Are you asking if you can purchase a short sale with a home sale contingency? If so, the answer is no.
I have had clients in the past that decide to buy before selling-I have to tell you that it rarely works out as expected. Call me crazy, but it seems the new house puts a jynx on the old :) Especially in the current market where homes are staying on the market longer than typical.
The advice I give to my clients that have a home to sell is to wait until their home is in contract with a buyer. You can have your agent write a suitable housing contingency so that you do not have to sell if you do not find a home to purchase. Or, you sell and rent for a few months until you can find the right deal for you, build a new home, whatever. Renting for a few months is is my favorite because I have found that these buyers are ultimately happier in the end that they waited.
If you are looking at short sales, beware. You can find good deals, however you can also wait for months to end up with a rejected offer.
Best of luck with your selling/buying
You might want to reconsider your exit strategy for both properties. If you want/need to sell your current home first, then you may need to modify your price and/or terms. However, you might not want to sell it before you've at least put the second one under contract.
Also, in case you never thought of this, you might consider selling your home offering some form of seller financing. This will open your property up to more potential buyers.
If you're currently unrepresented, then you really should find a realtor who specializes in pre-foreclosures and 1031 exchanges. Pre-foreclosures aren't for the faint of heart, there are lots of 'T's to cross and 'I's to dot, and you really should work with someone who knows what s/he is doing if this is your first pre-foreclosure purchase. Agents who specialize in 1031 exchanges are used to handling both sides of this buy/sell transaction, and they often already have a pool of buyers/sellers/renters in their networks. Also, keep in mind that 1031 exchange buyers have to move fast, so if you need/want to move fast, then this might be your best option.
Do you mean will the seller accept a contingency. Pre-foreclosure is perhaps no different than any other home, but you may have a short contract period before your contract becomes invalid, unless you can qualify for two loans....your current and the new one, that assuming you have a loan currently and need a new one to purchase the new home. If you can only have one loan at a time, then yes you will need to sell your home first.
There are several ways to look at this as Amanda pointed out. You definitely should speak with a lender to see what they say as without knowing your financial situation, its hard to truly gauge what you're capable of purchasing. If you have a Realtor, ask them for a good recommendation or go back to your lender (if you're happy with them) who helped you with the house you currently own.
My next question would be whether or not you've already listed your current property. If it is on the market, how long has it been there? Ask your Realtor to re-evaluate your listing if its languishing on the market. If it isn't listed, you should consider doing it sooner rather than later. If its a great house, in a good location, in good shape, priced right and marketed appropriately; it can sell a lot faster than you think. The phones are ringing these past few weeks, San Antonio is back in the market to buy homes.
It would also help to know more about the property you've got your eye on. If it just went on the market, you may have time (as long as no one else makes an offer). If its getting real close to foreclosure, your chances get slimmer. It helps to know a bit of history behind the house and a good Realtor should be able to do some research into the property and at least give you an idea...you may even have some personal knowledge that would help.
I hope that helps you out and gives you an idea of what's possible.
If you need anything, feel free to let me know.
(Also, let me know a bit about your home...I'm working with two buyers right now looking in that zip code, you never know, it might be just what they're looking for.)
Matt (contact info is on the site)
It's a great time to buy, so your efforts are not in vain! Let me know if you need assistance!
Accredited Buyer Representative
San Antonio, TX
It depends on your purchasing power...consult with a Lender to determine if this is possible. If you have any questions or need a Lender you may contact me directly.
Mattye P. Smith