My clients are the best! Just a few days ago, my client Laurie and I were talking about getting her out of the condo she currently lives in and into a single family home. She assumed that she would be able to put in an offer on a home and have it be contingent upon the sale of her condo. I hate to give bad news, but in this case, it opened up a great dialog about the current market conditions.
It is currently a sellers market. And that is great news for Laurie considering that she will be selling her condo. Condo prices are up 15% in Seattle over the past 12 months and there are tons of willing buyers waiting for new listings to come on the market. But there is a flip side to that coin. Due to the fact that there is so little inventory and such high demand, almost all homes that are on the market are getting multiple offers. Buyers are doing things that are unheard of in a balanced market. Buyers are offering over list price, they are waiving inspections, and cash buyers have resurfaced and are snatching up homes right and left. Every buyer needs to put their best foot forward in order to win in a multiple offer situation. If you, as the buyer, submit an offer that is contingent upon the sale of your current home, that makes you a whole lot less desirable than the other 5 offers that have offered over list price, and have no contingencies.
Long story short, it is a very competitive market. Although it causes a lot more headaches, it is best to sell the current house and then start looking for your next purchase.