The buy and sell should really be the sell and buy. We have all just been used to the term buy and sell due to buying low and selling high such as in retail. The Sell and Buy is a move up buyer or a move down buyer and this can be accomplished in different ways.
In my experience as a real estate agent, the least amount of stress will occur when you find a home that you like and make an offer contingent on selling your present home. If you don;t sell your home, then you re not obligated to buy the one your under contract in. Of course, I’m speaking in general terms here and this is never to be considered legal advice, just real estate talk. With that said, most sellers today are not interested in accepting a contingent offer because it’s not a sure thing.
The best way that I have found is to place your home on the market and wait for an offer. Once you receive the offer, then you can start hunting seriously for your move up or move down home. When the buyer on your home removes all their contingencies and is solid, you can make an offer at that point. Once your property closes escrow and you get your proceeds from the sale, you can now remove your contingencies and move forward with the purchase. Of course you should negotiate a rentback on your property if you need more time.
The last scenario that I found to be the smoothest is to buy a home first. You’ll need to qualify for a second home and or have a parent or relative help with the loan and or the down payment. Taking your time and buying a home first makes sense, but it takes more resources. Once you move in to your new place you can put your first home o the market. You will be juggling two mortgages for a while until it sells.
If you need help on the sell and buy, please call me at (408) 460-8401.