I've been working with a client for the past couple of weeks trying to find her a new home. Her current home is in great condition but after her husband passed away a couple of years ago has now decided that she would like to downsize and find a home with much less maintenance. So we decided to make a contingent offer, knowing that it was going to be a long shot. I explained to her that most sellers in this type of a market aren't willing to take their home off of the market while the buyer attempts to sell their home. The sellers know first hand how challenging it can be to sell a home and so their perspective is to let the buyer attempt to sell their home and get a valid offer and then come and make an offer on their home. That way the sellers are still able to market their property while the buyer attempts to sell their current property.
As I had predicted would happen, the sellers rejected the offer as it was written and said that they were not willing to accept a contingent offer. As I've explained it to her we now have a few choices. First, we could put her house on the market with the hopes that we could get hers sold before the seller's house sells and then we can make another offer. Albeit, it's still a contingent offer, but sellers are most likely to be much more open to a contingent offer when the buyers home is already in escrow. Our second option would be to get some kind of a loan and buy the house before my client's home is sold. However, she is then assuming all of the risk of selling her home. And quite honestly, I don't think she's is willing to take that risk. And the third option is to not move at all. We'll have to see what it is that she decides to do.