Which Comes First -- Listing or Buying?

By
Real Estate Agent with Realty Executives Integrity R.E. Broker 55289-90

In a recent conversation with a new buyer who would also be selling her house, the question came up as to when she should put her house on the market. Does she list it now and hope that she's found a new place by the time she gets an offer on hers, or does she wait to list it until she has an accepted offer on a new place? The table below outlines why listing your house before you have an accepted offer on another home gives you more negotiating power on both the selling and buying end.

WAIT TO LIST HOME UNTIL YOU HAVE ACCEPTED OFFER ON A NEW HOUSE

LIST HOME BEFORE YOU HAVE AN ACCEPTED OFFER ON A NEW HOUSE

Sale of home contingency with bump clause -- Most buyers are not able or don't wish to purchase a new home while they still own their current home. Therefore they will have to include a sale of home & contingency on new home, as well as bump clause. The bump clause allows the seller to accept secondary offers and potentially “bump” you out of the primary position. No sale of home contingency or bump clause --When you have an accepted offer on your current home, there's no need for a sale of home contingency or bump clause, so the seller won't be able to "bump" your offer for a secondary.
More pressure to offer higher price on new home to make your offer more attractive to the seller. A higher purchase price demonstrates to the seller that you are committed to getting your house sold and that it's therefore "worth the wait" for them. Gives you more negotiating power on purchase price of your new home. When you have an accepted offer on your home, you've already demonstrated to the seller that you are committed to selling your house.
Less negotiating power on current home. When you write an offer with a home sale contingency and bump clause on a new house, you'll want to get it removed as soon as you can to avoid being "bumped" by a secondary offer. Quite often this can mean accepting a lower price on your house to secure an offer. More negotiating power on current home. You’ll be in a better position to negotiate a higher price on your current home since you won't be under the same pressure to remove a home- sale contingency.

There are, of course, variables to this. You could very well find the home of your dreams before you have an accepted offer on your current home, but if the seller sees that you've taken that step and gotten it on the market, it shows a level of commitment you otherwise wouldn't have, which puts you in a stronger negotiating position.

Talk to your Realtor® about your specific plans, including timeline for moving, to help determine the best strategy for you to achieve your goals both on the selling and buying ends.

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tammy Lankford, 10/02/2012 01:01 PM
Topic:
Home Selling
Groups:
Realtors®
The Lounge at Active Rain
Posts to Localism
Tags:
selling a home
listing a house
washington county real estate
ozaukee county real estate
peggy wester

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Rainmaker
647,685
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

There seems to be a lot of question about the answer to listing or buying first. So many factors come into each situation that I think it depends a lot on circumstances.

Betty

Sep 29, 2012 06:16 AM #1
Rainer
105,504
Rhonda Duffy
Duffy Realty of Atlanta & Rainmaker Realty - Milton, GA
#1 Retail Listing Agent in the U.S.

A lot of great thinking points-- thank you for sharing.

Sep 29, 2012 10:36 AM #2
Rainmaker
207,960
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

Betty -- I agree that it depends on the circumstances. It's been my experience, though, that's it's usually better (in our market) that the seller have their house listed before they write an offer (unless they won't be including a home sale contingency.)

Rhonda -- Thank you, Rhonda!

Sep 29, 2012 11:17 AM #3
Ambassador
4,301,228
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Peggy, this is a great comparison - and helps move up (or down) seller to see which comes first? Chicken or Egg?....lol

Sep 29, 2012 04:40 PM #4
Rainmaker
453,651
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

It always helps to fomulate a game plan based on time-frames of their individual needs I think your pro & con list is a helpful tool. Nicely done!

Sep 29, 2012 06:50 PM #5
Rainmaker
207,960
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

Praful -- Ha! That's true -- the chicken or the egg. Never thought of that! :)

Oct 01, 2012 10:29 AM #6
Rainmaker
207,960
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

Allison -- You definitely have to make variances based on timeline and individual circumstances.

Oct 01, 2012 10:39 AM #7
Rainmaker
724,501
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Peggy-That's a nice decision matrix. I've generally suggested list first, and start looking for your next house, but do not offer until your house is under contract. Our inventory is such there are way more homes available than buyers.

Oct 02, 2012 01:41 PM #8
Rainmaker
207,960
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

Wayne -- I completely agree. In our current market, too, I really think that's the best thing a seller can do.

Oct 07, 2012 08:29 AM #9
Rainmaker
370,513
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker
iXL Real Estate-Wiregrasss\ - Enterprise, AL
email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846

As pointed out above, an EXCELLENT chart! I, too, suggest Listing first as the average time on the Market here is around 6 months, and most people can find a new place much quicker than that.

Oct 11, 2012 10:02 AM #10
Rainmaker
207,960
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

Travis -- Thank you. Our market seems to be pretty similar to yours!

Oct 12, 2012 03:13 AM #11
Rainmaker
5,511,678
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Good information for home buyers and home sellers.  Sometimes the practical solutions are not the best solutions.

Have an outstanding week.

Purple Passion Flower and Bees.  Life is good!

Oct 14, 2012 11:38 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,097,756
John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

As an Exclusive Buyer's Agent I have found that a buyer is in a much better position to negotiate a purchase if they have their current home sold, or under contract.  I have negotiated several of these and find the pressure is on the new seller to accept an offer fast as the buyer has to move soon.  As a rule, and there are always exceptions, my buyer has a second home if the first doesn't come through.  The last one was a buyer that needed to move in 30 days, period.  That forced the seller to decide whether to accept a lower offer than they wanted or the buyer move to another home.  It is always about negotiating, never give anything away, even if it is to your advantage.  Of course, this only works in a buyers market.  And that's another blog.

Oct 24, 2012 12:04 PM #13
Rainmaker
5,126,192
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Peggy....it depends on the market....right now, it's a seller's market here....there is a demand for fresh inventory.... no one will take a contingency....seller's don't need to..... buyers need to be prepared to buy and close....if they can't find the right house it may mean two moves....

Nov 06, 2012 01:57 AM #14
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Peggy Wester

Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County
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