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Ask McEnearney: How Do I Balance Purchasing and Selling a Home at the Same Time?


This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Lisa Groover of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Lisa at 703-919-4426 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: How do I balance purchasing and selling a home at the same time?

Answer: To meet the needs of today’s seller-friendly market, agents must juggle more than ever before to bring all the pieces together. I am often asked which should come first: finding my dream home or selling my current home?

To answer that question, I looked back at my sales for the past 14 months and discovered that over 90% of my buyer clients purchased prior to selling their current residences. I know that sounds scary; however, with the current lack of inventory, most buyers are writing a number of contracts before they “win the deal.”

Establishing a financial game plan to make this possible may be your answer. Between cash purchases, bridge loans, rent-backs and borrowing against your investments, your agent and a good local lender will help you explore a variety of options. Keep in mind that your house will also be on the market during this competitive environment when you go to sell. If this strategy is not doable — and since home sale contingencies are not an option at this time — you may alternatively consider selling your house and moving to a rental prior to finding your next home.

I recently had the opportunity to help a client buy an Old Town condo in a building that she had been interested in for almost two years. For one reason or another, every time a unit came up, the timing just wasn’t right. My client said: “Thankfully, Lisa kept her eye on the listings for me and alerted me immediately when one came on the market. She suggested I attend the brokers open house with her, and I did. The unit was absolutely perfect for me, and I made an offer that was accepted right away.”

Lisa’s team of contractors and service providers help her sellers prepare their homes for today’s fast-paced market.

The next step was selling Jane’s “beautiful home of 23 years during the busy holiday season of a pandemic year.” We worked together to create an action plan that allowed for her house to be on the market in a timely manner. This included decluttering, donating furniture, completing a few repairs, conducting minor staging, and procuring both photography and video of the property. With help from my team of contractors and service providers, we were able to quickly check off all the items on the list, and we even dealt with a few tricky issues as they came up along the way.

“Shortly after listing the house, mold was discovered in the basement, which required immediate remediation,” Jane explained. “Throughout this process, Lisa kept everything firmly on track while reassuring my many concerns. Following remediation, showings resumed, and the house sold to attractive buyers who presented an excellent offer and agreed to closing before my important deadline.”

I often hear from clients making the move from a single-family home to a condominium that they are worried about transitioning their furniture and accessories to a smaller space while still having the comfortable feel of their home. In Jane’s case, she “knew that this was the right move” for her and said she “did not have buyer’s remorse for a second.”

Lisa’s purchaser is happily settled in her comfortable new home.

As a follow up, I visited Jane’s condo with my fabulous photographer to take pictures of her new home. I was not surprised to feel that I was walking into her home in Jefferson Park. She had painted the walls the same color, added similar carpet in the bedrooms, and arranged her furniture and accessories beautifully. (I have included a few before and after pictures for you to see.)

I was extremely honored to receive a testimonial from Jane, which I would like to share: “Throughout this very stressful process, Lisa served as my cheerleader, advocate, confidante and knowledgeable real estate expert. I simply could not have asked for more responsive and capable representation when buying and selling. I recommend her highly!”

If you are thinking of making similar moves and need guidance on where to start, feel free to reach out to me for a private and confidential conversation. I would be happy to help!

Lisa Groover is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Old Town Alexandria, VA. As an active member of the community since 1989, Lisa specializes in Alexandria, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with her friends, neighbors, former clients, and their referrals.

In addition to enjoying the Old Town lifestyle and the art related events and activities, she is a member of a number of volunteer organizations. Having had eight Golden Retrievers, she is dedicated to helping other dog owners through the challenges of renting, buying and selling their home.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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