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Should I put in an offer if I have to sell my house?

Ah, the age-old question for home owners ready to move on… If you already own a home and have found a house that you want to buy, should you put in an offer? What if you need to first sell your own house?

You don’t want to sell your home and have nowhere to go, but you also don’t want to buy a new home and then be in a crunch to sell. So what do you do?

It is fairly common for someone to sell a house and buy a different house at the same time. You can make your home purchase contingent on the sale of your current home, but there may be some catches you should be aware of:

  1. Be aware of time limits on your sale. Not every seller will want to wait forever while you list and sell your home. You can make an offer contingent on the sale of your home with a time limit, normally around 60 days.
  2. It could affect the competitiveness of your offer. In a hot real estate market, a buyer should put forth the most competitive offer possible. If a seller has to decide among 3 or 4 competing offers, they’ll look at items like price, timing, and inspections, among others.
  3. A seller may not think you’re a serious buyer. A buyer who is serious about a move will be prepared when putting in an offer. This includes being prepared with a current living situation.

In short, be aware of the risks you’re taking when you put an offer in on a house without first having listed your own. You may also be interested in information on buying and selling a house at the same time, which will be helpful in this situation.