Should Boston Home Owners Sell First or Buy First?

As you prepare to move to a new Boston area home, one of the first questions you will need to ask is whether it's smarter to buy first or sell first. You have the option to sell your home first and then look for and buy your new property, or you can buy first and then focus on selling your new home. Both have definite benefits and drawbacks that you will need to consider.

Selling First, Then Buying

If you decide to sell your home first, you will not have the stress that comes from the potential of having the financial burden of owning two homes. What's more, you won't have to worry about whether or not your home will sell as you are making offers on homes you are interested in buying. With the past real estate slump in Boston, many homeowners had focused on selling first, as they needed to know if they would even be able to sell before they started shopping for a new home. Thankfully, the real estate market is showing signs of improving, so this may not be a concern if your home is in good condition.

Of course, selling first is not without its drawbacks. Selling first puts you in some tight deadlines if you are going to have a new home to move into when you sell your first home. Also, interested buyers may not be willing to wait as you look for a new property. You could end up needing a temporary housing situation for a few days or weeks as you finalize the details of your home purchase. Should you sell and then find that there are not properties that meet your buying needs, you may be stuck without a home for a long period of time.

Buying First, Then Selling

If you buy first, you will not have to wonder about where your family will live. Your new home will be waiting as soon as you sell your old home. In fact, you can even move into your new home ahead of time, allowing you to perfectly stage your old home to make it more appealing to Boston home buyers.

The main drawback of this strategy is the possibility of ending up with two mortgages for a period of time as you enjoy your new home and focus on selling the old one. Only go this route if you can afford the two mortgages for a while.

The Third Option: Contingency Offers

When buying and selling in Boston, you do have a third option to consider. You can start shopping while your current home is listed on the market, and make your offers contingent on the sale of your current home. This means that your offer is only on the table if your current home sells.

Contingent offers were quite common before the real estate slump. If your offer is appealing enough and if the home does not have many interested buyers, adding contingencies may be a wise decision.

As you consider whether to buy first or sell first, the answer really comes down to your own needs and goals. Whether you choose to buy first or opt to sell your existing home first, working with the right agent will make the entire process go much more smoothly.

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