Should I Accept an Offer Contingent on The Sale of Another Property?

Unless a potential homebuyer is a first time homebuyer, it is likely they have a property they need to sell before purchasing a new one. Unfortunately timing a purchase of one property and the sale of another does not always result in impeccable timing. Often a buyer just starting the search doesn’t have their home on the market yet when they fall in love with their next property or a seller receives an offer and has only weeks to move.

So if you are seller with a home on the market, should you accept an offer from a buyer who needs to sell their home first? My answer? It depends!

It depends on your motivation. It depends on the quality of the rest of the buyer’s offer. And it depends on the property the buyer has for sale. As an adviser to the seller, I look at an offer and the buyer’s property if contingent to make sure:

• The property the buyer has to sell (the contingent property) is on the market
• The contingent property is priced at or below market
• The contingent property is recently new to the market, it has been marked down dramatically, or has undergone a major improvement or facelift (such as new carpet)
• The contingent property is in an area where homes are selling quickly
• Make sure the offer has specific dates by which the property must have a contract on it and close by

Although a contingent offer is far from ideal for a seller wanting to sell their home quickly, being willing to look at one will widen the buyer pool, perhaps enough to get the home sold.