We answered earlier giving a real life example of something that happened to a neighbor of ours.
Here is another real life example, one which is happening to us right now. We have an example of a buyer (it is not our buyer) who sold her home first, and is currently in contract on one of our listings. This buyer sold and closed on her home without a contingency plan. She elected to rent for a few weeks under the assumption that the tenant would vacate the premises. So far, our seller's tenant has been playing hardball and is being very obstinate (to the chagrin and frustration of our seller). The former homeowner and buyer is being evicted from her temporary quarters tonight, as we write this.
In other words, the buyer has nowhere to go.
This is a horrendous situation, and one which we (and our seller) never expected to occur. As it stands with our property, the buyer can not yet move in.
So, when you are selling one property and buying another, it is crucial to ensure that you able to make firm living arrangements - even if it is a hotel or weekly rentals - in case there is a significant gap between the sale of your property and the purchase of the new one. We are not trying to alarm you; just to let you know what can happen when you buy and sell at the same time. It doesn't happen frequently, but you should speak to your attorney to build in contingencies on the sale side particularly.
At any rate, you will need a market analysis to see what your home is currently worth. Please feel free to give us a shout at 917-593-4068 and we'd be happy to provide you with comps and a free home evaluation. Most important, we agree with one of the responses that the two transactions should occur as close as possible.
We wish you the best of luck!
Bonnie Chernin and David Rogoff