In some instances, individuals become motivated to sell once they've landed on that special house and have determined a time frame for purchasing. The question remains however, should you first list your existing home for sale before putting an offer in on the new one? It's a question that plagues many buyers.
The common wisdom among real estate professionals is that the best way to move forward is to put the existing home on the market, then begin to narrow down the scope of homes one wishes to buy. Why?
When a buyer submits an offer on new property without having their existing home for sale, they are putting themselves at a definite disadvantage when it comes to negotiating. The offer will be contingent upon selling their present home. A seller will most likely ask his agent to continue to market the home even with the offer in place. Too, the terms of the buyer- price, time to close, and any other requests will have less power to persuade the seller to negotiate.
Understandably a potential buyer doesn't want to get stranded between selling a home and trying to find another existing one, but the reduction of risk may not pay off as well when it comes to getting the best deal on the new home as one otherwise would if the existing home were already on the market, or better yet, had an offer.
In short, a contingent offer is a weak offer. Selling and buying comes with risks. But if one wants the best deal and enable the agent to negotiate hard to win the home, having the existing home under contract or at the very least marketed, is the best choice.