Downpayment / Lenders / Pre-Approvals / Purchase / Qualifying / Rates & Terms / Refinance / Rental Properties / Rules

How to successfully sell & buy a home at the same time

Tips for smoothly navigating two home transactions simultaneously

You own a home now, but it’s time to make a change. If you’re moving up or downsizing, you probably have questions about how it all works. That is, the logistics of buying another home while you still own your existing property.

Here are 10 facts you need to know about navigating through the two transactions at once to make the move as smooth as possible…

Get the facts on your existing home

What is your home worth?

Find out the value of your home by asking a realtor to provide you with a detailed market evaluation. Alternatively, get a detailed estimate of the value by paying for an appraisal by a licensed appraiser. This will give you an idea of what residual funds you will net from the sale of your existing home which will determine how to structure a mortgage for the new home. Be conservative when working with the downpayment amount so you have some wiggle room when negotiating the sale of your current home.

Three questions to ask

After you have determined what new mortgage amount you will require, you will then need to contact your current lender to ask them the following 3 questions:

  1. Is the current mortgage portable to a new property?
  2. If it is and you are moving up, can the new mortgage rate be “blended”? What will that new blended rate be in order to avoid a payout penalty?
  3. If you were to pay the existing mortgage out in order to get the best rate, what would that penalty be?

Be advised you are required to qualify for any new mortgage whether you “port” the existing mortgage to a new property or get a brand new one as you are effectively only “porting” the terms of the mortgage.

How are you going to sell your current home? 

Options available to sell your home include a sale by owner, by a realtor, or somewhere in between the two such as “Comfree”. I recommend using the services of a realtor as I personally would like to leave any showings and negotiations with any potential buyers in the hands of a professional.

Financing your next home

Securing a pre-approval

Based on your initial findings about your current residence, I recommend obtaining a pre-approval for your next purchase as this will give you an idea of what kind of requirements you’ll need to meet in order to be approved for your next mortgage.

What if your existing home hasn’t sold by the time you take possession of the new home?

Your new mortgage may contain a condition to confirm your existing place has sold. This could be for either downpayment or qualifying purposes, or both. See if a back-up plan is possible in case your existing home does not sell by the time you take possession of your new home. Your mortgage professional can work through a few potential scenarios with you until you’re comfortable with the options you have for all possible outcomes.

Keeping both homes, with one as a rental property

Perhaps you are looking into the possibility of keeping your current home and turning it into a rental property. Some lenders will allow this as long as you can qualify to carry both properties. Talk to your mortgage professional about the option of including potential rental income to help you qualify. Be aware that lenders tend to calculate the inclusion of rental income differently, so if you don’t qualify with your current lender, check others. If you are leaning towards keeping both properties, ensure you explore all options to access funds for the downpayment on the new home. For example, is a gift from a family member a possibility? Do you have sufficient funds in savings? Can you look at refinancing your current residence to access the equity?

What down payment requirements and proof do you need to provide?

If the down payment is coming from anywhere other than the sale of your existing home, the requirements are pretty straightforward, and your lender will look for the paper trail to support the source of the funds being used. If the down payment funds are coming from the sale of a property, you’ll be asked to confirm what your equity position is via a current mortgage statement, as well as a copy of a fully-executed sale agreement for your current residence, along with all condition removals related to that contract.

The qualification process

Qualifying for your next home will be similar to getting approved the first time. If your income or credit profile has changed drastically, such as you becoming self-employed, be sure to have a conversation with your mortgage professional about how the qualifying process could differ this time around.

Consider what you’ll need for supporting documents

While many of our mortgage rules have changed, document requirements likely haven’t changed too much since you last qualified. What you’ll be asked to provide will be dependent on your current financial profile. Your mortgage professional, along with a mortgage pre-approval, will give you an idea of what you’ll be asked to provide.

What to do when you need bridge financing

If the possession date for the sale property is after your purchase possession date, and you need those funds for a downpayment, there is a solution known as bridge or interim financing. The lender will not only finance your new mortgage, they will also give you a short-term loan to cover the downpayment. This way the seller gets their money and you get possession of your new home even though your old home is still technically yours. Once your existing place has sold, your lender will recover the funds they lent to cover your down payment. It is important to note that you must have an unconditional or firm offer for your existing home in order to qualify for bridge financing. Be aware that not all lenders offer bridge or interim financing and the terms and costs for this service can vary, so double check the conditions before you commit.

Moving confidently from one home to the next

It can be stressful to sell and buy simultaneously and there are a lot of things that need to go right in order for everything to go smoothly for you. The best way to ensure a smooth move is to do your research first. Explore your options until you find one that allows you to confidently move forward into your next home while leaving the last one fondly behind.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact MortgageGirl at 780-433-8412 or You can also stay in the loop by following us on Twitter @Mortgagegirlca.

3 thoughts on “How to successfully sell & buy a home at the same time

  1. Pingback: What is a rate hold? |

  2. Pingback: When the lowest rate is NOT the best idea |

  3. Pingback: Could your home be an income property? |

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