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What Do You Do When You Can’t Find a New Home?

Anita Graves

Anita Graves is a lifelong resident of the Columbus area with a few years away supporting her husband while he served in the Military...

Anita Graves is a lifelong resident of the Columbus area with a few years away supporting her husband while he served in the Military...

Jan 27 7 minutes read

Being in-between homes is more common than you think — and we have a plan if it happens to you.

At first, it sounds like a problem any seller would love: Your home sold after only days on the market. After all, the fear of a property lingering on the market, enduring possible price cuts, or low ball offers is what keeps many from selling in the first place. While a quick sale is a reason to celebrate, the challenge comes when it happens before you can find a new home. 

This is an increasingly common situation in our current market, which remains hot due to the continued limited inventory that started in April 2020. Though inventory may increase in the spring selling season, there’s a conundrum. For every home listed, another home has to be bought. Until inventory outpaces demand, securing your next home might likely take a little longer than anticipated.

Still, the upsides of a speedy home sale outweigh the inconvenience of possibly being in-between homes: Less drama, achieving your asking price (or more), and being able to consider multiple offers to find the best buyer for your house. We can help you plan ahead by following these strategies before you list.

Ask about a contingency clause.

A suitable housing contingency is a clause in your contract that essentially states that you, the seller, won’t finalize your home's sale until you find a new home. Ordinarily, buyers find such clauses to be off-putting because it creates a lot of uncertainty in their own timelines. However, when demand is very strong like it is now, there may be a buyer out there who has a more flexible timeline for their move. (For instance, a family in the market for a home but doesn’t want to move until the new school year starts). We'll discuss it together to see if a clause like this would make sense for you.

Consider a bridge loan or a "recast".

One of the reasons sellers panic about being in-between homes is dipping into their savings to cover the unanticipated living expenses, especially as the sale is pending on their current place. A bridge loan is a short-term loan that can cover you in this instance. (It can also add to your home purchasing power, in case that opens up more options to consider buying.) The downside is that these loans often have higher interest rates and quicker repayment periods. Do the math and read the fine print to see if this makes sense for your situation. We've also had some clients do what's called a "recast". Not a bridge loan, but still gives you the ability to buy a new home and recast your loan once you sell your current home. Just know, you've got options! Need some advice? Let's connect.

Look for a short term rental.

No one wants to move twice, but sometimes it can be easier than you think! If you'd like to sell your home before buying a new one, a short term rental might be a great option for you. Here in Central Ohio, AirBnB's are other short term rentals are popping up all over! For you, this means a rental that is furnished and right here in Central Ohio. Talk to the owner about an "extended stay" option and a possible discount. It might be a "win win" for both of you.

With a short term rental, specifically an AirBnB, they often come furnished. This is a great option so you can keep your items in storage and reduce the amount of times you need to hire a moving company. Also, some moving companies will pick up your items, store them for you, then will deliver them to your new address. Easy! 

There are also other options to grab a longer lease if you plan to wait or leave extra time for your house hunt. Typically most landlords or apartments will offer a shorter 6 month lease term. These can be more expensive, but it is an option for you.

Add rentals to your home search.

Yes, you should look at the complexes in your area to get a sense of their availability and price, just in case. We have great insight about our local market and connections to agents to specialize in rentals — and not just homes for sale. Additionally, some of our clients may be on the fence about listing their home. They may consider a rental arrangement, be former buyers who purchased multi-family homes or are former buyers who purchased vacation homes that are rented out in the off-season. Which brings us to…

Hire an agent with connections.

When it comes to securing a new home in a limited inventory market, sometimes, it comes down to having an agent who knows how to leverage their connections. As your real estate agent, I'm prepared to tap into our database of potential sellers in the areas that you're considering buying. From there, we'll have conversations with each interested seller and set appointments to preview their home for you. If we can help find potential homes to showcase to you so that we're not only helping you sell your home but ensure that you can buy a home as well, we will.

When you’re putting your home up for sale, it’s easy to let anxiety take the wheel. The fear of selling your home before lining up your next home is one of those worries that commonly come up when the market is hot. However, it’s also one with a few easy solutions — and depending on your unique situation, we may have even more creative ideas depending on your market. You never know if such a scenario may be a blessing in disguise, too. Just think, next year at this time, you may be sitting pretty in an affordable vacation rental in a fun destination, taking your time to find your dream home.

Let's talk about your options.

If you're struggling to find your next home but you're ready to sell your current home, let's talk about your unique situation.

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