Submit Content

Ask Adam: How to Buy and Sell at the Same Time

Ask Adam header

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. We own a townhouse in Arlington and will be in the market for a house soon. The townhouse is located in Clarendon. We are looking to purchase in Arlington or Falls Church. Maybe McLean. How should we coordinate our sale and purchase so we don’t get stuck with two homes or end up homeless?

A. This can be a tricky situation. The best strategy for you is going to vary depending on the market and the options you have available.

I recommend that you start by looking at some homes for sale. Not necessarily to buy right away, but more as an exercise to confirm that you are going to be able to find what you are looking for. In others words, make sure that your budget aligns with your expectations about what is available on the market before moving forward with the sale of your current home.

In the markets you mentioned, it is going to be very difficult to be competitive as a buyer if you plan to make an offer with a Home Sale Contingency. You will have better luck selling first and negotiating a rent-back while you find and purchase your new home.

Below are some suggestions when it comes to pricing your current home and negotiating offers:

  • Determine a price that will keep you from leaving money on the table, but also puts you in a position to attract multiple offers. This is where it really helps to have an agent who is extremely familiar with your local real estate market.
  • Have your agent make it known to potential buyers that you will require a rent-back period. I suggest trying for up to 60 days. This is the maximum amount of time allowed by some lenders and it will provide you with about three months to find and settle on a home (assuming a 30-day closing).
  • Try to negotiate an offer without contingencies or at least very short contingency periods. You’ll feel a lot more confident moving forward on your purchase once the contingencies are out of the way on your sale.
  • Try to obtain a backup offer. Just as it sounds, this will provide you with a backup contract if the primary contract falls through.

Once you have a contract in place on your current residence, it is time to become very active in your search for a new home. Based on how clean the contract is for your Clarendon townhouse, you’ll have a much better idea how you should structure your offer on the purchase. You and your agent should determine if it makes sense to include a Settlement of Purchaser’s Property Contingency. This contingency is not as frowned upon by sellers as a Home Sale Contingency and it will provide you with protections from the contract if your current home does not close for some reason.

Figure out ahead of time what your plan B and C are if you aren’t able to find a new home.  Do you have someone you can stay with temporarily? If not, you may want to look into temporary housing solutions like aka.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Recent Stories

After a two-day glimpse of gorgeous weather that followed a longer stretch of terrible weather, a sunny-if-cool fall weekend is upon us. As you firm up your weekend plans, be…

They say baseball is a game of inches. Okay, maybe that’s football. But for one Arlington Little League team, this can be taken somewhat literally. The Athletics (A’s, for short)…

The annual Army Ten-Miler race will prompt numerous road closures in Arlington this weekend. Runners will zip through parts of Rosslyn, D.C. and Pentagon City, starting and finishing the race…

Open Houses includes a 4 BD/2.5 BA brick home with newly refinished floors, brick fireplace and detached garage.

Encore Stage & Studio is excited to kick off its season with a swashbuckling adventure! What starts as a mystery turns into an adventure in an Encore adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel. Young Gemma Hawkins escapes a dull life to search for where “X” marks the spot on a mysterious treasure map left behind by an old sea captain.

Gemma meets a slew of thrill-seeking sea farers as she races to find the treasure before any pirates do. Encore Stage & Studio presents_ Treasure Island_ running October 14-23, 2022 at Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre (125 S. Old Glebe Rd. Arlington, VA 22204). 

Season subscriptions and single tickets are on sale now at Single tickets are $15 for Adults; $12 for Children, Students, Military and Seniors. Season subscriptions begin at $33. Patrons can learn more about Encore’s COVID-19 audience procedures online at

Performances dates:
Friday, October 14 at 7:30pm
Saturdays, October 15 and 22 at 11am and 3pm
Sundays, October 16 and 23 at 3pm

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Arlington kids can keep active this winter with Arlington County’s Department of Parks & Recreation’s Youth House Basketball League. Available for grades 1-12, this program begins in mid-November for grades 1-8 and early Jan. for grades 9-12 and costs between $75-90.

Come join the fun! Sign up by Oct. 12*!

Registration for grades 9-12 opens on Nov. 7.

If the league fee is a factor to signing up, check out the Department’s fee reduction program, which helps Everyone, Everywhere, Every Day! Access for All. Easy to apply! Whether you have a short-term set back or something longer-term. Learn more at or call 703-228-4747. 

Submit your own Community Post here.

Mini Photo Sessions for Family & Pets

Mini Family & Pet Photo Sessions
Beat the rush and sign up to get your holiday photos now!

Bring your kids! Bring your dogs!

Check out the DeSilva Studios website. Look at the images and see if you like them

Vini Franchetti Wine Dinner

Join us as we explore Vini Franchetti & their two sister vineyards Passopisciaro (Sicily) and Vini Franchetti (Tuscany) for our Sicily/Tuscany Wine Dinner!

Sunday, Oct 9 @ 6pm

Special Guest: This wine dinner we will be hosting the wine maker


Subscribe to our mailing list