What to Do When You Have To Sell in Order to Buy

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group S-96414

What to Do When You Have To Sell in Order to Buy

The Sell/Buy dilemma.   Never an easy one.   Every situation is different, but for many in this current market, one would likely think Sell then Buy.  

Most  of us today can't afford to have two mortgages.   That means if you own a home, unless you are willing and able to purchase without selling, you should be selling your home first.    The advantages are: 

  •   You know exactly how much money your house will bring
  •   You will not feel pressured to sell your  home
  •   It will make you a stronger buyer with more negotiating power
buy sell dilemma,

Gone are the days of the "bridge loan".  (A short term loan by a bank meant to cover an interval between two transactions.)   They just don't happen anymore.

So what do you do when you own a home but want to buy another?     It's tricky, right?   After all you will need a place to live after you sell.     The home buying process was much easier with your first purchase.    Likely you didn't have all this stuff, your down payment was in the bank (instead of your house), you didn't have kids, pets and a buyer that you had to wait for.

 In today's market most sellers, unless they are compensated for the risk,  will not entertain an offer contingent on someone selling their home.   Why?    By taking a home sale contingency, they are effectively taking their home off the market until you sell your home.    It's a big risk to any seller.  

Having your home sold, (or under agreement with a strong purchaser) allows a seller to consider you as a ready and able buyer.  

The best you can wish for is closing both transactions on the same day, so that you only have to make one move.     

How do you accomplish this?   

My recommendation is if you are thinking of a new home, get your current one on the market.      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.   When an offer comes in on your home, you will know exactly what you have to spend and the time frame to do it in!

What happens when you find the perfect home and yours isn't sold yet?  

  • First, if your home is not on the market, get it on!
  • Second, If it is on the market, reevaluate your position in the market.   Adjust your price, terms, and marketing strategy.  
  • Next, do you put an offer inand risk losing your deposit or do you put in an offer with contingencies and see if the Seller will engage?     The answer to that will depend on your motivation for this perfect home.  Of course, you will consult with your agent about either approach.    


Regardless of what you do,


 if your home is already on the market, 


 you are already moving in the direction towards your new home!


Looking to Buy, Sell, Rent or Invest?  

 If you want to really know what's happening in your market area,

                                      consult your local Realtor!


         Call me if you have a question about the market.  508-494-9061
      Put my 25 years of experience to work for you!     


Carol Ann Palmieri


About the Author

Carol-Ann Palmieri is a full time Real Estate professional in Massachusetts for the past 25 years along with her partner Al Mussi have helped literally hundreds of families find, sell or purchase new places to live.
Carol Ann Palmieri


A former US Marine, she grew up in Walpole, MA...  is committed to the serving the community through various volunteer opportunities.   She attended MA Bay Community and Suffolk University and is committed to constantly updating her Real Estate education.

Licensed in MA and RI...

Al and Cal's primary areas of service Franklin, Bellingham, Medway, Millis, Medfield, Norfolk, Wrentham, Plainville, Blackstone, Walpole, Milford, Holliston, Hopkinton, Mansfield, and Foxboro, North Attleboro, Norwood, Hopedale, Mendon, Millville but have resourses to help anyone, anywhere....

 Their mission....  To exceed your expectations!


Comments (11)

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Carol Ann.... in a sellers' market, it's easier to sell than to find a resale home that may fit your needs....however, the seller of that home may not take your deal if you do not have your home under agreement and your buyer commited.... your game plan is the most reasonable in today's market.

Jul 26, 2013 09:54 PM
Anita Clark
Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

This is excellent advice Carol Ann.  I have seen many get frustrated because they start looking for a new home first and get upset when it sells before they have the available funds/means to buy.

Jul 26, 2013 09:57 PM
Patrick White
Home Driven Realty, Inc - Baldwin, NY
Driven to bring New Yorkers home

Good Morning Carol Ann


Thanks for the post and excellent information. Sell to Buy transactions are risky unless, as you say, the seller is buying the new home as an cash transaction. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day

Jul 26, 2013 10:05 PM
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond

Carol Ann, great pointers for sure..make sure as the seller and the buyer you have a back up plan on where you can move.

Jul 27, 2013 12:45 AM
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Hi Cal, 

Timely blog for me as i have two clients who are buying new builds and have to sell their homes before we get to sheetrock stage of the building process. I listed one of thse homes this week and the other maynot be until second week in August as they have work to do  on their home. I may have to seek advice from you as this process moves along! I will suggest.. 

Jul 27, 2013 03:26 AM
Christine O'Shea
Christine E O'Shea Broker - Naples, FL

Carol Ann, Great insightful post and a true delema for most.  Gone are the days of finding a house without the buyer placing their home to sell on the market.

Jul 27, 2013 10:00 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Carol Ann, if given 2 choices for a seller with contracts the one with the least problems may win the deal even if the value s lower. Sellers want to know when they will close and not have it be dependent on someone else's sale

Jul 27, 2013 01:20 PM
Carol-Ann Palmieri
RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group - Franklin, MA
"Cal" the Real Estate Gal

Hi Barbara, Anita, Patrick, Ginny, Bob, Christine and Ed!   Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts.   I hope you all have a fine Sunday! 

Jul 27, 2013 09:02 PM
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Hey Cal-just got back from a nice kayaking morning and was thinking of you-happy Sunday!

Jul 27, 2013 11:57 PM
Carol-Ann Palmieri
RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group - Franklin, MA
"Cal" the Real Estate Gal

Hi Marco.   So crazy busy I haven't gotten out there.   : (    Hope you are doing well.  c

Jul 28, 2013 06:56 AM
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Hi Cal,

Just stopping by to say hello and thanks for being a supporter of mine for a long time. I really appreciate your wonderful blogs, advice and your commenst on my stuff. Thank you.. You are a good virtual friend. 

Jul 28, 2013 08:53 AM