This is one of those, “if you can avoid it” things. If you can avoid buying and selling on the same day, do it. If not, here are some thoughts. Houses are imperfect; they are owned by people, who are also imperfect. Now you’re dealing with both of those things. Here’s an additional factor, you’re imperfect too. Stress and difficulty in real estate transactions typically come down to time, rather than money. At this point in the process, the money is there, but you need time. Let’s lay out what the ideal move day looks like:
You awake at 7:30 AM to a sunny day, you enjoy a fresh cup of coffee and some lovely fruit or maybe a little muffin. The movers arrive right on time at 7:45 AM; have your stuff packed onto the truck in an hour. At 8:55, your buyers arrive for the walk-through, pleasantly surprised at what a wonderful state you’ve left the home. They’re teary-eyed with excitement and hand you a gift certificate for your favorite local restaurant. You hug and confirm that you’ll see one another at the closing, which is scheduled for 9:30 AM at their attorney’s office which is 20 minutes from the home. There are bottles of water and a seven layer morning dessert at the attorney’s office. The attorney is obscenely attractive with an impolite, yet endearing edge. All documents and funds are in place, the buyer will wrap up signing in about an hour. Your portion of the closing takes about 20 minutes, you leave by 10 AM to attend your walk-through which is scheduled for 11 AM.
On the way, you hit the drive through; the person in front of you pays for your coffee. You pay it forward for the person behind you at about the same cost. The warmth of humanity and community is consuming. When you arrive at your new home, it’s breathtakingly clean. The seller has left you a bottle of your favorite wine and a brand new television. Your agent has been with you this whole time, she is sure to double check that everything is in place. The movers call you and report that all is well and your stuff is safely transported and held. The schedules work out perfectly and they’ve just settled in for an amiable brunch at a favorite place of theirs. It’s time to head to your purchase closing.
It’s about 11:30, the paperwork from your sale has been filed with the registry of deeds and the proceeds from your sale are in place. Again the real estate attorney’s office has all the paperwork from your lender, the funds are in place, and they are attractive, but in a more approachable way. This is your attorney after all. You thank the sellers for the condition of the home; they wish you the best of health and wellness, hugs are exchanged, tears are held back then released, and they set out for their flight to their new life in Naples, Florida and/or Italy. The closing finishes up in about an hour. So, at 12:30 all paperwork is signed. You and your agent decide to settle in for a little lunch. In the time it takes you to finish lunch and drive to the new home, all paperwork from the purchase is filed and you are the record title holder of your new home by 2 pm, which is the exact moment when your movers arrive with not only your stuff, but they’ve also done a sensible grocery shopping for you as well.
As you can see, there are a number of things that can go wrong here. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you that this almost never happens; we never have a seven layer morning treat. So, here are a few tips to get this to the closest version of perfect that it can be.
Only attend one closing
90% of my sellers don’t attend their closing. I attend under Power of Attorney. Any experienced real estate attorney can set this up for you.
Have storage and a place to stay for a few days
Even if they’re supposed to show up at 7:45, the movers will be late, and it will take more than an hour to move your stuff out. Broom clean isn’t happening if the movers show up the morning of a closing. Get your stuff out a few days before and put into storage, have your house ready to go the night before.
Plan B is the new Plan A
Even in the utopian scenario I lay out, you won’t be the record title holder of your new home until 2 pm. Get yourself another day of storage, and a place to stay for the evening, have that as Plan A. If all money, documents, and stuff is in place in time to unload, have what you can ready to go and consider it a bonus.
Line up your dates and contingencies
If one piece of moving utopia is going to fall through, consider yourself lucky if you find out the week before. When drafting your contracts, make sure your dates align. To that end, use the same people for both transactions. Use the same realtor and attorney; they’ll help you manage the process.
If you need to buy and sell on the same day, there’s a lot to consider, people do every day; it’s ok, call me.