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Should You Buy or Sell First?

To buy or to sell your Wisconsin home or condo first? That is the million dollar question. It’s a question we get from buyers and sellers all the time. And we wish there was an easy answer each and every time. but there isn’t one. Some of the ways to consider the questions, for your own evaluation, are below.

Why Buy next Home or Condo Before Selling First

  • Available Properties for Sale One of the things we've observed in the past few years is properties not lasing on the market very long.  The short supply has caused new selling approaches to best serve sellers, and Buyers have felt left out. Contingencies and terms have changed compared to 20 years ago.  We have started seeing more offers by way of cash, and without inspections.  That's not a best suggestion, but it's what we've observed.
  • If not paying cash, What's the plan? Sellers love seeing cash offers, as they don't need to worry about the appraisal process that comes with a loan/mortgage.  As a Buyer, if not paying cash, being ready with a pre-approval letter is a MUST, even before entering homes.  Have a pre-approval letter from your lender of choice to show sellers you are ready and that you are serious.  Some Sellers and most every corporate relocation company will not even consider looking at an offer to purchase without it.
  • Updating Your Current Home Before Selling Maybe the home you want is move-right-in and is your dream come thru.  The home you are moving out of though, needs work.  To get the most dollars out of selling the home you are leaving, you need to paint, install new flooring, update a counter-tops.  These are all things that might be done best AFTER you move out, both for your own enjoyment and the dollars you will collect.

Reasons to Sell Home or Condo Before Buying

  • If your savings are tighter, It can be good to realize your bottom line. FWe all like to think we know what a home will be worth 90 days from now, but markets can change in such a time – having the sale completed will help you know exactly what you are taking out of your old home to put into the new one.
  • How would you feel if the old home is not selling so quickly? Every home has a selling price, but if money is tighter a delay of 3-5 months can happen.  How much would it change your personal finances?  Did you purchase the second home with cash, or was a short term mortgage envolved?  Depending on your lender's guidelines, you may not be able to buy unless you close on the sale of your home, prior.
  • Short term Notes Come with Costs  Many times, Sellers aren’t able to match the dates of the old and new house – meaning, for example, that they may get their new house on April 15, but not close on the sale of their current home until May 8. Bridge financing or short-term notes (where you’re essentially borrowing the equity in your current home until it closes) can be an expensive proposition.
  • If Only We Completed our  Tensor-Flow Model of predictability The truth is all real estate markets are fluctuating, and different.  As confident as one can be there is no ability to predict when a home will sell and for how much.

As this article is being published we heard of a story that a recent open house 2 days ago had 25 people come thru in 90-minutes time.

Some buyers walked out thinking, "Well, that's going to be gone, I'm not even going to try."  Other Buyers went to their bank to get pre-approved and be ready for the next one that comes along.  Still others considered an Offer.  And here it is almost 72 hours and the listing agent said that an Offer has not yet been submitted.  There's no way to know, as all situations are different.

So for you, what’s the right thing to do?

It all depends on your individual situation and your risk/stress aversion capability. The Wisconsin real estate market can be slower to the north and busier to the south.  Six months later, the opposite.  It is a crazy place these days, and every city and even price ranges within the same city, can be different.  We look forward to sharing the available market information to assist in a best decision by you.

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