Selling Home, but Can't Buy Another House Until I Close on the Existing Home.

Updated on November 03, 2010
L.M. asks from Chicago, IL
15 answers

Hey Mommas,

I need to know if anyone has experience with this situation or offer suggestions. I will be putting my home on the market and if my home is sold, I can't buy another one until I close on the existing one. I can't stay with family, that's not an option. Do anyone know of any hotels that have extended living in the city of chicago only. (No hotels in the suburbs) Or any suggestions on how I can get around this situation. (Any loan officers out there?)

Thanks in advance for your responses....

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your expert advice. I have been truly enlighted regarding my situation and I thank you for sharing your personal experiences. I have decided to take your advice and pay the buyers rent if need be. When I sold my house in the past, it was a totally different situation.

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answers from San Francisco on

DH and I bought a house this spring and the family that we bought it from was in the same situation you are. At the time we were renting on a month to month basis and did not have to be out by a certain date so what we did was a "rent back agreement" (They rented the house back from us for a month to give them time to close on their new house and get moved out)

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Antonio on

Former Loan officer-

I don't recommend a bridge loan, it sounds like you're maxed out on your debt to income ration if you have to close prior to buying, so a bridge loan will not likely work for you.

I would recommend a rent back. Continue to live in your home as you sell it and look for another, work with a good real estate agent who specifically understands your situation and can make a potential buyer and potential seller aware of it. Most people are very willing to work around this, as it's the case more often than not.

-remain in your home til it's sold
-set up your sales contract for your current home for occupancy taking place no sooner than 60 days prior to sale, if buyer doesn't agree, do rent back during that time
-set up your purchase of the other home to close on or as close to same day as your sale of current (this is where an agent working both ends helps)
-get everything in order as far as insurances, documentation, etc and do all the transaction with the same bank if possible to make it seamless

The most important thing is to protect yourself through the process and have everything in writing and legal.

It's not likely you're going to get around the situation with limitations on income and debt more strict than they have been a quite a while, but there's no reason you can't set up things with the old, shop for the new and make the change as easy as possible.

Best wishes!

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answers from Chicago on

Hello, I've worked for real estate lawyers for nearly 15 years now. If things work out, you don't need to find a hotel. Once you get a contract for the sale of your home, you can go looking for a new one to purchase. I would recommend negotiating with your buyers for at least 60 days until closing so that you have time on your end to find your new place. I would also recommend asking for a few extra days to keep the house after closing (you'll probably have to pay the buyer's carrying costs for those few days) - if they agree it will be worth it.

Your lender will need to see that your house is sold (assuming you can't afford both which most of us can't), even if it was an hour before your purchase.

You could look at houses to buy before you sell your own house - occasionally sellers will give you what's called a home-sale contingency where they agree to a contract with you that includes an "out" for you if you don't sell your house by a specified date.

Good luck! If you'd like more info or if you need a real estate lawywer, give me a call - C. @ ###-###-#### (ofc).

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answers from Chicago on

Are you selling "by Owner" or working with a realtor? Either way, you should look for a house you would like to buy in your price range, put a contract on buying that house 'contingent' on the final sale of the home you are putting on the market and close on both homes the same day. That way you sell the one and buy the other. Before selling your existing home, you should have a written agreement on how many days you need to vacate and move into your new house, preferably with a lawyer's assistance. Hope this helps. JN

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We told the buyer that we had to stay in our house until the first of Jun (he bid in March). We closed in April so he could get the tax credit but paid the mortage until Jun. That gave us 60 days to find our own place. We had been looking for months though, and had houses we were interested in already viewed. When the time came, we figured out which ones were still available and made our choices from there.

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answers from Chicago on

Usually when people are in that situation, they ask the buyer of their house if they can pay rent to remain in the house until you can purchase your new house. That can be added in when you negotiate a contract. Good luck!

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answers from Las Vegas on

Call around, a friend of mine explained this to the Apartment manager and they were able to sign a 6 month lease and then rent month to month. That gave her the time to look for a house and she benefitted from the changing market.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You may find you can get a month to month lease or a 3 month lease somewhere, lots of landlords will not like having empty properties in the winter months and seeming as most peoples leases are spring or fall termination you could be lucky. Try "Apartment people" on Broadway I found them very helpful and always happy to try and get you a deal on a short lease.The Grand Plaza down town on State does do short leases we stayed there for 8 weeks when we relocated from the UK you could also try them.

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answers from Albuquerque on

We were in a similar situation a couple years back. We sold our home and were supposed to be purchasing a different one but that fell through. We ended up subletting an apartment for a couple of months and putting most of our furniture and stuff in a storage unit. It was convenient because we didn't have to pay deposit and all that stuff, we just paid the months rent. Some apartments rent month by month too, which turns out way cheaper than renting a hotel. Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

I just did both of my closings on the same day. My sale was closed first, then the money from that was used for the purchase. Once you've got a buyer and the physical inspection has passed, you're pretty safe to put an offer on another house. Get a contingency just in case (the purchase of the new home is contingent on your sale closing). You also negotiate the closing date, and can push for it to be sooner or later. And sometimes you can also rent your home from the new buyer for a pro-rated portion. From the info above, I can't tell why you're thinking of a hotel.

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answers from Chicago on

I haven't read any of the other answers, so I'm not sure if someone already suggested this, but you can generally work out an arrangement with the buyers of your home where you "rent" it back from them for a period of time, ie, you continue to pay the mortgage cost even though they are the new owners. This will buy you time while keeping you from needing to move immediately. This is actually a pretty common practice.

The best thing to do is scout out houses now so if your home does sell, you already know what house it is that you want to buy so you can move on it quickly and minimize the amount of time your are renting back your own house. In this market, the buyer is king, so once you are in the buyer's position you should be able to make thing move pretty quickly. At worst, your closing might be 60 days out, so you would only have to rent from the buyer of your house for a couple of months.

Best of luck! It's hell trying to sell in this market. Trust me, I know : )



answers from New York on

I am a full time Realtor in CT, in your situation you have 2 options. You can either put an offer on a house that you like, with a hubbard clause, which means you need to sell your house before you can buy the new house or you can see if the Buyers for your house would consider renting back to you. A lot of times, though the new Buyer doesn't want to or isn't in a situation where they can do that.
Good luck!



answers from Chicago on


I am a full time real estate broker that has been for ten years. I have worked with lots of family similar to your situation, in fact I believe that is the majority of people moving these days...ones that must close on the sale of their house in the morning, and close on the purchase of the home in the afternoon on the same day. That is an ideal situation.
I'd love to talk more with you and give a referral of names that I have worked with, that will help you out with process.
Talk with you soon, message me for personal information. -K., C21 McMullen



answers from Chicago on

We were lucky, we rented back from our buyers. You should still look. That way, you are able to narrow down a lot and will be more familiar with different areas.



answers from Tulsa on

They call it a bridge loan, a loan that is payable when your existing home sells. The rate is usually more than the going rate on a house loan.
You can borrow up to 80% of your home's value. Rules are probally tighter now so you need to work with a banker to see what your situation is.

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