How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time


Homeowners face a real juggling act when it comes to figuring out how to buy and sell a home at the same time. It’s not always the ideal situation to be in, especially, if your budget can’t handle the cost of two mortgage payments for more than a few months. It can be difficult, but financially and logistically, it can be done. First, it’s important to know your options. Then with close planning and a good realtor, you’ll be able to determine what steps to take.

How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time

Here are 6 of our best tips for helping you to navigate this process from both ends of the real estate market.

1. Try to Close Before Buying

If possible, do everything you can to sell your home before buying the next, even if the margin of time between them is slim. In general, selling first means you’ll have a better estimate of how much money you have moving forward. Selling before buying can also make it easier to qualify for your next mortgage with a more attractive rate and affordable down payment. According to, owner-occupants can avoid capital gains taxes on the proceeds. 

2. Budget for the Unexpected

When figuring out how to buy and sell a home at the same time, remember that a lot of unexpected expenses can crop up. You may not get the full asking price, potential buyers may want you to front the cost of a home inspection, or your new home may need repairs before move-in. There are a lot of hidden home buying expenses and costs. Try to avert disaster by leaving healthy leeway in your budget.

3. Explore Temporary Housing Options

Staying in your current home may not be an option as you sell. Whether you need housing for days, weeks, or months, consider a temporary housing option (like subletting, Air B&B, or short-term rental) rather than moving directly into a new house before selling the previous one. This can help to provide some breathing room, so you don’t feel rushed on all the big decisions.

4. Rent Out Your Current Home Until It Sells

If you need to move, but can’t afford to simply leave your home on the market, a short-term rental may be the answer in this case as well. Many owners rent out their properties for monthly income while waiting out the market. Make sure your renters are aware beforehand – verbally and in writing – that the house is up for sale and that they receive notice when a deal goes through. This gives them ample time to move out, so you can ensure the house in move-in ready for new owners.

5. Look Out for the Best Deal

Find out what your best down payment is and state financing assistance options are available. If the right deal comes along, you can only benefit from having done your research. Your realtor maybe able to help with additional information on the best ways to buy or sell a home more quickly. Create a list of pros & cons and use our Knoxville Mortgage Calculator to evaluate your outlook using different sources of funding.

6. Manage Important Deadlines

Stay on top of the deadlines for inspections, appraisals, disclosures, open houses, and other key moments in the home buying and selling timeline. Putting together a calendar can help you avoid many headaches, like missing appointments or being underprepared for negotiations. Just buying or selling a home is complex on its own – doing both simultaneously will only double the amount of stress and distraction as you oversee two processes.

At Holloway-Westerling, we have years of experience in the local real estate market. We can provide the advice and expertise you need while learning how to buy and sell a home at the same time in Knoxville. Contact us to speak to a realtor.

(This post was originally published on 5/11/15. It has since been updated on 2/25/19.)