Real Estate Q&A
We have decided we are ready to sell our house, but we are afraid we won’t be able to find another home that fits our family’s needs. We need to sell our home before we can buy another one, but what happens if we sell and then can’t find a home we like? We do not want to be homeless or stuck settling for a home that we really do not like, just because we are pressured to buy. How should we proceed?
— Anne, Grand Junction
The way I see it, you have a couple of options:
Option No.1: Let’s sell your home and then hope you can find another one which fits your needs. If you decide this is the route for you, make sure your real estate agent takes you out looking at “replacement” homes in your desired area and price range. After sizing up the market, make sure there are two or three homes that would fit your needs and if there are, move forward with putting your home on the market. Be aggressive when pricing and selling your home to help ensure that one of the other homes will still be available when the time comes.
To play the devil’s advocate here, let’s say you put your home on the market and it sells and all the homes that would have fit your needs have also sold! No worries — renting to the rescue! Renting on a short term basis, 3-12 months, can provide you with the time you need to watch, wait and pounce when the right home comes available. This can prove to be a great option, except you will need to move twice and that is never high on anyone’s priority list! Being flexible with the process can be the best medicine and make sure you have plans — multiple plans — and that will help the process seem more manageable and not out of control.
The primary benefit of waiting till you have your home under contract, before you write a contract to purchase a new home, is sellers love to receive offers that do not have contingencies in them on the sale of another home. Having your home under contract helps strengthen your position when negotiating for your new purchase.
Option No. 2: Write your offer on the new home with a “contingency” on the sale of your home. This type of contingency means that you will buy their home, but your home must sell first to clear you for the purchase of theirs. Many times, sellers are less receptive to “contingent” offers because it will effectively remove their home from the open market, while you are trying to sell yours. This means they are putting all their eggs in one basket — yours! (At least for the next 30 to 60 days) This does not mean that this approach won’t work — sellers can be receptive to this type of offer, but much depends on what you have to sell, who is going to sell it, and how much your asking price is. And most importantly, how much are you going to offer the seller for their home? If you are going to make a contingent offer, you better come strong and make it worth their while to take your offer. Remember, you are asking the seller to, for all intents and purposes, take their home off the market so you can sell your home. Make your case for why they should and remember the stronger the case, the more likely they will roll the bones! If you go this route, demonstrate to the seller how you will be aggressive with your marketing and pricing. Offering a good price for their home is also key!
Hope this helps, happy house hunting and selling! : ).
The Kimbrough Team,
RE/MAX 4000, Inc