Buy a Home / Sell a Home Which comes first?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 311291

Do I Buy First? Do I Sell First?

When inquires come in on my properties, I like to find out the buyer's motivation.  Do you have a home to sell to purchase?  The answer is sometimes, "we just want to look for a while."

 What happens if you fall in love with that home or condo? Can you move forward without the proceeds of your current home?

In response to the age-old question "Do I buy or Sell First."



Buyers / Sellers


It is not unusual to have a client want to see every home or condo available right spite they have not even considered putting their home on the market. You can see the look of fear and panic as they ask:

What if I sell and have no place to move!? I cannot disrupt my family; I am too old or not well enough, or a myriad of other reasons why two moves are impossible.


 I have yet another suggestion, one that  I call a "reverse contingency." When two separate moves are just not possible, my advice  is to list the property, contingent on "finding a home of choice." You may see HOC in remarks.                                                                                                                

It is easy to find out how serious they are to avoid that 2nd move.  Ask, " What if someone comes along and offers you a million dollars?" ( their home is in the $500,000 category.)  Quite a few sellers will say OK; we will pack up, go into storage, travel for a while, move to an apartment, move in with parents, or a hotel... for that kind of incentive.


Any amount of money will not inconvenience other sellers. This situation is the perfect place for the "reverse contingency."  When receiving an offer, a specific clause is in the contract stating a contingency for a short amount of time (could be weeks) for the seller to find that home of their choice.  Notice that wording. "home of choice." 

Once the home is listed, viewing available properties is appropriate so the seller/buyer can become familiar with the available inventory. Even in this fast-paced market, I have a home on the market with a HOC contingency.

When the current home goes under contract, the buyer has time to find a property, write an offer on the new home contingent on the settlement of the present house. Did you follow that?  There are so many ways to help buyers and sellers. First, you must ask the right questions and determine the buyer's and the seller's needs.


Margaret Rome


Comments (11)

Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

you're right getting those ducks in a row is the first and foremost thing. Everything else comes after. :

May 10, 2021 11:42 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Margaret.

Offer me enough money on our current place and I'll sell in a heartbeat.  

May 11, 2021 12:42 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

You provide a potential solution for those who have that question on their mind, Margaret.  

May 11, 2021 12:51 AM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

I have found a lender that will do a Cross Collateral Loan which is kind of like a Bridge Loan / HELOC hybrid.  It allows a seller to buy the second home based on using the equity of the first home as collateral as the down payment so that you can make an offer non-contingent.  I typically have my clients let me take marketing photos when the home is occupied and then again when vacant for future marketing of the home they will be selling.  It sure takes a lot of stress out of the process for my clients here in the Boise, Idaho area.

May 11, 2021 03:07 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Margaret - once again, asking the right questions along with careful listening can lead to thoughtful and thought-provoking answers.  Maybe long-lasting connections will follow.    

May 11, 2021 03:25 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Not many lenders offer it, but there was once a bridge loan that would be ideal in the current market, assuming the sellers cold even find a home.  That reverse contingency clause would also need a date for vacating or else they are in for a long time.

May 11, 2021 05:37 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Margaret. Where there is a will there is a way. If you don't ask, the answer is always "no". Knowing the way requires questioning. Enjoy your day.

May 11, 2021 05:50 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Great tips Margaret! I have been fortunate to never lose one for that circumstance

May 11, 2021 06:08 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Margaret - that is a great idea and it can certainly work in this seller's market.

May 11, 2021 06:34 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Margaret the "reverse contingency" is a good suggestion.  However, if I had to pick between buying or selling first, buying first seems to be a better option these days given how low inventory is, and most homes getting multiple offers.

May 11, 2021 04:17 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Margaret:

Great advice here! It's a tough question and for many the answer is NOT...take on a second mortgage to buy the home you want while selling your current home. And at least in our area contingent offers are pretty hard to do because of the competition from those who don't need to sell a home to buy. 


May 14, 2021 05:50 PM