Home Sellers On My Heart (And the Secret Buyer Advantage Most People Aren’t Using)



Normally, getting an offer to purchase on your house is exciting. After waiting all that time for the sale, finally there’s light at the end of the tunnel! Waiting for your house to sell was hard. But do you know what’s even more difficult? Receiving an offer that’s subject to the sale of the buyer’s home. It’s waiting for the buyer’s house to sell before they can buy yours.

My heart goes out to every seller in that stressful, helpless state of almost-sold-but-maybe-soon limbo. It’s a hard place to be.

Recently, my seller client had two offers on their property. Both were subject to the sale of the buyer’s home. An offer was accepted – which sounds exciting, but – then the anxious wait began. They waited for that buyer’s house to sell. They waited, waited, and waited some more. It was anxious for me too, because there’s nothing I can do to help them sell their house. I had no influence on the advertising or marketing that is or isn’t being done for their home or the number of people who are shopping for that buyer’s kind of house. All my house-marketing prowess and fancy tools don’t help the other agent’s client. So we waited…

The weird thing is that those buyers are sellers too, in that same limbo of waiting for their own house to sell, and probably getting the same kinds of subject-to-house-sale offers Emanuel others get. So it can become a domino effect of everyone waiting for everyone else’s house to sell.

And I get it. If I’m wanting to move, I’d want to find a place before selling too. I understand. Then again, after seeing how it all shakes out, maybe I wouldn’t. Those kinds of arrangements are extremely hard on the seller. The tension of living in that almost-sold limbo is unreal.

The Secret Advantage Buyers Can Have

When many offers are conditional on the sale of the buyer’s house, and when that common experience is stressful, someone with no such condition can pretty much rule the world. Well, at least they can have their free pick of what to buy, and maybe even slash the price a bit.

Because any offer that doesn’t make the seller wait for months and months is something sellers (and their agents!) are EAGER for. They’ll LEAP at it. Every single agent is going to prefer an offer without that condition. If you want sellers to accept an offer subject to the sale of your house, expect to pay top dollar for the inconvenience. If you don’t put them through the wait of your sale though, they might take a slice off the price for the certainty of that offer over the others that may or may not end up going through.

It’s a powerful advantage for a buyer to have.

The advantage comes at a cost, though. It means having to sell before buying.  If you don’t find your next home quickly, it might mean moving somewhere temporary while you shop, and moving a second time into that final home.

Why would buyers want to sell first?

The advantage to buyers for this two-move inconvenience is massive. First, it frees them financially and gives them time to search at their leisure. Secondly, it gives them the power to make an offer others can’t – one without conditions – the offer every seller and agent WISHES for. Not only that, but it also gives a competitive advantage over other offers.

Let’s say the house a buyer wants already has an accepted offer subject to the sale of a home. You can put in an offer.  The first offer will then be given 48 hours to remove their condition. It’s highly unlikely that condition will be satisfied in 48 hours, so yours will be the one left standing. You win!

Oh – and let’s not forget that that kind of offer is a powerful negotiating tool to hopefully get the purchase price down a few notches!

Emotional consequences 

You find the property you want. This is it. It’s the one. It has everything you want. Everything pales in comparison. So, you put in an offer subject to the sale of your house. Your house takes a while to sell. Another buyer comes along and writes an offer and they do not have a house to sell. You are given a notice to remove your conditions within 48hrs. You cannot afford two mortgages. You lose the house of your dreams. You don’t find another property like it. LOSS. Now you have the emotional consequences of dealing with losing your dream home.

The bottom line is that buying and selling is a stressful process either way, but you can choose which stress you’d rather: the stress of waiting for your house to sell while you wait for your buyer’s house to sell in order to satisfy conditions on your offer , or the stress of selling first, and risking moving twice while you search for that just-for-you home.

My guess is that you are also more likely to cave to a lower offer on your house when you are feeling pressure and at risk of losing the home you want.

If you’ve got to endure stress anyway, it may as well be with a big advantage in your back pocket.


Have you ever sold before buying? Would you consider it?

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