It’s the most basic of questions that every family needs to ask themselves when the light bulb goes off and the decision is made that it is time to move. Do we call the realtor and put the house on the market… then as soon as we have a signed contract we run and go find another home? Or do we go find another home to live in and then as soon as we sign a contract to buy, we run to sell the home we currently live in…. 

The answer to this question will depend on many factors, not least, each family’s appetite for risk. I’m sure to some readers the thought of purchasing a new home before knowing that their current home is sold, and for exactly how much, is cause to make their heads spin. Others, who perhaps don’t view life as “neatly,” will trust that in Bergen County NJ, if you want to sell your home, you will be able to sell it. 

There is, of course, the third option which is a split decision. One spouse is ready to jump in while the other spouse would prefer to have everything in order before making the move. My own personal experience was more like this third category… I was not yet even a real estate agent when my next door neighbor from Edgewood Avenue, who had become a realtor, convinced me to check out a home that had just come on the market near the new home she had bought the year before on Forest Avenue.  She thought how nice it would be for “old” neighbors to reunite. 

I convinced my husband that there was no harm in just looking but by the end of the open house we were both in love with the home. Problem is…you guessed it…. we, of course, owned our house on Edgewood and buying the second home would be a stretch without selling the first. Ultimately, after promises of never eating out in a restaurant again and no new clothing until our finances were back in order my side prevailed. I convinced my husband to sign the contract on the new purchase before we had even told anyone we would be ready to sell our current home. 

Things moved a lot slower in those days and it took the better part of a year to sell our first home but eventually it sold and was taken off our books and I was able to resume buying clothing again! 

As a seasoned realtor there is actually a good answer to this question and that is to call your mortgage broker and go over what it would really mean for you financially to purchase a new home without selling your current one. Knowledge is always the best way to help your family make the right decision for your future.


Nechama Polak is the Broker of Record and Owner of V and N Group LLC. V & N Realty is located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck, NJ. Feel free to email Nechama at nechamapolak@gmail.com or call 201.826.8809.