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How to Buy a House While Selling a Home in San Diego

Home buyers and sellers walk a fine line. Buying and selling a home in San Diego is a momentous decision. It may take months, and sometimes even years, to prepare. Selling and buying in a market like San Diego is made even more challenging because the housing market is so hot and the economy is booming.

It is a tough sell to get someone to give up their home and many people, especially those not from major metropolitan areas, are often shocked by the high real estate prices in metropolitan areas like San Diego county. Few people outside of similarly priced cities, like Miami, San Francisco, Boston, and New York City would appreciate $400,000 for a two bedroom 1,000 square foot house.

So, this begs the question, how do you know when you’re ready to buy or sell? How do you connect with the right buyer or seller to close the deal?

The first step is to find a good San Diego realtor.  Real estate agents are often paid through the closing sale, so it's in their best interest to connect buyers and sellers to get a deal finalized. However, finding agents who have expertise and knowledge of the local real estate and work with your best interest in mind is important. Having a face-to-face interaction with a real estate agent is a great place to get started. 

The Market

Understanding the real estate market in the area you're buying and the area you're selling in. You need to know the type of buyers or sellers who are in the real estate market. Do you live near a school? How close are you to the business district? Are you walking distance from any restaurants or nightlife? Many of these factors can influence the price of your home

All of these questions and more inform the dynamics of your local real estate market. Connecting with an agent who knows all about the San Diego real estate market will help bring you more potential buyers than if you worked alone. 

In addition to knowing your market, know your product. A San Diego realtor can connect with you a great home inspector to have your home appraised. Spend some time figuring out what improvements can be done to your home to help increase its value. What drives up your price and what drives it down?

Every home has a few black marks, and the more you know, the better you and your real estate agent can leverage that knowledge to move out of your current single-family home and into your idea San Diego property. 

Scheduling

One of the trickiest problems that home sellers tackle is knowing when to sell. Most people who sell are interested in purchasing a new home which puts them in a conundrum. In a perfect world, you would buy a new home and hold onto your old one – but how likely is it that you can afford two mortgages? Thus, most people sell their current home to help finance their new home purchase.

However, this careful dance introduces tricky timetables that cannot be missed. A real estate agent can help you plan your schedule, identify homes in which you are interested and connect you to potential buyers that may be interested in purchasing your property. In fact, if you work with your real estate agent help you on both transactions, you can leverage their expertise and knowledge to even greater effect.

In essence, you have two choices. First, you can sell first, but then you need to secure temporary housing and storage for your belongings. If you sell first, you can use the proceeds of the sale to facilitate a new mortgage and home, but could get stuck in temporary housing for months, maybe even years if you haven't find the right house. Second, you could buy first, but that skews your debt-to-income ratio which could make securing a new mortgage difficult.

A real estate agent can help you navigate these two decisions by working both the purchase and sale to secure backup buyers and sellers. This may seem like a tricky task, but working with experienced San Diego real estate agents is key to making this a smooth process.

Financial Solutions and Plan B

It is crucial that you understand that you aren’t the only ones in this delicate equation. The plan may appear to be proceeding smoothly, but banks can deny mortgage applications, family tragedies strike, and recessions happen. You can’t prepare for every possibility, but you can reserve sufficient funds to overcome unpredictable hurdles.

To prevent as many hurdles as possible, it's important to understand the financial process. If you sell first, it is relatively straightforward. You sell your home, save the funds, and look for a replacement house. In the meantime, most of your belongings go into storage, and you stay in a rental for a few months.

But if you buy first, then you can discuss ways to reduce the financial burden. For instance, you can make your new home’s purchase contingent on the sale of your hold home. An experienced real estate agent can walk you through the various strategies to help you buy a home, while simultaneously selling your current property.

If you're interested in working with a San Diego real estate agent to sell your home or condo, we can help! We have experience working with first-time home buyers and setting up contigent sales. We're happy to help our clients answer any questions or concerns they may have about the home buying process. 

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Buying or selling a home is among the largest financial decisions a person makes in their lifetime. We are here to ensure that you are confident in your decision. Reach out, and let us show you how we can help!

John and Melissa Steele, San Diego Real Estate Agents
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John and Melissa Steele

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