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Dear Shanon, Should I sell my house for us to buy a new house first? Where should I start?

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

Many people find themselves stuck in what I call the “Domino Dilemma:” an attempt to flawlessly pull off the sale of two properties in 60 days. There’s also the fear of change and giving up something good for “meh.” If you’re going to take the time if I need to make the move, better be worth your while, right? What do you do first? Look for a house and list your home for sale? Or list and then look? Both are viable options, you just need to choose the one that is right for you.

You know I’m a numbers gal, so default to your Realtor’s comps and stay realistic with those numbers. The Comparative Market Analysis that they will provide will show data on properties that are currently for sale, those pending with accepted offers, and properties that have sold in the last six months. It will also help give you an idea of what others are paying for your market, how many homes are listed for sale, etc. Your REALTOR® will help you hone in on similar properties to yours, so you can determine your best market pricing strategy, as well as provide you with an opportunity to see what other homes are available to you.

After you crunch the numbers on the possible net profit from the sale of your home and come up with a realistic market price, you’re already taking the first steps of putting your home on the market. This process from there with professional photos and generating marketing materials can take up to a couple of weeks, depending on the complexities of the properties.

If you’re just getting your feet wet, maybe you will feel more comfortable checking out a few homes already on the market, which you then may realize you are already happy with what you have. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that the average buyer looks at about 11 homes in 11 weeks. Understand your “dealbreakers” like location, price, number of bathrooms, etc. Have your Needs/Wants list dialed in and ready to go.

If you have the contingency in your offer to sell your current home before you can close on your new one, be prepared to keep the seller informed of your home sales process. That is if your offer is accepted against other offers that do not have a contingency to sell, cash sales, full-price offers, etc. if in a multiple bid. If the seller accepts the risk to be a part of your domino, they will want to know if your house is in escrow with an accepted offer, do you have an MLS number/line listing with a REALTOR® if your house is not listed yet, and when is your house slated to go live? The seller of your new home will likely have more confidence in you and your offer if you’re further down the path of closing on the sale of your old home. Some Mortgage Lenders also have “bridge” programs to help you bridge that gap to discuss in more detail with them.

Remember, some Buyers do not have that contingency at all, so you’ll always want to put your best foot forward. Your REALTOR® can help you strategize on how to impress the seller with other factors. After that, the transfers of monies from each sale are gracefully handled by the title company to help you transition the movements in the domino. The sixty-day transformation process will go by fast and will feel stressful at times because let's are honest, change is scary! Especially because there are a lot of moving pieces and players when it comes to making such a big move. But I promise that letting go of the past and looking forward to your future can feel amazing if you’re committed to your goals and plans, you shouldn’t need to make sure your dominos are all lined up and ready to go!

Shanon Pewtress

Real Estate Broker, Licensed in the state of Oregon

Published Medford Sneak Preview - June 2017

Shanon holds an MBA in International Business, loves writing in her “At Home with Shanon” column that has been delivered to 47,000+ homes in Medford since 2014, has appeared on the Real Estate Radio Show, and was also featured on A&E TV network’s Real Estate Reality TV show.



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