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Vail Daily column: When should we put our home on market?

Joan Harned Ask a Realtor

Dear Joan: We have finally found a home we want to buy for our expanding family, and we are making good money, so we can afford it, but we have not sold our old house yet. We actually have not even put it on the market because we were afraid it would sell and we wouldn’t have another place we wanted to move to. Our Realtor had told us to put our home on the market, but we kept saying we wanted to finish various repair and upgrade jobs we had started. By playing it cautious, we are now in danger of losing the home we really want. We are looking for any and all suggestions.

Dear Inexperienced: I know you are feeling overly cautious, but truly, with a little direction and understanding, you could have put your home on the market when you earnestly started to look for your next home and you could assuage your fears by putting a clause in your listing contract that simply says that you will have 14 days after signing any contract to purchase your present home, to secure a contract to purchase another home.

Then you would have the right to terminate the accepted offer on your current home in the event you were unable to find the right property, or you could possibly ask to extend for a short time if you were close. I would recommend you have your attorney write, or at least review, the contingency clause first, before signing the listing agreement, and then make sure it is included correctly in any offer you would accept.

With that being said, we need to deal with the current situation with as much speed as possible. You need to have your home on the market, in my opinion, prior to writing a contingent offer on another home. You need to price your home just a hair under current market value (who knows, maybe it will start a bidding war?)

Next, with the guidance of your knowledgeable real estate agent, you need to craft an offer on your dream home that is contingent upon receiving an acceptable offer on your current home and subsequently closing on your current home prior to the close on your new home. If you write a short time frame for you to receive and accept an offer on your current home, then the owner of your future new home might give you a few weeks to secure a contract and then they usually are willing to wait for the close, once they have the reassurance that your home is under contract.

Rest assured, you are not the only one playing this game of dominoes. With a little care and planning, and thinking about what you can make work for the homeowners on the other side of the transaction, you will have a good chance of getting that dream home. Your real estate agent can help you make your wishes come true. Best of luck to you.


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