What if I have a house to sell
The fact of the matter is, that unless you are a first time home buyer , you have a house you're going to need to sell before you can buy a new one. Buying and selling simultaneously is a fairly common practice but it does require some juggling. There are a couple ways to handle the sale of your existing home. Some homeowners choose to list their home before they find the one they want. The advantage to this avenue is that your offer will be stronger on your new home if you already have a contract in place on yours, so you may have more negotiating power in terms of price or other provisions you hope to obtain. The down side is, that while you are waiting for your home to come up on the market, your potential buyers are buying other homes. There are provisions in the listing agreement that can protect you from being thrown out on the street if your home sells before you find another. You can place a contingency on the sale of your home that states that you will not close until you find a property of your choice. It can deter some buyers, but if you want to get your property out there and you are flexible on the type of home you will be purchasing, it can be a good option.
Keep in mind that YOU are asking the seller of the home you are looking at to make a concession for you! This is not a time to try to low ball a price. If you are offering to purchase a property with no contingencies and no provisions, then it may be prudent to look for a better price but if you are expecting the selling party to make concessions for you, do not expect to get a deeply discounted price on the property. There is a balance in purchasing homes. It is a give and take negotiation between the parties. You should not as a buyer be overzealous with what you take without being willing to give a little or you may encounter a seller that is unwilling to work with you at all. If you are however, only looking for a bargain and flexible in the home that you want, you may be able to afford to be rigid. It's a decision you and your Realtor have to make.
Buying and Selling simultaneously can be a delicate balance and it has a lot to do with the seller of the home you ultimately want to buy. Some sellers are willing to do a "Contingent on the sale of buyers home" and some are not. In a contingency situation, the seller will generally invoke what is called a 48 hour right of refusal. They will continue to market the home while disclosing that there is a current accepted offer. If another offer comes in that the seller is willing to accept, they will invoke the 48 hour right of refusal. In this case, you, the buyer, have 48 hours to remove that contingency. This can be done a couple of different ways, either by getting an accepted offer on your home, obtaining a bridge loan to cover both properties or agreeing to purchase the home prior to the sale of your own home (unfortunately this is not usually an option for most homeowners because their finances dictate that they need the proceeds from the sale or at least for the mortgage to be cleared from their finances). If you, as the buyer, cannot make any of these accommodations, then the seller of the home you are looking to buy can accept the other offer and you will have to continue shopping. This is why if you are in a contingency situation, pricing your home as competitively as possible is critical so you don't loose out on your new home.
If you are able to obtain a contract on your home and secure a contract with the new home you are purchasing there are certainly some balls that have to be juggled and you will be thankful to have a great Realtor working on your behalf to make it all coordinate. Odds are you will be closing on the same day on both homes and while this will certainly poses some moving issues, ie: being out of your home and into your new one on the same day!, it is actually a fairly straightforward process. It is critical that you have a Realtor working on your benefit to ensure that all timelines and contingencies are being met by all parties to ensure a smooth closing.
If you are concerned about moving in and out in one day, there are ways to negotiate "early occupancy". Many buyers and sellers may be willing to perhaps provide access to a garage or shop on the property to place belongings in, but it is in no way something that you should expect. There is a huge amount of liability with allowing someone to occupy the premises before they own it and many, if not most people will not be willing to accept that liability. The best option is to make arrangements for a storage unit or a large enough truck to adequately hold all your belongings. It can be stressful but it'll all be worth it when you move into your new home.