By Staci Caplan
2020 President
Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS®

At the beginning of this year, I asked how your real estate dreams were coming along. Everything has changed since then, although one thing remains – the importance of home, especially now – as a sanctuary, where we have learned to structure our lives in new ways. We have noticed how our homes function – or not – and have had plenty of time to spend at home to mull it over.

Have you been thinking of downsizing – letting go of a property more suited to another time, another purpose? Or do you and your loved ones need more space? Have you been looking online at the available properties, looking for that “perfect” replacement? Unless you have cash ready to go, you most likely will need to sell in order to buy, perhaps with your REALTOR orchestrating a concurrent closing, with proceeds from your sale being wired in to close on the new house.

If you haven’t found that house that makes you want to move, it’s hard to take that leap of faith to put your home on the market first, and trust that the right property will come along. But in today’s market, a contingent offer – contingent upon selling a property first – just won’t make the cut. Especially one in which the sale of the prior property has not yet begun. 

The very strongest offer with a home to sell would be one listed, in escrow, and with all contingencies released. And yes, it is a leap of faith, but it sets in motion the decision to get your property sale-ready, and to get your ducks in row before house hunting (in so many virtual ways, and with COVID-compliant guidelines) so that when the right one comes along, you will be ready to make a solid offer. The sale of your home can be contingent upon a replacement property – your “safety net” – so that you can be sure to find your next home before signing off on the sale of your current home. Your REALTOR can guide you through the process and make the transition of selling and buying as seamless as possible.

Yes, it can be a lot of work to get a property ready for sale, but so much better to be prepared before you find your next dream home so that when you find it you will be ready to make a realistic offer.

Call your REALTOR® today to make a plan of action, and to find out what your home is worth in today’s ever-changing market. Contact the Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS® at for the virtual open house directory.

Staci Caplan is a California Real Estate Broker and the owner of Pacific Crest Realty. She was born and raised in Santa Barbara and her passion for this special region translates into successful real estate transactions and thrilled clients. At our local Santa Barbara Associations of REALTORS ®  , Staci has served on the Board of Directors, the Government Relations Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, the Multiple Listing Committee, and the REALTOR ®   Action Fund Committee. She can be reached at (805) 886-3970 or


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