Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time

How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time

By Jon Miller, Realtor®

Sell First or Buy First?

There’s a lot to balance when buying and selling a home at the same time. And, there are plenty of things to take into consideration. The most important piece of the puzzle will be to find out if you’ll need to sell your current home in order to get a mortgage for your new home. Many homeowners won’t qualify for their new loan until their current home is sold. This often means that the sale of the current home and the purchase of the new home have to happen on the same day.

Many who are looking for a new home and currently own a home begin the process by searching for their next home before listing the current home for sale. This approach often leads to weeks or months of searching for the right home only to find out that they’re not ready to make a serious offer when that perfect home goes on the market. Few sellers will consider an offer that’s contingent on the sale of a home that isn’t on the market yet. They simply don’t know if that home will sell and, if it doesn’t, the sellers will have taken their home off the market and missed other opportunities to sell.

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What Do Buyers Need to Know about Home Sale Contingencies?

By Jon Miller, Realtor®

If you currently own a home and are getting ready to buy a new one, your offer may be contingent on the sale of your home. The home sale contingency allows you to get out of the purchase if your home doesn’t sell. It’s very risky for a seller to accept an offer with a home sale contingency, but there are many times when the contingency is necessary.

Why Are Home Sale Contingencies Risky for Sellers?

Contingencies allow buyers to get out of the purchase given certain situations. In the case of a home sale contingency, if your home doesn’t sell then you can be released from the contract. The seller will then have to find a new buyer, a process that can take weeks, or longer. If your home isn’t on the market yet, they won’t know if it will sell at all, or for a price that will allow you to buy their home, so there’s little reason to take their home off the market.

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What’s the Difference between Mortgage Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval?

By Jon Miller, Realtor®

Before buying a home, you’ll need to secure your financing by talking with a lender. When you talk with the lender, you’ll go through either a pre-qualification or a pre-approval process. The terms are used interchangeably. For our purposes, we’ll look at them as pre-qualification being the less thorough of the two options.


Loan Pre-Qualification provides a ballpark estimate of your target price range, purchase costs, and monthly payments based on unverified information provided to the lender. Essentially, the lender will provide the Pre-Qualification based on what you tell them but they won’t check your credit rating. If you’re considering buying a home in the next 6-12 months, Pre-Qualification may be all that you need to get started.

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Jon Miller, RealtorJon Miller is a Philadelphia Realtor with Compass Real Estate. Jon has been working with home buyers and sellers in Philadelphia and Montgomery County since 2010.