Although you'd like to sell your current house before moving to another one, the market doesn't always facilitate this goal. If you're moving to a nearby community, this situation may present some financial challenges.
If you're relocating to a new state, you could be faced with obstacles that are greater than waiting on the profit for your home sale. Here are some issues you may deal with:
- Someone must take care of maintenance. It's difficult to ensure your previous house stays in tip-top shape for prospective home buyers when you're in another state. Even in you're in a neighboring state, taking a drive to check on the house and clean up every once in a while requires time and money. Plus, if there's a snowstorm, for instance, you may not be able to reach the house and clear the driveway and walkway before guests arrive.
- You're still paying for some expenses. Again, winter is a good example of how living in another state can be hard on a home sale. You'll need to keep the heat running in the old house or else the pipes will freeze. You'll also have to keep the water running or the home inspection may indicate plumbing issues. There are also property taxes and homeowners insurance expenses. Depending on how long it takes to sell the house, you can be financially strained.
- An empty house can be harder to sell. When prospective buyers see a house that doesn't have furniture, they may have a difficult time envisioning themselves in the space. You may need to rent furniture to stage the home.
Addressing the pitfalls of selling from out of state
Despite the aforementioned challenges, you can sell your old home from another state in a short time if you take the necessary steps. Success comes down to preparation, so here are some strategies for getting your home off the market in a short time and saving money:
- Hire a qualified real estate agent. When you have a listing agent, much of the work that goes into selling the house is taken care of by your real estate professional. This is true even if you don't move out of state before selling. Your agent can handle the process of staging your house, negotiating with buyers and possibly coordinating contractors for certain home maintenance duties. Just ensure your agent has a key to get into the house.
- Take advantage of contingencies. When you make an offer on a home, you can include a provision that says you won't close on it until you can sell your current house. Doing so helps you ensure your planned closing dates for your sale and purchase are beneficial for your schedule. If your local market is tough, a contingency can protect you if you can't get an offer in a short time. Be aware, however, that contingencies can present challenges for your offer on the new house.
- Make arrangements for closing. In some cases, sellers don't have to be physically present when the transaction is completed at the closing table. However, don't assume this convenience will be available. Check with the title company and other parties that may require your presence. Also, make sure you can leave time open in your schedule. Given that you'll be creating a routine at your new house, you may have to carve out some time.
- Stage your old property. Make buyers feel at home by the staging the house. If you need help, you can hire a professional stager, which could improve your final sale price.