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How to handle buying and selling a home at the same time

Buying and selling a house at the same time can be a challenging prospect, but sometimes the market presents an opportunity that is simply too good to ignore. If you’re considering a significant offer with limited time or you’re keen to secure a prestige property before it’s snapped up, you may find that buying and selling houses or apartments at the same time is the only answer. In such cases, this is what you need to know.

 17220 Sant Feliu de Guíxols (Girona)
- If buying and selling at the same time is causing stress, try this real estate advice.

Is it hard to buy and sell a house at the same time?

If you’re buying in a seller’s market, there’s no way around it: you need to make quick decisions to secure your property. Likewise, selling in a buyer’s market can take time, and you can’t rely on completing a deal before you need to move. In these instances, buying and selling at the same time may be unavoidable. With this in mind, it makes sense to plan for the process.

But you still have negotiating power

If you still have a property, you have significant room to negotiate. Should the the deal fall through, you can simply stay in your current home. However, if you’ve lined up a lucrative sale, you don’t necessarily have to rush to buy: it could be more sensible to rent temporarily. You may also be able to arrange a 60–90-day rentback agreement when you sell your current property; these allow you to remain in your home after the sale for an agreed period while you secure a new place.

Options when buying and selling a house at the same time

Your real estate agent and solicitor should be able to advise you on how long buying and selling a house at the same time will take. That doesn’t mean it’s out of your control; if you’re worried you won’t sell your property in time, you can sometimes delay the purchase process. For example, you could encourage the seller to extend the closing date by offering to release the buyer's earnest money deposit early.

Local laws can affect a deal

Sometimes, legal considerations can make the process of buying and selling at the same time slower or more expensive. In France, for example, you'll need to pay the notaire's fees, which cover certain costs relating to the sale and are set on a sliding scale depending on the property's tax bracket. You might also find it tricky to pay the deposit in countries like Germany, where deposits are typically high. In these cases, you may need to make additional financial arrangements.

Equity is power

Equity is just as important as savings when buying and selling an apartment at the same time. It can be used as collateral to secure short-term funding, usually via a bridge loan, or to remortgage to access a home equity line of credit (HELOC). If your sale could be a long-term project, you could even rent your home out to cover the mortgage payments on your new property.

If you’re still not sure whether buying and selling at the same time is right for you, seek the advice of an experienced real estate agent with knowledge of the local market. They'll be able to help with information about price points in your area, how long it usually takes to buy or sell, and insights such as property features that can affect a sale.

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