I might also mention that in both cases another buyer came along before the first buyers house sold, it's a strange thing that happens when an offer is made on a house so many times another one comes along right away...can't explain it!!
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
Your agent said the offer was "better than nothing". Yes, the sellers need to be motivated and prove to your agent that their house will sell soon, but how has your house sale gone? The above statement makes me think you have been on the market long, with no offers. Is this the first offer within the first week or two of listing? Or is this a solid offer recieved after months of showings and price reductions?
If your house shows well, it will sell. If it hasn't, a contingent offer is a valid offer to accept.
Otherwise, I am with you; do not sell contingent upon the buyer selling their home...you have no control over the buyer's transaction.
However, the next logical question is: How likely is it that the buyer will be able to sell his/her home? Your agent should look at the property and determine (for you) what it's worth. Then: Is it currently on the market? If not, that's a red flag. If it is, at what price? How does that price compare to what your agent thinks it's worth? If the comps say $200,000 and it's on the market for $220,000, that's a bad sign. If it's on the market for $175,000, at least that means the buyer/seller is serious and has priced the property to sell. How long has that other property been on the market? 21 days? That's not long enough to really judge. But 150 days? That suggests that either the home is overpriced (despite the appearance of the comps) or that there's something else wrong with the house.
In short, your agent should advise you about the marketability/likelihood of sale of the home of your potential buyer. Then you can make a better-informed decision about whether to accept the buyer's offer.
Hope that helps.
The problem with this arrangement is that the contingency offer would need to be disclosed on the MLS data. It would therefore be viewed by agents and potential buyers as a property with significant interest and a contract in place. Both buyers and agents tend to shy away from these situations. Thus, you would essentially be seriously limiting your home's availability for additional opportunities.
Ask your agent about how this will be handled.
What are the benefits to you if you accept? Is it full price, no other contingencies, high earnest money? I consider a contingent upon sale offer a concession. You may be technically on the market, but I tend not to want to show buyers contingent properties because they may fall in love, but not be able to get it.
If the property they plan to sell is market ready, priced right and they are willing to do what it takes to sell quickly, you can consider it, but research the home they are selling or you may be wasting your time and missing some prime selling season.
I would suspect that if you are required on your MLS system to show that contingency that agents would be hesitant to show that property, especially if the contingency is not explained on MLS but rather says 'other'.
However if the offer is strong (other than the contingency) and there's a reasonable chance the buyers home will sell (appropriately priced, salable, good area) you might want to take the chance. But the decision is entirely up to you.