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April 9, 2012

Five Tips for Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time

- — Is it possible to buy a home and sell your home at the same time anymore?

And what should you tackle first? Should you get an offer on your home before you try to find a new place to buy? Or should you find the home you want before putting yours on the market? And will a bank even allow you to buy without selling anymore?

These questions are all valid because real estate has changed in the past few years. Before the real estate banking crisis of 2008, it was very easy to leverage the equity you had in your current home. By opening a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you could borrow up to 95 or even 100 percent of your home’s value and use that money as your down payment for the purchase of your next home. You could close on the new home and then sell yours immediately afterwards.

Nowadays, the equity in your home has likely slipped away and lenders rarely allow such leveraging. It’s a new market and we have to find a new way to do things. It was stressful before and it can be even more stressful now. It’s difficult to precisely time a real estate transaction but for many, the financial stakes are high.

Though there may be more stress and the process can be more difficult, there is still a way to buy and sell a home at the same time. However, before you begin, you need a well thought-out plan, a good agent on your team and have all of your ducks in a row in advance.

Of course, there are things you and your agent can do to increase the odds that your multitasking will pay off. Here are five tips to get you started:

1. Know your finances inside and out. This is a no brainer. You need to know not only what you can afford to buy, but also, what your house is worth before you even get started. Talk to your real estate agent and consult a mortgage banker or broker for loan pre-approval.

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