Most homeowners must sell their old homes before qualifying to buy new ones; coordinating the closing of your current home's sale with the closing on your new home can be challenging, but forming a support network can help you succeed.
Selling your existing home
The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, offers the following tips for interviewing real estate agents and brokers:
- Ask about candidates' experience with selling homes in your area and how long they've been in business.
- Determine how many home sales each candidate has completed in the past year.
- Discuss how each candidate would market your home.
- Confirm how much commission will be charged for selling your home. (This is typically a percentage of the sale price.)
- Request and verify references for each real estate pro you're considering.
Attracting buyers is essential for making a quick sale. Real estate agents and brokers can suggest cosmetic fixes, but a professional home inspector or appraiser can determine necessary repairs. HUD and mortgage lenders require homes to be habitable, safe and compliant with zoning and building codes prior to approving the buyer's mortgage. Tips for increasing curb appeal include:
- Freshen interior and exterior paint.
- Improve your lawns and landscaping. Pruning overgrown shrubs, fertilising and cutting your lawn and adding annual flowering plants attract the eye and suggest pride of ownership.
- Remove pets and any sign of them from your home and yard when your home is being shown.
- Minimize clutter in your home, garage and yard; emphasize your home's appeal by providing prospective buyers with a "blank canvas" for viewing your home's potential.
- Follow your real estate agent's suggestions for showing your home.
Finding and financing your next home
Work with the agent or broker selling your current home to find your next home; if you are moving a significant distance, consult a relocation specialist and/or real estate sales pros in your new locale. Research home prices, neighborhoods, and mortgage lenders in your new location. Real estate pros can refer you to mortgage lenders, or ask your current mortgage lenders about financing your new home. Consider mortgage options based on features and benefits meeting your needs along with finding the best mortgage rates.
Learn more about your new community by researching local government websites.
Pre-approval is beneficial for buyers and sellers
Buyers pre-approved for mortgages can prevent delays caused by failing to qualify for a mortgage; being pre-approved takes the guesswork out of how much you an afford to spend. Although last-minute problems can prevent a sale from closing, buyers who are pre-approved for their mortgages indicate that they're serious about buying a home and capable of doing so. In cases involving multiple offers for a home, sellers may prioritize offers received from buyers who've been approved for their mortgages.