One thing you might not realize is that smoothly and successfully selling one home and buying another is very much a team sport. You will need an organized game plan and the advice and assistance of many professionals over the course of a few to several months to get you to the goal line – your beautiful new home. If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry! The good news is that you really only have ONE primary decision to make to jump start the game:

Choose your Realtor first. By working with a full-time real estate broker with strong ties in the community and a passion to serve you and your family, you can leverage their contacts and expertise. Importantly, they can help you build your power team: lender, real estate attorney, home inspector, handyman. Think of your Realtor as your quarterback or project manager and utilize them to keep everything and everyone on track.

Get pre-qualified by a mortgage lender who is attentive and responsive to you. The pre-approval letter is a key item your Realtor will need to make a strong offer when you find a house you love. Choose a lending partner who stays personally involved in the loan process through closing day.

Work with your Realtor to decide on any repairs, renovations and staging that are needed before your current home is put on the market. Spending a modest sum now to complete any deferred projects can equate to a much faster time on market and higher offers. Staging is often free and can be as simple as deep cleaning, de-cluttering and rearranging furniture to achieve better “flow”.

Once you have your current house on the market and a pre-approval from your lender, it’s time to find your new home. Work with your Realtor to narrow down your “must haves” but be open to the possibilities available. Your Realtor will work to align closing dates so that your transition from “old” to “new” home is as seamless as possible.

Home inspections and appraisals should be completed as soon as possible after finalizing a purchase contract. Respond to requests from your lender and real estate attorney promptly. Complete any agreed-to repairs, arrange for movers, transfer utilities and enjoy coasting into the “end zone” with your power team by your side!