Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

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June 13, 2023

Navigating the Contingent Sale Process: Selling Your Home to Buy Another

Imagine you have a special toy that you want to sell, but you also need the money from selling it to buy a new toy. So, you have to be clever.


You decide to put your toy in a store with a sign that says, 'For Sale, but I can't give it to you right away.'


In the world of real estate, this scenario is known as a contingent sale. It occurs when someone wants to sell their house but also needs to find a new home before they can officially sell their current house. In other words, they need to find a buyer who is patient and willing to wait until they secure a replacement home.


To understand the contingent sale process, let's revisit the toy analogy. While your toy is in the store, you're actively searching for a special toy to buy. When someone comes along and says, 'I love your toy, and I'm willing to wait until you find a new toy,' you feel relieved because you know you can sell your toy to that person.


Similarly, in a real estate contingent sale, the homeowner puts their house on the market and lets potential buyers know that they want to sell, but they need to find a new home before the sale can be finalized. The goal is to find a buyer who is understanding and willing to wait until the homeowner finds a suitable replacement.


Once the homeowner finds a buyer who accepts their condition, they can sell their house and use the proceeds to buy a new home. It's a delicate balance of timing and negotiation.


However, just like the toy scenario, the contingent sale process requires the homeowner to demonstrate their commitment and seriousness. When someone expresses interest in buying your toy, they want to know some essential details:


How will you pay for the toy? You explain that you will use the money from selling your toy.


Do you already have a buyer for your toy? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

The potential buyer of your toy might then ask, "Is your toy on display for everyone to see?" You reply, "I have signed an agreement with a broker, and if you agree to sell me your toy, then I will put my toy on display."

At this point, the toy seller may hesitate. They might think, "Why should I wait for you when I have many interested buyers? Some can pay immediately, and others can pay within 30 days." They consider their options carefully.


After some consideration, the seller of the toy says to you, "I like you, but I can't sell you the toy unless I see that you can make the trade quickly. I also don't want to miss out on other strong buyers I have today."


In real estate, this is similar to a seller saying, "I like your offer, but I need to be confident that you can close the deal promptly. I don't want to jeopardize other potential offers. I prefer a buyer who has made a full-price offer and has a substantial down payment, as it demonstrates their commitment. I trust that their lender can close the loan on time, ensuring I receive the full price or potentially even more."


To show the toy seller that you're serious about the trade, you let others know that your toy is available. Similarly, in real estate, homeowners must actively market their existing home for sale. This demonstrates to the seller of the new home that they are committed to the process and actively seeking a buyer.


By putting your existing home on the market, you show the seller of the new home that you are actively trying to sell your home and are committed to the trade. It instills confidence in your offer and increases the likelihood of successfully buying your replacement home.


So, if you find yourself in a situation where you want to buy a new home but need to sell your existing one first, it's crucial to put your current home on the market for sale. By doing so, you demonstrate your commitment, reliability, and seriousness to the seller of the new home.


Putting your home on the market shows the seller that you're actively taking steps to sell your home and find a suitable replacement. It assures them that you are dedicated to the trade and increases their confidence in considering your offer.


Just like spreading the word about your available toy to show your commitment, marketing your existing home signals your readiness to make the transition. You can utilize various strategies to attract potential buyers, such as enlisting the help of a real estate agent, promoting your listing online, hosting open houses, and spreading the word among friends, family, and colleagues.


Remember, the contingent sale process requires effective communication and collaboration between all parties involved. It's essential to keep open lines of communication with your real estate agent, potential buyers, and the seller of the new home. Promptly respond to inquiries, provide necessary documentation, and be transparent about your timeline and requirements.


Throughout the process, it's crucial to remain patient and flexible. Selling a home and finding a new one simultaneously can be complex and may involve some negotiation and compromises. However, with the right approach, determination, and support from professionals, you can navigate the contingent sale process successfully.


In conclusion, when you're in a situation where you need to sell your home to buy another, it's important to understand the contingent sale process. Just like the toy analogy, finding a patient and understanding buyer who is willing to wait until you secure a replacement home is key. By actively marketing your existing home, demonstrating commitment, and maintaining open communication, you increase your chances of successfully buying your dream home while selling your current one. Embrace the process, seek professional guidance, and embark on your real estate journey with confidence.

July 31, 2017

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