Can I Sell and Buy a Home at the Same Time? What You Need to Know

               Can I Sell and Buy a Home at the Same Time?
                                 What You Need to Know     

     Back in the late 70's when I started in mortgages, it was fairly commonplace to have "domino" closings take place.  That meaning multiple buying/selling transactions, each dependent upon an earlier one, successfully take place. 

     One initial Closing kick-started all subsequent Closings. Like the chain reaction seen in dominoes, each took place in a close time frame, one quickly following another.  

     The Sellers at one Closing became the Buyers at the next, and so on.  This happened so frequently back then that I didn't think much of it.  It was normal.

     But the frequency with which this happened grew less and less.  It came to a grinding halt during the downturn of the late-2000's housing crisis.  

     Understandably so.  Closings, in general, were far fewer in number. Sellers became restrained in their ability (and also less willing) to tackle the financial risks associated with these tandem transactions. 

     Currently, many markets across the U.S. have improved.  Although the healing has been slower, I'm once again receiving financing questions from Chicagoland homeowners that are confident enough in their abilities to sell, or at least sell within the timelines of their purchase contract, to want to enter into these types of scenarios.  

     If that describes you, and you're thinking you would like to sell your Chicagoland home at the same time you're buying another, be aware that many things must fall into place properly for you to do this successfully.  The timing with which these things happen is important.  Again, just like in dominoes. 

     So what are these "things"?

     Below you'll find a list of critical factors that determine the success, outcome, and speed in which your transaction(s) are completed.  Those factors are:

  • Income sufficient to satisfy 2 Mortgage Payments
  • Assets to satisfy Down Payment Costs and Closing Cost requirements WITHOUT selling your current home first
  • Satisfactory Credit to accomplish new financing Approval


     And last, probably what is the least remembered and most overlooked criteria ....

  • Reserves.  The money retained AFTER Closing must be sufficient to cover 2+ months of BOTH Mortgage Payments, inclusive of Taxes, Insurance(s), ALL items affecting or related to owning BOTH properties (current and new home)

     ALL of the above factors are pre-requisites to financing Approval.  So it's important that you, as a step-up Buyer, consult with a Lender (and an Agent) before assuming you can afford two mortgages ... or enacting a sale or purchase.

     Although "contingent" offers are increasing in number once again within some housing markets, hopeful Seller/Buyer/Borrowers can't afford to assume anything in this situations.  You can't assume you can handle the risks faced within these scenarios.  Or the probability that your offer will be viewed positively by Sellers.

     I've written before regarding the importance of good communication between all parties (client and professional) involved in a real estate transaction. It takes on heightened importance with the more challenging selling/buying scenarios, such as the one talked of above.

     Simultaneous selling and buying of Chicagoland homes can be successfully accomplished.  While elements of these scenarios are different and unique, one thing is shared by all.  A hopeful Seller/Buyer/Borrower needs to get their "ducks in a row". 

     Obtaining a thorough, detailed analysis of your individual scenario ... including all the critical factors listed above ... well in advance of starting your selling/buying journey, is a critical step towards finding success.

     Let's talk today to initiate your best options and get the ball rolling ... 


      Hoping to Buy or Refinance a home in Chicago or elsewhere in the Chicagoland area?  Contact me!  I'll put my 37 years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
     I can be easily found at:

Gene Mundt
 Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987  -  IL Lic. #031.0006220  -  WI Licensed
American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656
Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell/Text:  708.921.6331
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Gene Mundt

 Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987    

                                 IL Lic. #031.0006220  -  WI License #216987                                                                                                    

NMLS #175656


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Very good points Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi about buying and selling. The purchase contract with a contingency clause for a seller to consider that the buyer's home has to sell first puts stress on the Seller, but they do still happen and go through. The Seller has to become with familiar with the buyer's home and market conditions for the home that the buyer is selling.

Posted by Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI, Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell (HomeSmart Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Gene- I can remember the domino closings from years ago. Buyer's should be aware as well as consult with you if they are considering this.

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 4 years ago

Gene we still do quite a few simutaneous closings. Have 2 going on this next week and so far all is on track with all parties - which is a lot of people! Communication is critical for getting these transactions to closing. Excllent post!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRS, Broker, Instructor, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) over 4 years ago

Excellent blog, Gene, as always!  I have had people sitting nervously at the closing table waiting for funds to hit their account.  The dreaded "wire"--I always try to space it out a few days.  This was a great read!

Posted by MaryKay Shumway, Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert (The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948)) over 4 years ago

Gene, If dominos were ducks people need to get them all lined up tightly in a row to ensure they can buy a new home after/when they sell their current home. I've talked with so many people that "believe" getting a loan won't be an issue because they "know" they can afford the payments.  It does not work that way!

Another Great post Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi - so glad to see it Featured. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 4 years ago

This is standard in the U.K. I have no idea how anything gets sold because of the chain that can exist. I would love to know how deep and how long it can go. With our shortage of inventory and heavy demand a contingency sale is a long shot.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 4 years ago

Hi Gene - Good advice! We have lately seen just a few contingent contracts get accepted, after many years when they just weren't possible. Each of those involve a contingent sale in a very hot segment of the market and a purchase in the upper end, where things are moving more slowly.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) over 4 years ago

Rare for my mostly second home market, but oddly enough we've had two this year and they both worked like clockwork.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 4 years ago

Hi Gene,
Those domino closings can get very precarious.  I was involved in one on the sale of my first home.  All turned out well, but not without some fancy foot work at the end.   Thanks for the post.

Have a great week-end.

Posted by Carol Williams, Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager (Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.) over 4 years ago

Gene it was a balancing act before TRID when it came to buying and selling a house on the same day, but since TRID that balancing act has become more like walking a razor thin line.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 4 years ago

This is very scary for many buyers - so many things can go wrong.  The right lender (you!) makes all the difference is shepherding the deal successfully.  

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Good info, this is coming up more often for me too the last year or so.

Posted by Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets, & Host of Postcards From Success Podcast (Big Block Realty 858.232.8722) over 4 years ago

This can be stressful, but doable. You have to have an agent who knows what they are doing and a great lender. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 4 years ago


An outstanding post . . . . Thanks for sharing your insight.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 4 years ago


Congratulations on earning a gold star feature on an outstanding post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 4 years ago

Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi = it was possible and I have done a few - buying and selling on the same day.

However, with new guidelines, I think it's very very challenging - almost close to impossible (that word is still in my dictionary....)

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 4 years ago

I've only done one sell/buy in one day this year - it took the involvement of attorneys, buyer, seller, agents, mortgage contacts and more. It's possible, but tricky.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) over 4 years ago

Excellent post and very important information about those contingent closings and what is necessary and involved.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 4 years ago

I love the post and will share it with others. Congratulations on the feature.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 4 years ago

I've done only a handful of back to back closings in my career. There are plenty of people who cannot afford to buy another house without selling their current one, and getting a contingent offer accepted is very difficult in our seller's market. Interestingly, I did 2 last year, and just got my 3rd one of this year accepted yesterday. One deal I am finishing up had a double contingency!

Great stuff here, Gene, as always!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Hi Gene.  We've now entered a period where more sellers are willing to look at contingent offers, though many buyers are not willing to put their existing home on the market for fear of not finding a replacement because of the low inventory.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 4 years ago

This also reminded me of double escrows where someone got a great deal, resold it before they even closed on it thus double escrow or two sales. Good one here Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi 

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 4 years ago

Hi Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi ,  Funny that you shoud mention that.  We have one like that next Friday.  A couple is closing on their home they are selling and also closing on the one they are buying.

Posted by Larry Johnston, Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN (Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC) over 4 years ago

Good morning Gene. I took this topic on a couple of different times, but not a simple answer. Nice job the way you handled your post.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 4 years ago

Good Morning George - I remember those days although I was not one of those who did it in the same day.  So much has changed.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) over 4 years ago

Good morning Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi ,

Excellent advice. Today's market is full of challenges and working with a professional Realtor and lender is the key to a successful transaction!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) over 4 years ago

Great advice Gene and too many people do not realize all it entails to do this juggling act:), Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 4 years ago

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