Buying or selling first?

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Many in today’s market are encountering a problem. Do you sell your home first, or do you buy your new home, and then sell your original home? Each comes with its advantages and disadvantages.

Selling first may put you under a stringent deadline to purchase a new property. If the sale is going smoothly, this may only leave you days to find a new home in order to avoid storage and living accommodation fees. Those fees can double your moving cost and then some since you are in effect moving twice.

I recommend looking for properties with a qualified broker while your home is on the market. Maintain a list of homes that catch your eye so that once your home goes under contract you will have a list to refer to quickly. In today’s market, it is tough to convince a seller to entertain an offer that contains a sales contingency.

Buying first may have you under the gun financially. Are you prepared to maintain two homes while you’re trying to sell? For some, this happens fairly quickly, but for others a home may stay on the market for months before it is sold. Checking with a lender is crucial, because you may need the proceeds from the first property to qualify for a loan to purchase the new home. The lender may also inform you a new loan would be contingent upon the sale of your current property.

Many sellers in today’s market are choosing to look for new homes once theirs hits the market and placing offers only after their home is placed under contract. At times, the person on the other side of the table is under the same constraints as you. In a pinch, closing days can always be adjusted among the attorneys to accommodate all parties involved.

In the end, your personal finances and timeline will determine your decision.

For more, call 847-292-4700, e-mail or visit

About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation's 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.

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