The Chicken or The Egg or When You Have a House To Sell
The answer all depends upon the current market. What are the conditions in your area?
When the question is asked of me today in this market, I have to answer that unless you are willing and able to purchase without selling, you should be selling your home first.
Why? It makes you a stronger purchaser. The Seller can consider your offer and know that when you agree upon price and after all normal (home inspection, mortgage) contingencies are met, their home will be sold. If they consider your offer with a home sale contingency, they are effectively putting their sale on hold until you sell yours. How do they know you are going to price it and market it correctly? They don't. That is why most Sellers will not consider this unless they are highly compensated for the risk.
Okay, So you have to sell in order to buy. But you need a place to live after you sell. What do you do? It's tricky. Much easier when it was your first home purchase, right? Sure it was. Likely you didn't have all this stuff, your down payment was in the bank, you didn't have kids, pets and a buyer that you had to wait for.
My recommendation is get your home on the market. Do it right. While your home is on the market start actively looking for homes that meet your criteria. Having something in mind that you could go to at all times would be ideal. Knowing what your trade offs are will make you feel more comfortable that you will be able to find your new place when that offer comes in. Let's face it. It doesn't matter if you are looking for a $100,000 home or a 1.5 million dollar home. We all have trade offs.
What if you are following the recommendation and find the perfect home but yours isn't sold? Reevaluate your position in the market. Here comes those trade offs again. Do you love that home so much, that you are willing to change your position? Just maybe that will be the answer. Do you put an offer in and risk losing your deposit or do you put in an offer with contingencies and see if the Seller will engage? The answer to that is individual. You will consult with your agent about the pros and cons of doing any of those things. Regardless, if your home is already on the market, you have a heartbeat on the direction that is taking.
So, What does come first? The Chicken or the Egg?