Military Relocation: A Guide to Buying and Selling Homes with PCS Orders

For military personnel and their families, frequent relocations are a part of life. With Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders in hand, the process of buying and selling homes can be daunting. However, with the right guidance and a strategic approach, navigating this challenge can become significantly more manageable. In this blog, we'll provide a comprehensive guide to help military families successfully buy and sell homes when faced with PCS orders.

Understanding PCS Orders

PCS orders are the military's way of transferring service members to a new duty station. These orders typically include details about your next assignment, location, and a timeline for the move. It's essential to understand the specifics of your PCS orders before making any real estate decisions.

Selling Your Current Home

  1. Timing is Crucial: If possible, try to align your home sale with your PCS orders. Selling in a buyer's market may require more time, so start early to secure the best possible deal.
  2. Pricing Your Home: Work with a real estate agent to determine the optimal listing price for your home. Consider factors like local market conditions, recent sales, and the condition of your property.
  3. Staging and Repairs: Prepare your home for sale by decluttering, making necessary repairs, and staging it to appeal to potential buyers.
  4. Marketing Your Home: Utilize online listings, professional photography, and social media to market your property effectively. Your real estate agent can help with this.

Buying a New Home

  1. Local Real Estate Agent: Choose a local real estate agent who is familiar with the area around your new duty station. They can provide invaluable insights into the local market.
  2. Pre-Approval for a Mortgage: Get pre-approved for a mortgage to understand your budget and strengthen your offer when you find the right home.
  3. House-Hunting Trips: If possible, make a house-hunting trip to your new duty station. This will give you a firsthand look at potential neighborhoods and homes.
  4. Contingency Clauses: Consider adding a PCS contingency clause to your offer, which allows you to withdraw from the purchase if your PCS orders change or get delayed.

Temporary Housing Options

In some cases, you may need temporary housing between selling your old home and moving into your new one. Explore options such as government lodging, extended stay hotels, or temporary rentals.

Coordinate with the Military

Reach out to the military's relocation assistance program for guidance and support during your move. They can provide information on entitlements, allowances, and resources available to military families.


Navigating the process of buying and selling homes with PCS orders can be complex, but with proper planning and the right support, it's entirely manageable. By working with experienced real estate professionals, understanding your PCS orders, and staying organized, you can successfully transition to your new duty station while ensuring a smooth and stress-free relocation for you and your family.


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