Buy first or sell first – that is the question

If you own a home in Massachusetts or Rhode Island and you are thinking of selling to buy that upgrade home or down size home, the first thing you ask yourself is “what do I do first? Buy or sell?  It’s the old “what came first – chicken or the egg” debate.

And the answer is:  Sell first.  Plain and simple.  I don’t care what market we are in – buyers’ or sellers’ market, it’s too risky in any market to carry two homes because there are just too many variables for things to go wrong.

So your next question is “where do I go once I sell my home?”.  You stay in your home!  And you do that by inserting a suitable housing clause into your listing agreement and into the Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”).  As Realtors dealing with people selling a home or buying a home in Massachusetts and Rhode Island on a daily basis, this isn’t the first time we’ve come across this and it will not be the last.

A suitable housing clause will spell out the details of how long you will take to find a home.  Usually 30 days is standard and people usually find a home fairly quickly.  If you don’t find a home, you can either decide to find interim housing or short term rental and still move or you notify the buyers side that you haven’t found a home and, either need more time, or just decide to not sell at all.  If you choose the latter, most home sellers will take home off the market and still continue the search for a home and when they find one, they will then re-list their home (see Home Sale Contingency – How does it work?).

Using a suitable housing clause usually takes the fear and anxiety off your shoulders because this enables you to comfortably search for homes and not feel pressured to look at anything and everything and avoiding a possibly rash decision of purchasing a house you don’t “love”.

I will say that it doesn’t always take the fear because seller’s sometimes do not feel comforted by having a suitable housing clause, but I can assure you, it’s there for your protection and comfort and does work so do not worry.

If you are interested in selling a home or buying a home in Bristol County (Attleboro, Plainville, North Attleboro, Norton, Easton, Sharon, Foxboro, Mansfield or  Norfolk County (Franklin, Bellingham, Medway, Millis, Walpole, Wrentham, Norfolk), please feel free to call Lori & Chris at 781 269 2195 or email us at

Buying or selling in Rhode Island?  I can help too as I hold dual licenses in both states.  I grew up in Rhode Island and know the area of Burrillville, Smithfield and North Smithfield, Lincoln well.

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