If a buyer is currently selling their existing home, but finds another home that they would like to purchase, you can make what is called a "contingent" offer. This means you and the seller agree that you will purchase the home, but the seller is aware that you have to sell your current home first in order to purchase the new home. Once you sell your home, the contingency is then removed and you work towards closing.
Sara, do you mean will a seller on another house hold their house for you so you can sell your current home? Sometimes they will. That's called writing a contingent offer. Some sellers won't do that unless your current home is already on the market. They want to make sure that you're doing everything you can to get your house sold. Of course, that is an elevated level of risk for the buyer and the seller. The buyer can get bumped by another buyer who comes along and is NON-contingent and the seller may encounter other buyers who may not want to make an offer on a house with an offer already in place.
The simple answer is 'Yes', if the seller is willing (not available on foreclosures, though). Although it may not put you in the best negotiating position, it is just 'a way' to do things. In this market I would suggest that, if you haven't already, market your home in the best possible light to sell it. Once sold, you'll have a better negotiating position. Either way works if both parties agree to it. Let me know if you have any further questions.
Realtor since 1980
(651) 457-HOME (4663)
What I believe you are referring to is a "contingent purchase". This is when you write a purchase agreement to purchase a home contingent on selling your current home, thereby "holding" it while you try to sell your current home. There is a deadline and this method of buying I think, puts you over a barrel -- less negotiation power on the buying end and deperation on the selling end to be able to keep your contingent purchase intact. Steve