Putting Our House up for Sale

Updated on January 21, 2011
H.D. asks from Keller, TX
10 answers

Within the next year we plan on putting our house on the market. We don't have to move. We just have outgrown the house we're in. My question is how do people get the buying and selling to have good timing? Do we wait until we find a house we like and risk losing it because we can't sell ours or put ours on the market and if it sells before we find something rent for awhile? Do people do short leases or month to month?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Talk to a real estate about your current home, what should you do to make it more appealing such as painting, clearing out the clutter, landscaping with flowers in the spring etc. They can also give you an idea of what to expect when selling... how long it may take based on what features your home has that people are looking for, what to expect to list it at and what you may get for an offer. This will help when you are looking for a new home. We were looking at the same time we were getting our house ready, we did some renovations and painted every room. It was worth it, we listed on a friday and signed the selling agreement on the next tuesday. As soon as we listed ours, we put a conditional offer on the house we wanted to buy, conditional to us selling ours. You never know how long yours could be on the market, days, weeks or months, so be looking around for what you might want to buy.

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answers from Dallas on

Put your house on the market and see what happens before you start looking. If it appears that your house is getting viewed and people are interested in making offers then you can start your search, but don't buy anything until you sell. You can get month to month leases. You maybe able to rent back from the people that buy your home. We have homes on the market in our neighborhood that have been up for over a year and others that sell in weeks. I don't think you will have a problem finding a house to buy, it will be selling yours.

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answers from Dallas on

Hi H.,
Mortgage lending is not for the faint of heart these days. You need to discuss your situation with a licensed Mortgage Loan Originator to find out your timeframe. In this Lending market, if you plan to buy another home and your current one has not yet sold (and does not yet have a pending contract), you must qualify for both payments, plus down payment, plus additional cash reserves. You may not get the best terms available because you may need secondary financing or Mortgage Insurance, even if you do qualify for both payments.

My best advice is to 1) talk to your Mortgage Lender, 2) list your current home with a competent Realtor (not your friend's sister's cousin's best friend.....), and 3) browse the market (emphasis on browse), 4) do not put in a contract on a new home until you have an executed offer on your current home (make sure the Buyer can BUY and make sure you feel comfortable with their "prequalification letter"). Your Realtor can discuss terms of your move-out with the Buyer.

Even if you stay in temporary housing until you find your new home, it's not the end of the world. There are so many homes available now, and sometimes the perfect one has a long story behind it (like it's listed as a short sale). Be wary of your choices of providers (Realtors and Mortgage Originators), as many are unfamiliar with the complexities of the current market.

Yes, I am licensed in Mortgage Banking, and I also own my own Loss Mitigation firm (we specialize in negotiating alternate terms of existing mortgages and consult with, train and testify for Attorneys all over the U.S. in Mortgage Litigation). No, this is not an advertisement for my services, only my professional opinion. If you are interested in more information, please contact me: [email protected]____.com or ###-###-####.



answers from Davenport on

We bought our current house prior to listing our first house for sale. We have since decided to turn it into a rental property. That is a possible option for you if you do find a house you love prior to selling your current one. In hindsight, I wish we had sold the first house before buying the second. If you need income from your current house to purchase your new home then you will have to sell first rather than hoping you will be able to sell within 90 days so you can close in a timely fashion. I don't know what the market is like where you live but it can take well over a year to sell houses in some areas. We plan to move out of state in a few years and intend on selling our house(s) prior to moving and then renting until we find a new home to purchase (since that will, hopefully, be our last home purchase). Good luck.


answers from Dallas on

We've sold 2 homes. The first time, we found a lot and decided to build a home. During the construction process, our home was on the market. Fortunate for us, the house sold pretty fast but we had no where to go because of the construction. We opted for a small apartment, short term lease for about 3 months until our home was completed.

Again, in 2000, we were building the home we are in now. We put the other home we built on the market during consrtuction. This time, the other house did not move as quickly and we were able to stay in it until the completion of our home. The good part was the couple purchasing our home did not need to move in right away so we were not in a time crunch.

I do think you need to talk to a good realtor, gett a feel for your area and how the sales are going. We sold our first home in the fall, prime time for the family to get children in school on time and the second home was sold in January.

I would look around, see what is available in your price range, get a feel for what you are looking for.

Good luck


answers from Boston on

No, don't find a house and then hope yours sells. Too much stress, you'll be tempted to sell for less just to get it moving, or you'll have 2 mortgages. Look and sell at the same time. If you sell first, you can either rent back from the new buyers or find a short term solution, either a month-to-month rental or even an extended stay hotel. Two moves are stressful, of course, so you want to reduce the odds of that - but you are talking about finding a new home you will be in for a long time, so you want to be happy with it, not feel forced into it by timing. I know people who have taken a long time to sell their homes, and others who have sold in 4 days. So it pays to be searching first. You'll also get some good ideas of things you should do to prepare your own home to be attractive and have "curb appeal". Some people say the winter is not a good time to sell - houses don't look as attractive sometimes, buyers don't want to venture out. A lot of people like to buy/sell so they can move in the summer when kids are out of school.



answers from Denver on

We tried to sell for 6 months this year. Never did get a solid offer at all so we are going through the things we stored and seeing what we really want to keep (even if we store it) and what we want to put back into place in the house. Its a little tricky trying to match up getting a place with moving out of the current one. In this market it is hard to find someone who will take a contingent offer (hold their place for you while you try to sell) but some people will do it. It seems to be easier if you are open to a number of house choices so that once you get an offer on yours you can make an offer on another one



answers from Denver on

I would sell your house first then just rent a furnished place while you look for another home. I do know some people who have rented back from the new buyers which is an option too and keeps you to one move instead of two.

Either way I wouldn't try to sell after you find a house, it causes a lot of stress unless you can afford two house payments in order to keep the new contract. Sometime the new seller will take a contingency but that usually is pretty limited

Good luck!



answers from Salt Lake City on

We have our house on the market right now, has been since September 1st. Just remember that not every house is going to sell overnight. I suggest put it on now and then look once it sells. You really can never plan for when your house will sell.

We drive around and look at houses for when ours buys but we aren't getting ahead of ourselves. We will rent for a while once our house sells and we haven't packed a box until we have a closing date. I think if you do before you have an offer and closing date you will get your hopes up to much and risk being disappointed. Selling a house is VERY stressful as well as buying a house, as we know.

As for leases, depends on where you live and what people do there. Some will do month-to-month, six-months and a year. I live in a town of about 5,000 and there aren't to many people that make you sign a lease here.

Good luck! :)



answers from Dallas on

We just recently sold our old home and purchased a new one at the same time. It worked out just right b/c we found the exact perfect home we wanted. But we were willing to move to an apt if we couldn't find something exactly what we wanted.
I wouldn't make an offer on a home until you are past the inspection period on the sell of your home. Many times, you'll get an offer and then the inspection will come back and the buyers want too much money to fix too many repairs (every home has many repairs - mostly cosmetic things, but some big $ things). Once you're beyond the inspection on your current home and everyone has agreed on repairs, it's more of a done deal then. But they can still back out of the offer and only risk losing $100 or whatever the option fee is. Once beyond the usual 10-day option period (starting from day the offer is made), they will lose their earnest money too if they chose to back out of the offer --- earnest money is a lot more money to throw away usually $1000 or 1500 or more.
So we didn't feel comfortable going through a final offer on a home until the hm we were selling was beyond the inspection period and the buyers were happy with the inspection report.

That's the best advice I can give. It's worth it to start looking a little bit to see what's in the area (w/your realtor) once your home is on the market and you are getting consistent showings. (2-4 on a wknd). Have an open house.
If you start looking then, and just looking, you can start to see what is out there and what is a really good deal when you see one.

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