It can be tough to thread the needle: A seller finds a buyer for their home and now has a limited amount of time to secure a new home for themselves.

But Cody Anderson, real-estate agent with Re/Max in the Minneapolis area, says there’s a way to limit the concern: Add a seller’s contingency to the contract that requires you find a new home of your choice to live in before closing.

MarketWatch editor Amy Hoak reports that it’s a cousin of a more commonly known contingency, one that home buyers add to a contract that requires they sell their current home before settlement. In competitive markets, as many are today, most sellers won’t accept offers with this contingency — not when there are plenty of others that come with no strings attached.

But with many markets short on inventory, sellers have the upper hand.

Here’s how it works: Anderson typically notes the seller’s desire for this contingency in the agent remarks of the listing. Eventually, the contingency is worded into the contract, noting the number of extra days the seller wants to find his or her next home, perhaps 30 or 45 days.

If after that time period the seller hasn’t found a place, the buyer can back out. But he or she would have the option of sticking around if still interested in the property, adhering to the seller’s timeline, he said. Turns out, there are many buyers who are fine with that stipulation, he said.

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