How to Buy a House Before Selling Your Current One in Massachusetts


The thrill of finding your dream home can be quickly dampened if you haven't sold your current one. In Massachusetts, where the housing market can be competitive, buying before selling adds a layer of complexity. However, with careful planning and the right strategy, it's achievable. Let's explore the options and navigate this real estate maze.


Before You Dive In

  1. Financial Checkup: Assess your financial strength. Can you afford two mortgages? Do you have enough savings for a down payment and potential closing costs? Evaluate your current mortgage, outstanding debts, and credit score. Consider consulting with a financial advisor to understand your borrowing capacity, potential loan options, and overall affordability.
  2. Bridge Financing: In Massachusetts, as in many other states, one option to bridge the financial gap between buying a new house and selling your current one is to explore bridge financing. This short-term loan can provide the funds needed for the down payment on your new home while you wait for your existing property to sell. Be sure to research and choose a reputable lender offering bridge financing with favorable terms.
  3. Market Analysis: Understanding the current market conditions is crucial. Is it a buyer's or seller's market? How quickly are homes selling?
  4. Get Pre-Approved: This demonstrates your financial readiness to potential sellers and gives you an idea of your borrowing power.


Brick house for sale.


Strategies for Success

  1. Contingent Offer: This offer states that your purchase depends on the sale of your current home. While it protects you, it may be less appealing to sellers, especially in a competitive market.
  2. Bridge Loan: This short-term loan bridges the gap between buying your new home and selling your old one. It's a good option if your current home is likely to sell quickly.
  3. Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit: Tap into the equity you've built in your current home to finance a down payment for your new one. Speak with your mortgage lender about the possibility of a home equity loan or line of credit to finance the purchase of your new home. This can be a strategic way to access funds for your down payment without relying solely on the sale of your existing property.
  4. Cash Offer: If you have the resources, consider making a cash offer. This significantly strengthens your position and can make your offer more attractive to sellers.
  5. Sell and Leaseback: Negotiate with the seller of your new home to lease it back for a short period after closing. This allows you to sell your current home without being rushed out.
  6. Work with a Real Estate Agent: A seasoned agent can guide you through the process, suggest strategies, and negotiate on your behalf.


Additional Tips

  • Stay Organized: Keep meticulous records of all your finances, contracts, and deadlines.
  • Communicate Clearly: Be transparent with your real estate agents, lenders, and buyers about your situation and expectations.
  • Stay Flexible: Be prepared to adjust your timeline or strategy if needed.
  • Consider Professional Help: Consult with a financial advisor for personalized guidance. Enlist the help of experienced real estate professionals to guide you through the process. A knowledgeable real estate agent can assist in negotiating favorable terms for both the sale of your current home and the purchase of your new one. Additionally, consult with a reputable mortgage broker and legal professionals to ensure a smooth and legally sound transaction.


Massachusetts Specifics

  • Know the Closing Costs: Closing costs in Massachusetts are among the highest in the nation. Factor these into your financial calculations.
  • Understand the Homestead Exemption: This exemption can significantly reduce your property taxes on your primary residence.
  • Work with a Massachusetts-Licensed Real Estate Agent: They can navigate specific state regulations and ensure a smooth transaction.


Buying a house before selling your current one in Massachusetts requires careful planning and the right strategy. By understanding your options, assessing your financial situation, and seeking expert advice, you can navigate the process and realize your dream of owning a new home.