What To Know When You’re Both Selling and Buying a Home

If you’re a buyer that plans to sell your home at the same time as you look for and buy a new one, you should be aware of all of the variables that come into play when doing so. Here we explain the different options open to you if you’re hoping to both sell and buy at the same time.

What’s Your Market Look Like?

First and foremost, a buyer will want to consider their market

Is it a seller’s market, where the home could sell quickly but the buying process might take a little longer? Or is it a buyer’s market where homes aren’t selling as fast, but buyers are in a good position to make an offer on a home they like?

With both of these scenarios, a buyer will want to consider whether or not they can afford to pay for both homes for a while if necessary. 

Using A Use and Occupancy Agreement 

Use and Occupancy agreements are a popular option in the fast moving Boston market when people are both buying and selling their homes. 

This is an agreement made between the buyer and seller that allows for one of two things to occur to keep the contract moving forward.

Option 1 is that the buyer is able to move into the property while the loan process continues. The buyer would then pay a mutually agreed upon rent to the seller until their loan process is completed.

Option 2 is that the seller retains occupancy of their home but pays the buyer rent while they finalize their next contract.

The Use and Occupancy agreement protects both the buyer and the seller in the event there are unexpected delays. It gives the parties flexibility while loan processing occurs, but it also gives clear terms for both parties to abide by to make this change as pain free as possible.

What Happens If You Sell Your Current Home Before Finding A New One

Financially, this often works out for the best because the buyer does not have to worry about paying for two properties at once. 

Selling a home before finding a new one is also good in that it gives the buyer a better understanding of the budget he or she has to work with for their new house. 

However, this does mean that the buyer could be without a new home to move into. 

The buyer can consider a short term rental in this type of situation. While not ideal, it will allow the buyer to quickly sell their home while they look for their new one.

If the buyer has found a home to buy and is working on contract negotiations, he or she can also try to negotiate the settlement date of the contract. Sometimes, a buyer can work with the seller to make sure the settlement date for the house he or she is buying is the same date as the house he or she is selling. This way, all of the moving is done on the same day. 

What Happens If You Find Your New Home Before Selling Your Current One

This scenario may work great or it can make things financially difficult depending upon you individual situation. If you are thinking of selling your home at the same time, you’ll want to ensure you can afford to pay for both properties at the same time. 

A buyer will also want to figure out how long he or she can afford to do this. 

If it looks like the buyer will be responsible for both the old and the new house for a prolonged amount of time, he or she might consider renting the property out or obtaining what’s known as a bridge loan

A bridge loan allows the buyer to pay off the old mortgage in full, relieving the financial burden. Once the house sells, they use the money from the sale to pay off the bridge loan. 

Bridge loans tend to be strict. A buyer will essentially need to qualify to own two homes at once to get a bridge loan, so not all buyers will be eligible. 

Buyers will need to have stellar credit and high income as well. Bridge loans are also offered at higher interest rates, so they might not make sense financially.  

Given all of these details of a bridge loan, you’ll want to make sure and check whether this option is even available to you if it becomes necessary.


Buying a home while you’re also selling your current home can make the entire process more complicated. Thankfully, a great agent combined with the tips we mentioned above should help to ease this burden! 

More Blogs