How to Buy and Sell a House at the Same Time

When you need to buy and sell a house at the same time, it can feel overwhelming. There are a lot of moving pieces when two transactions are on the line. But there are ways to accomplish this with minimal stress. It takes strategy, planning, a little luck, and an excellent realtor.

Whether you are ready to buy, sell, or both, the team at Julia Monaghan Real Estate is here to help. Reach out today to learn how we work with our clients with intention and integrity to make the process go smoothly.

Is It Even Possible to Buy and Sell a House at the Same Time?

The quick answer to that question is, YES! It absolutely is doable to buy and sell a house simultaneously. This process can have its unique hiccups, but it is a standard part of real estate life.

There are several pieces to consider if you are ready to sell and buy all at once:

  • Realtor Experience
  • Financing
  • Timing

Of course, each of these items is important any time you purchase or sell a property. But when you are doing both at the same time, they are even more critical. Let’s take a look at each component.

Realtor Experience and Expertise

Having an experienced real estate agent on your side is always crucial. But when you need to buy and sell a house at the same time, their expertise could make or break the deal.

Simultaneous transactions require your representative to keep a lot of balls in the air. Timing and financing can be trickier in these situations. So your real estate agent must have the experience to keep everything moving in the right direction.

They should be able to educate you and advocate for you at each step. When you interview potential realtors, ask them about their experience in these types of situations. Ask them for an overview of their strategy, with your needs in mind.

Choose someone that you feel a good connection with, personally and professionally. And be sure they have a clear plan for marketing your current home while helping you find the next one.


When you’re going to buy and sell a house simultaneously, you must have all your financial ducks in a row. Depending on what happens first, selling or purchasing, you may have some months with two mortgage payments. 

Any lender will need to see that you can handle this. Be sure to speak with several lenders or brokers to find the best option for your situation. 

If you are still several months from the home selling and buying process, start saving as much money as possible. The more cash you have on hand, the more likely you are to secure funding. A significant savings account also gives you more flexibility to enter into a contract when you find a home you love.

Timing Each Piece

Navigating the timing of buying and selling at the same time is probably the most stressful part of this situation. There is so much that is out of your control, and it can be overwhelming to see how it all plays out.

Much will depend on what type of market you face. Do you need to buy in a seller’s market or sell in a buyer’s market? Is Lady Luck on your side so that you’re buying and selling in different markets that work in your favor?

Having an expert agent is vital to your sanity during these transactions. They will help mitigate the stress by keeping all the details organized and advocating for you throughout the process. 

So, should you buy first and then sell? Or is it better to go the other way around? Each choice has its pros and cons.Option #1: Buy First, Sell Second

This scenario is generally the smoothest type of transaction because it allows you to move only once. However, buying your new place before selling the old one also places higher financial demands on you.

To make this situation work, you will need clear expectations from your lender. They may require that you have several months’ of mortgage payments in the bank. This amount is in addition to your down payment and closing costs. 

You also might find yourself needing to submit a contingent offer on a house if you want to buy before selling. In a contingent offer, you stipulate that the contract is binding only if certain conditions apply. In this case, your agent would write an offer to buy the new house contingent on the sale of your current property. This tactic works best in a buyer’s market when the seller is unlikely to receive a lot of offers.

Option #2: Sell First, Buy Second

For most homeowners, this plan is not their preferred choice logistically. When you sell one home before securing the next one, you are on the clock, so to speak. 

Unless you can find, get under contract, and sign papers on a new house before the old one closes, you will need to move twice. Many people end up in a short-term rental, where they live until buying and moving into their next home. This situation is certainly not a deal-breaker, but it is something to keep in mind.

On the upside, the sell-first plan typically works in your favor financially. Completing the sale of one property frees up the cash to purchase your next one. This cash flow can make it much more straightforward to secure lending. It also helps you avoid the need to place a contingent offer.

When you enter negotiations with a buyer on your home, you also can pursue a rent-back agreement. That is, you can outline in the offer that you will rent back the house from the new owner for a set amount of time. 

This agreement can give you some wiggle room as you search for your next house and, hopefully, avoid a double move. It is most likely to work in a seller’s market when your buyer has to compete against other bids.

Buy, Sell, or Both? We Can Handle It

No matter what your particular situation is, you need an expert to represent you. The team at Julia Monaghan Real Estate is ready to serve you with expertise, strategy, and integrity. We have had excellent success helping clients navigate simultaneous transactions, including those with contingent offers. 

We understand the stress that comes with the home selling and buying process. And we know it’s overwhelming to buy and sell a house at the same time. Our job is to take away the anxiety and make sure you have the advocacy and experience you deserve. Let’s connect today to get started.


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