How to Effectively Buy and Sell a House at the Same Time

Many buyers come into the push-pull situation that is trying to buy and sell a house at the same time. This happens when your current home is on the market, and you’re going through the process of buying something new. It can feel super overwhelming—but, don’t worry. The feeling is normal, and we’re here to arm you with a few tips to help you tackle this challenge like an expert.

Decide if You’re Going to Buy or Sell First

As Zillow describes, there are pros and cons to selling vs. buying first.


What you choose all depends on what matters to you. Do you want to take all the time you need to find that perfect new dream home? You might want to buy first. Are you worried about paying two mortgages? You might want to sell first.

Know Your Financial Options

If you’re selling first, the process is straightforward. If you sell first, consider a rent-back agreement. This is an arrangement where you negotiate with the lenders and buyers to be able to stay in your current home for a maximum of 90 days. This gives you extra house hunting time!

If you’re buying first, your financial options will be more complicated.

  • A contract contingency is where buyers request that their new home purchase be dependent on the successful sale of their old home. In a competitive market like Madison, a contract contingency may make you appear less attractive to sellers. However, if the seller of the home you’d like to buy has had trouble selling it, you may be able to negotiate something that works for both of you.

  • A bridge loan lets you own two homes at the same time when you don’t have the cash available to make a second down payment. It works like a short-term loan, and you’ll need to repay it when you sell your current home.

Understand the Market

Have you heard the terms “buyer’s market” or “seller’s market”? The state of the market you’re buying and selling in will influence your choices and strategy.

Need help figuring whether you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market? Our expert realtors know the Madison and Baraboo markets, and markets of surrounding communities, top to bottom. We’d love to help you buy and sell a house at the same time—with zero stress! Contact us today.