, this is a good option for that transition period in between properties. Reach out if you feel comfortable and ask for a space to crash while you leave one home for another.

6. Storage Units: Obviously you wouldn't LIVE here, but if you are crashing in one of the other options and need a place to keep your larger items, or ALL your stuff while you're in between homes, a storage unit can be a great choice. Ask your Realtor if they know of any reliable ones, or any with short term, month-to-month or weekly rates.

All of these options are available for your utilization, but you and your Realtor can work together to get a better idea of which one(s) will work best for you.

Ways Your Realtor Can Help

Many people are able to purchase new homes before, or during, the sale of their current home. Even in the chaotic housing market we are experiencing lately. Speak with your Realtor and lender about your concerns and ask for any resources, ideas, or help they may offer their clients.

If you selected a full-service Realtor, you have someone who is likely willing to do much more than just the paperwork and marketing for you. Ask about their ability to help you move, resources they have at their disposal for the seemingly endless steps of selling, packing, moving, cleaning, fixing, etc., and which vendors they typically work with to give their clients the absolute best results. A Realtor worth their weight should have some tricks and information up their sleeve to save you some stress & make the process much less overwhelming.

If you're thinking of selling and/or buying a home now, or anytime in the future, I'd love to help! Call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me. I have agents in nearly every city and state you can think of that work hard for my clients, and theirs! Simply click the link above & click "contact" in the top right corner.


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I'm combining my passion for Real Estate with my love of writing to craft blogs designed for the Realtors, buyers & sellers looking to learn, and understand Real Estate even more.

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