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Comments and Questions:

  Is It Better To Buy Or Sell First? - Back
It's a tradeoff, but most experts agree that selling your existing home first is best in most circumstances. If you market your existing house first and it sells quickly, you might have to rent or buy very quickly. But you won't have to deal with the downsides of buying first: arranging for interim financing and anxiety about whether or not your first home is going to sell. On the other hand, if you buy first you know exactly where you are going and when. You know what it will cost. You know if you will need to take the washer, dryer, and refrigerator from the old house. If you do not need them at the new home, you can include them in the sale of your house to help sweeten the deal.

What should I do first if I decide to buy another home before I sell my current house?

Before you decide whether to buy before you sell, calculate the current market value of your home by obtaining a comparative market analysis. Get an estimate of your home's value online. Do not make the mistake of pricing your home according to how much your new home will cost. In addition, find out as much as you can about market conditions. In a seller's market, the chances of a quick sale are much higher than in a buyer's market. Determine if there are any problems with your home that could make it difficult to sell. Is it next to a freeway or noisy commercial area? Does it lack a garage or a second bathroom? Is the floor plan awkward? Then assess the risk of buying first before you get locked into a purchase agreement. If it's likely that your home will sell quickly, it may be worth the risk to buy before you sell. But if the marketability of your home is questionable, consider taking the more conservative route and selling before you buy. Also, be sure to factor in your ability to make two house payments, even temporarily.

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