How to Buy a House While Selling Your Own? Jared and Reese Tell All

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Buying your next home while still living in your existing home is difficult in the best of circumstances. When you have four kids, a dog, some chickens—oh, and two Drag Alter-Egos all living in one house - the process gets even spicier.

“How to Buy a House While Selling Your Own,” you ask? Also what the industry calls Buy-Up home buyers. Seattle is rife with Buy-Up Buyers ready to make the leap from house one to house two. For many buy-up buyers, their cash is in their current home equity, which means they must sell your current home first before they can buy your new home.

In this blog, we will follow the Diva Dweller story as Reese and Jared answer “How to Buy a House While Selling Your Own.” 

  1. Step One: Understand What a Contingent Offer is In Real Estate
  2. Step Two: Prep Your Home for The Quick Sale
  3. Step Three: Find a Home That will Accept a Contingent Offer in Seattle
  4. Step Four: Find a Buyer For Your Current Home
  5. Step Five: Close on Both Homes and Move Into Your New Home

The key to this magic is a contingent offer. A contingent offer is when a homeowner makes an offer on a new home contingent on the sale of their current home. This is a stellar option for buy-up buyers and one we have employed numerous times over the past few years. Needless to say, when our clients, Reese and Jared, decided to make the big leap to house number two for their growing family, we were ready for the challenge. Here is their Buy-up Buyers success story.

How to Buy a House While Selling Your Own? Jared and Reese Tell All

Tale of Two Buy-Up Buyers, Their 4 Kids, 2 Alter-Egos and a Bulldog 

“Our house journey was a very long and complicated journey,” says Reese. No lie! The Divas (and especially Diva Desk Dude, Michael aka DonnaTella Howe) have known him and Jared for a long time. It was a family affair when the two of them came to Team Diva to help them with their home buying and selling process.

And what a fabulous family they have! Four growing boys and a big goofy English Bulldog, plus Reese and Jared themselves (AND their drag alter egos, Cookie Couture and Old Witch). After six years, the kids’ bedrooms were jam-packed with bunk beds and toys and their living room was slowly becoming enveloped by their “drag closet.” Now their three-bedroom West Seattle townhouse was bursting at the seams. That’s when they decided it was time to find a home that could accommodate everyone. And new buy-up buyers they became.

Jared says he felt very lucky to be able to make a contingent deal work.

“We thought that we were going to have to not just leave our community and our neighborhood, but also leave our city,” he explains.

Instead, they wound up just blocks away from their townhome in a 5-bedroom home with room enough for kids, a dog, and drag closets.

In fact, it seemed as if this move was meant to be. The former owners of their current home were regular attendees at Cookie and Old Witch’s West Seattle drag show, West End Girls at the Skylark. It was nice to see how every aspect of their journey involved a wider community, supportive of their art and family.

Congratulations to Cookie and Old Witch

How to Buy a House While Selling Your Own? – The Official Steps

Buying another home while owning your current home can be tricky. But as long as you are willing to dig in and do the work you will make the transition.

  1. Step One: Understand What a Contingent Offer is In Real Estate
  2. Step Two: Prep Your Home for The Quick Sale
  3. Step Three: Find a Home That will Accept a Contingent Offer in Seattle
  4. Step Four: Find a Buyer For Your Current Home
  5. Step Five: Close on Both Homes and Move Into Your New Home

Let’s dig into those steps now.

Step One: Understand What A Contingent Offer is In Real Estate

Technically a contingent offer is when you are buying your NEW home contingent on the sale of your previous home. For many people like Reese and Jared, it is really difficult to buy your next home when all of your downpayment funds are wrapped up in your existing home. Making that transition to your next home is contingent on the sale of your existing home.

Rocky was the lead team member on both the listing and the sale, both of which would have made the average homeowner super stressed. It was all worth it, though. As Rocky says, “Jared and Reese are two of the most genuinely nice people I know, with the right touch of sass!” Managing a contingent sale requires an agent to be a really good communicator, know how to market a home, and manage the other listing team’s expectations. Rocky is genuinely one of the nicest and savviest brokers in Seattle right now.

Step Two: Prep Your Home for the Quick Sale

Diva Dude Rocky, Michael, and Kim dove in to help Reese and Jared prep for the process. Then started the mad scramble to pack the house and Prep It For the Diva Difference. They did an incredible job packing and purging while Team Diva spent quality time making it looks its best.

Step Three: Find a Home That will Accept a Contingent Offer in Seattle

Reese and Jared found another house in West Seattle that had a better layout for their growing family and a real yard for their three chickens. (Of course, the chickens all have drag personae, too.) The house had also been on the market for a while, making it prime for the sellers to accept a contingent offer. The kids were able to stay in their current schools.

Step Four: Find a Buyer For Your Current Home

Townhouse inventory available in the area was high when we listed the home. We knew we had to pull out the Diva magic.  We followed our standard, Fix What’s Broken, Make the Home Pretty, and market the heck of the home. More here on our First Time Home Seller Guide.

Here is the Video:

Here is the Blog: 

Winter in West Seattle: Five Spots to Help You Get Cozy

And voila! With that Divaland magic, we were able to secure an offer in less than a month.

Step Five: Close on Both Homes and Move Into Your New Home

Reese and Jared now have a large dressing room where they can get ready for performances. It’s so spacious, the kids even have room to spread out and play games while the dads get into face.

Quality time at dinner has drastically improved, too. “We would have to do it in shifts,” says Reese of eating “family dinner” in the previous home. Now they have a dining room and a table large enough for everyone to gather and catch up with the TV off. The kitchen also allows them to cook more in general…but Reese admits with a laugh that they have probably gotten take out more in recent months because of busy schedules.

Reese and Jared’s Advice for Home Buyers Who Are Asking “How to Buy a House While Selling Your Own?”

Their advice for home buyers (besides, “work with Team Diva,” as Reese says) is work with people you trust. “It’s a big decision,” says Jared. “There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of things that can go wrong.”

In fact, on their first night in the new home, everyone was camped out without furniture, shortly after a big snow. The heater was “out,” and Reese texted Rocky, who rushed to deliver electric blankets. (As it happens, the heater was fine. There was just a “learning curve” to using it…and it all worked out.) But for Reese and Jared, it emphasized how important it is to work with agents that put their clients first.

Useful Links to Make This Process Easy For You

Moving Up: How to Buy Another House While Owning a Home in Seattle


How to Buy a House While Selling Your Own? Follow the path of Jared and Reese. Know what a contingent offer is in real estate, prep your home for the quick sale, find a home that is prime for a contingent offer, find a buyer for your current home, and close on both home so you can move into your new home.

Thank you, Jared and Reese, for trusting Team Diva and blowing through so many obstacles that came your way. You and your amazing family are everything that makes Divaland what she is today — FIERCE! 

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