When you decide to sell your home, chances are you are both a little scared and a little excited about what this new chapter of your life will bring. There’s a lot to do: upgrades that need made, painting that needs done, planning your first open house, and finding the best agent to list your home. Just as important is the decision of where you’re going to live next.
In a perfect world, you would sell your home and buy your new one at the same time. Life rarely works this perfectly though, and sometimes you have to make other plans. So what happens if you’re ready to sell your home but aren’t able to find your next home?
The best thing to do before ever selling your home is some research. While it may be a great idea for your bottom line to sell your home in a seller’s market, you may find that houses to buy are on short supply. The housing market does vary from day to day, but a major switch from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market may take months depending on your area.
Your best chance at success to finding your next home is to hire a real estate agent. Don’t try going at this alone! They will be able to help you navigate the complexities of the current market and advise you on steps you should take if you have difficulties settling on a new home.
One way to give yourself extra time when looking for a new home is a contract contingency. Your real estate agent will be able to help you set up contingencies on your contract when selling your home. Contingencies are most commonly used for buyers who are unable to sell their home. They draft a contingency that says they will buy a home given they are able to sell their own home on time.
However, as a seller, you are also able to add a contingency. Most commonly, sellers use a rent-back, or lease-back agreement on their home. This means the buyer agrees to let the seller continue to live in their home until they are able to find a new place to live. While the buyer is responsible for paying the mortgage on their new home, they allow the seller to remain in the home for a fee. Typically, this fee is the mortgage payment for the months the seller stays in the home.
Another option is to move into a rental property after selling your home. This is usually the last option since it does require you to move twice – once into your rental and once again when you find your next home. Many apartments offer a month to month option which means you will only pay for the months you stay in the rental property instead of paying for a year-long lease.
This option often requires the rental of a storage unit as well since you are likely to have less space in an apartment than in a house. However, if the benefits you receive from selling your home are high enough, renting for a few months may be the best financial decision for you.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for you when you are ready to sell your home but aren’t able to find your next home right away. It’s important to stay in contact with your real estate agent in order to make the best decisions for you and your family.
Most importantly, do not let fear or uncertainty rush your decision. Buying your next home is a major decision – it shouldn’t be rushed because circumstances aren’t ideal. Take your time and make sure you are happy with your choice before buying your new home.
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