From my experience it is better to sell first for some people because: 1. Avoid losing from both ends. For example, if you went out and found a house that was exactly what you were looking for what would you do? 2. If you make an offer, then the challenge is that your home isn’t sold yet and your down payment may be tied up in your current home. Your offer would have to be conditional upon selling your present home so you would be in a weaker position to bargain with the seller. Also, you would not have to sell your house quickly so you are likely to get less for your present home. You may have to pay more for your new home and you may have to take less for your present home. This situation could cost you thousands of dollars. 3. If you are in the position that you do not need to sell your present home to buy your new home, that is a great situation to be in. Buy first and then you can still take your time selling/renting out your present home. The answer really does depend on your risk tolerance and your personal financial position.