Making a transition from one home to the next can be challenging, and while we’ve covered how to make a contingent offer on a home, we have not yet discussed how to sell contingent on a purchase. 

The biggest question is, “If I list my home, I have to find something else. I can’t guarantee I’ll find something else, so how do I do it and be sure the timing all works out?” The answer is not simple if you haven’t already found a home you want to buy, but there are some things you can do to prepare so that the timing will work out. 

1) Know Your Numbers

The first thing to do is know your numbers. This can best be done with the help of a loan officer and a real estate agent. Identify the equity in your home by getting a market value estimate from your Realtor and subtracting your debt and estimated closing costs. Then with your lender, calculate the amount you will be putting down on your next home and what you can afford monthly. Last, but certainly not least, get a pre-approval letter for a purchase price that fits your numbers. 

2) Identify a Target Neighborhood

Once you have your numbers, you can list your needs and wants in your next home, and discuss with your Realtor some neighborhoods that would be of interest. Drive the neighborhoods and familiarize with them so you can find what best suits your lifestyle. Once you have a target neighborhood in mind, see if there are any listings in that area that fit what you’re looking for. If not, have your agent contact the top listing agents in that neighborhood and see if anyone has something special coming up!

3) Prepare to List

Even if you haven’t found that perfect home, you can start to prepare your home to sell. Consider presenting inspections with the listing so that a buyer will understand the ins and outs of the home, and feel more comfortable with making a quick offer. This also helps reduce surprises once in escrow! You can de-clutter, have your agent prepare their photographer for a quick photo shoot once you find your home, and do any touch up items before even finding your next property. This kind of preparation in conjunction with a pre-approval letter for your purchase and a target neighborhood in mind will make for the smoothest possible transition. Have your agent start thinking about the target market for the buyer of your home so that their marketing strategy is ready to go when you need it the most!

Once you find a home, schedule photography and list your home quickly. Price it competitively within the market so it will get into escrow quickly and be sure you have the property forms for the contingency of finding a replacement property.

If you have any questions about this process, please send us an email at