We don't Want to be Homeless.

We don’t want to list our house until we’ve found another one we’d like to buy first.

This is something we’re hearing quite a bit these days.  It’s a common concern, and a legitimate one.

If your house is properly priced, your agent has a strong marketing plan, and your home doesn’t have any major issues, there’s a good chance it will sell quickly. And you certainly don’t want to end up homeless.

But waiting to list until you find your next house can also be a bit of a CATCH-22.

If you're in the position to do so, you could carry both homes until your current one sells. Realistically though, this won’t be doable for most, and even if it is for you, when you start thinking about insurance, property taxes, power, and everything else that comes along with owning a house, it will get expensive pretty quickly.

There is such a thing as a “conditional offer” where you write up an offer, but one of the conditions is that you have to sell your house before you can go through with the purchase of the new home. In a different market, these aren’t uncommon, but today, it’s much less likely that a seller will accept it. With this, there’s also no guarantees. The seller will continue to show the house and entertain other offers. At any time, they can give you notice that they’d like to accept another offer. At that point, you’ll have a limited amount of time, usually 24-48 hours, to waive the condition of the sale of your house. If you can’t do that, they can move on to the next offer.

So with conditional offers probably not being the best option right now, and carrying two homes not realistic for most, and too expensive, I’ve come up with a few others ways to be successful in this market so we can get you to move up, or downsize. Whatever your specific case may be:

First, just because you list now, it doesn’t mean you have to move out right away.

From a buyer’s point of view, if the only thing standing in the way of their offer being accepted is a longer closing, there’s a good chance they’ll work with you. If not, you can always decline and move on until the right buyer comes along. This is part of the luxury of today’s market. There are no guarantees of course, but declining an offer and waiting for the next one is not risky as it could be in a different market.

Second, you can negotiate your ideal closing day, but you can also show good faith by agreeing that if you find your new home sooner than expected, your agent will advise the buyer’s agent if closing can be moved up.

Your agent can also set expectations by being proactive and advising buyers of your ideal closing date. It’s becoming more common to see notes in the listing details letting everyone know upfront.

Or if you get a great offer that is just too good to pass up, you could temporarily rent or stay with family until you find your ideal home. While this can be a bit of a pain, because you’re moving twice, there’s ways to limit the agony by using a company that will store your belongings. That way you can just keep the basics for your temporary situation and you’re not moving everything twice.

We're navigating a different market these days, but with the right strategies everything can still fall well in to place. It just a matter of executing a good plan.