Frequently Asked Questions

Program Costs 

How much does Buy Before You Sell cost?

It’s free to get started and see how much equity your client can unlock. If your client chooses to transact using the program, the fee is 2.4%* of the final sale price of the current home. Minimums apply if the final sale price is less than $375,000. 

Thanks to the structure of the program, your client may be able to save up to 1-3% of the purchase of their new home with a non-contingent offer, and sell their existing home for up to 10% more by listing it unoccupied and potentially
staged.

Equity Unlock Amount and Property Value 

How do you determine how much equity you can unlock from the departing property?

We typically shoot for an approval that allows us to lend up to ~75% CLTV of the departing residence. For example, if the client’s home is worth $1,000,000 and the mortgage balance is $500,0000, we can potentially provide up to $250,000 to use towards the down payment on the next property. 

How is the departing property value determined?

The primary factors that influence our valuation is the listing agent’s valuation and our team’s expected sales price. Our model also utilizes publicly-available market data including comps and risk factors which slightly adjust the final number.

How and when will my client access the equity?

We wire the funds directly to the purchase escrow account 1-2 days beforehand, or first thing in the morning on the day of the purchase closing.

How do you determine the Purchase Agreement Price in the Backup Offer?

The Purchase Agreement Price on our Backup Offer will mirror the agent’s valuation; however, we purchase the home at the Loan Payoff Value, which is the sum of the outstanding mortgage and the Equity Unlock funds the borrower is using. We put a seller credit in the contract for the difference between the valuation/sales price & the Loan Payoff Value/”real” purchase price.

Upside Guarantee

What is Upside Guarantee? Can you explain what happens if HomeLight needs to purchase the home at day 120? 

We absolutely want the client to sell the home within 120 days after the new home is purchased, but in the event they don’t, we purchase the home at day 120. While this is incredibly rare, we continue to work with the client to get it sold at full market value. If HomeLight purchases the home, the client will receive 100% of the net profit after it sells on the open market, less our program fee and any additional costs (taxes, insurance, etc.) incurred during HomeLight’s ownership.

How much time does my client have to sell the home after moving?

The listing agent has 21 days to list the departing residence after the new home closing if not already listed. The client and their agent have a total of 120 days to go under contract before HomeLight’s Backup Offer goes into effect.

What does Loan Payment Value (LPV) mean?

The Loan Payoff Value is the sum of the existing mortgage and the Equity Unlock amount. This allows us to payoff the client’s liens if we have to purchase the home, before we deliver the upside from the third-party sale.

Process and Timeline 

How do I get started? 

You can get registered for Buy Before You Sell through our website

If you're eager to jump in, and already have a client you'd like to submit, you can do so here

How long does the overall process take?

Once you submit your client, you and the agent will receive a next-steps follow-up email. This has the property questionnaire link and property photo guidelines. Once we receive the questionnaire & photos, we’ll have an approval letter sent out within 24 hours.

What is the Program Eligibility Criteria?

Read through our BBYS Eligibility Matrix to see if your client and their current home are a good fit for the program!

Why should my client use this program?

Clients using Buy Before You Sell find it is the most effective solution to move into their new home before selling the old residence. We enable borrowers to leverage the equity in their departing residence and move into their new home hassle-free. Empty homes also typically sell for more than occupied ones.


More importantly, as a top Loan Officer, you should use this product for the competitive edge it provides. We want agents to go directly to you when they have a client with a pending-sale contingency or they’re short on funds. Forget Zillow & Redfin, OfferPad & Knock - they’ll immediately think of “Joe’s Buy Before You Sell” offering. After all, you presented it to them 2 weeks ago and you’ve been buying them coffee for over 5 years. 

Why should my client use HomeLight Closing Services for closing?

As HomeLight Closing Services is in-house, working with them makes the closing experience as seamless as possible for you and your client. Our Escrow Officers thoroughly understand the HomeLight Buy Before You Sell program and, because we use the same systems and processes, can expedite the transfer of relevant documents and information.

Where is Buy Before You Sell currently live?

  • Alabama
  • Arizona (+HomeLight Closing Services)
  • Arkansas
  • California (+HomeLight Closing Services)
  • Colorado (+HomeLight Closing Services)
  • Connecticut 
  • Delaware
  • Florida (+HomeLight Closing Services)
  • Georgia (+HomeLight Closing Services)
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland (+HomeLight Closing Services)
  • Michigan (+HomeLight Closing Services)
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina 
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina 
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas (+HomeLight Closing Services)
  • Utah
  • Virginia (+HomeLight Closing Services)
  • Washington (+HomeLight Closing Services)
  • Washington D.C. (+HomeLight Closing Services)
  • West Virginia 
  • Wisconsin 
  • Wyoming