August 28, 2017

Selling and buying at once – tips to working with a hubbard clause! Whether moving up or downsizing, at some point in their lives most people are faced with the prospect of having to sell one home, while buying another. This prospect can be specifically challenging when a new mortgage is conditional on the sale of the old home, and when folks want to avoid moving twice, leading to an inevitable hubbard clause.

A hubbard clause is contingency in a purchase contract that makes the buyer’s offer subject to ability to sell and close on another home or property. 

Advantages of a hubbard clause:

  • Buyer has the flexibility to coordinate their sale and purchase easily
  • Buyer has the security of being able to terminate the purchase contract without penalty should their existing home sale fail

Disadvantages of a hubbard clause:

  • Limited buyer negotiation power with the addition of this major contingency
  • Limited pool of available homes as some sellers are simply unwilling to accommodate a hubbard clause

While it is always to the buyers advantage to not have to use a hubbard clause, sometimes it is simply unavoidable.


  • Get your mortgage process started early. This way you will have a head start on the process, be well aware of your closing costs and have a strong pre-approval to be able to present yourself as a highly qualified buyer.
  • Have realistic expectations of what the proceeds of your home sale will be. Your Realtor will be able to advise you here.  Prepare your home thoroughly for market and price aggressively to ensure your home will sell within a reasonable time frame. It has been my experience that a home that shows well and is priced right will almost always sell within the first 2-4 weeks on market.
  • Get your home on market and start shopping! If you must sell to buy – your offer has the best odds of being accepted AFTER your existing home is already under contract. No one wants to take their home off the market to wait for yours to sell. Know your housing options ahead of time so once you accept a contract on your old home, you will be able to very quickly write an offer on a home of your choosing. This will set you up for the highest odds of closing on both homes simultaneously and avoiding two moves….however….
  • Have a back up plan! In a perfect world these two closings happen on the same day and a moving truck just brings your stuff across town to the new home….but things don’t always turn out perfectly. You will want to have a plan in place should the stars not align perfectly for this day and you need a place to stay in an unexpected transitional time.

Coordinating two sales at once requires strategy and great timing! You will definitely want to take care to select the right real estate professional to help you with this move!  

Last Updated on August 17, 2018 by Minna Reid

About the author 

Minna Reid

Minna Reid is The Broker - Owner of Reid Real Estate Group. Reid Real Estate Group is a full-service Connecticut residential real estate brokerage, specializing in helping homeowners with legal and financial challenges including short sales, probate sales and tax lien complications.

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  1. Hello! I’ve been reading your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic job!

  2. I find it interesting that you suggested that adding a Hubbard clause in one’s contract can help a homeowner prevent himself from buying another house based on how well they were able to sell their own. When you said that, I thought that I should find a real estates agent to help me out with doing this. That way, I can get a modular home for my family and ensure that the money I get from selling my vacation home can help me complete its downpayment.

  3. It’s good to know that you should get your mortgage processed early when working with a Hubbard close. My wife and I are looking to sell our house quickly. I’ll be sure to tell her to get our mortgage processed fast.

  4. It’s great to know that with a Hubbard cause the housing pool will be a lot smaller for buyers. My partner and I need to move this month so that we can be closer to work and family. We should try to find a good real estate agent that can help us get this process done correctly.

  5. I agree that you should have a backup plan in case you have an unexpected transitional time, especially if you don’t live near family! I’m trying to sell my house and buy a new one at the same time so I might need a plan just in case one falls through. Maybe I should talk to my husband about staying in a hotel for a few days and see what he thinks.

  6. Thanks for the tip to look for a new house to buy before you sell yours so you can quickly put an offer on it. That way you don’t risk buying the house and then still having the other one. I hope more people realize this and try it out for themselves when they need to sell their home quickly.

  7. I love that you touched on some ways to get your mortgage done early so that you can get a nice headstart on the process. My spouse and I are trying to relocate for our jobs and we need to buy and sell at the same time. We need to find a great real estate agent that will guide us through this process so that it’s done correctly.

  8. It’s a great point that things get tricky when the new mortgage is conditional on the selling of your home. My sister is trying to sell her home soon so that she can move closer to family. She needs to find a local agent that can handle this tricky process for her.

  9. This is a brilliant post, thank you for sharing about selling buying tips working hubbard clause and high rise homes. We always tend to change something or the other in our house, thanks for this great advice.I found this Having loads of data, if possible do have a look.

  10. Oh My God!!! This is a great blog, I am happy that I have come across this one. It’s an amazing blog to read selling buying tips working hubbard clause . Thanks for this wonderful content. I loved reading your article, will definitely give it a try to store as per your advice. Great blog to share!!

  11. Sold my home under a Hubbard to a buyer who also had a Hubbard. When my buyer was under contract for a cash sale, I began emptying my house. Shortly after that, my buyer’s buyer sold her home. All good! When it came time for my buyer’s buyer to close, she said she didn’t have enough money, despite selling her home, and wanted to push the closing date off for 4 weeks. Now I am worried that my buyer’s buyer will not perform in the end despite signing the contract with a Hubbard and selling her home. If push comes to shove, can I sue her for non-performance? If she doesn’t close with my buyer, he cannot buy my house. Although my buyer’s buyer is not in breach with me, if she doesn’t close, she will be with my buyer and cause my buyer to be in breach with me. Since my buyer is a friend, I would not hold his deposits hostage. My buyer could keep his buyer’s deposits, but it would be hard for him to market a home involved in a deposit squabble. I can put my house back on the market, but it will not get the same sale price empty, and I cannot live in it. I am furious! Advice?

    1. Your recourse will be laid out in the details of your contract, but the hubbard clause specifically protects the buyer from recourse should they not complete their sale. You can sue anyone for anything, but if all the buyers in the situation have a solid hubbard clause, it will likely be fruitless for you to pursue this. Your home may or may not sell for less empty, but my advice is to get on market as soon as possible as we are approaching the very slowest time of the year. Also, while my crystal ball eludes me, I do suspect the market will ( and has already started to) turn. The sellers market is on its last legs. Take advantage while you can still.

  12. I like what you said about making sure you have real expectations of the sale. My wife wants to get a 3-bedroom house with a backyard. I’ll have to find a realtor to find something that fits our needs.

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