Real NEastate: Can I sell my house if I don’t have a new one?

Q: My home in Somerton has been for sale for six months. I did get one offer in January that I would have taken except I had not found a new home to buy yet, so my agent told me not to sign it. But it has been so long with no offers. Did I do the wrong thing by not taking that one?


A: Unfortunately for sellers we are still experiencing a “buyers market” in Northeast Philadelphia. That means there are more homes for sale than qualified buyers. For the past few years there has been a shortage of homebuyers. Presently there is an excess of homes on the market, not a huge excess, but an excess just the same. If you’ve got a buyer for your home in this market, why would you pass up that opportunity?

By the same measure, it should be fairly easy for you to find a new home since there is plenty of inventory. As a side note, that shortage of buyers is what drives the sale price down (a benefit for you if you’re upsizing). Will that change? Yes. Historically, the market goes up and down and back up again, etc. But it is obvious you’re ready to move now since, after all, you do have your house up for sale.


When you find a new home you would like to buy, that seller will want assurances you can buy his/her home. Unless you have the money in the bank, your offer on that new home will need to be contingent on the sale of your current home. If you do not have a contract in place for the sale of your current home, it will be harder for the seller of that new home to confidently accept your offer.


Sell your house. Find a new house. It’s not easy but thousands of people do it successfully daily. If everything about the lone offer you got in January was acceptable then you should have taken it. But don’t beat yourself up. Since springtime usually brings a busy housing market in the Philadelphia area, you could find a new buyer soon. Just don’t make the same mistake twice.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.


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