You’ve made the decision to sell one home and move into another. You need the money from the sale of your old home to complete the purchase of your new home. You face two challenges. First, making an offer contingent on the sale of an existing property is considered a weak offer and if you are competing with other buyers you are going lose out. Also, expect to pay more than you would for a non-contingent offer. Second, you want to move from one place to the other without being homeless.
Avoiding the contingent offer is easy. Once you have an accepted offer you are no longer making a contingent offer. Even better is to be through the inspection period on the sale since this is where most transactions fail. With an accepted offer you are simply making the offer subject to the close of your existing home. The seller may ask for a copy of your sales agreement. As long as your offer in contingent, the seller may receive another offer and ask you to remove your contingency. If you can’t remove it, you lose the house. If you have to make a contingent offer, have the agent that is selling your home write a glowing letter about how quickly they expect your home to sell.
Avoiding being homeless can be a little trickier. Asking the buyer of your home for a long close is a dangerous proposition. The longer the home is in escrow, the more likely the sale is to fail. Plus, you want the money in your pocket to make the best offer possible on your new purchase. Always get your home closed as quickly as possible!
The best situation is to get the property closed and rent back from the buyer for a specified period of time. In Oregon, there is no landlord/tenant relationship created if the period of rent back is under 90 days. The hard part is that buyers are excited and want to move in (now!) and may not be excited about the rent back idea. If it is not offered in the sales contract, you’ll need to negotiate in a counter offer. This process is much easier if you are buying a vacant home. The seller is usually open to a quick closing and you don’t run the risk of them having to find a home for themselves. It is not impossible to have five or more houses tied to each other with one transaction subject to the close of another.
Communication is the key to a lot of this. If you are relocating we’ll communicate with your agent at home and work to make the transaction as smooth as possible. If it’s a local move, we’d recommend using the same agent to list your house and make the purchase (even if for some reason it is not us!).