This is an extremely common concern right now for a lot of homeowners. They maybe want to sell because the market so good or they simply need to sell but are afraid to buy on the other end. Multiple bidding wars, escalation clauses, and competing with all-cash can be a bit intimidating, but as a homeowner, you probably have something that a lot of buyers don’t have… Equity. This is where you can leverage your equity in order to get the home that you really want. So, want to sell but scared to buy? Here are some tips to help you make a better decision.
Make a plan of attack.
Real estate agents are hungry for listings right now because there’s just not that many of them. Real estate agents and brokers want to list property because they already have a slew of buyers ready to go. There are more buyers than there are listings so as soon as something hits the market, it’s probably sold that afternoon. This is great news for a seller but if that same seller needs to turn around and buy a house, they’re going to be put in the same pool as those other buyers.
First up, get a real estate agent that understands the market and has decades of experience, not just a few years or months. Decades of experience means that the agent has gone through the gamut of highs and lows, ebbs and flows of the real estate market and knows how to negotiate and make a plan of attack for just about any client.
They’ve seen the high-interest rates of the 1980s, the build back up from the 1990s and the subprime mortgage bust in 2007 and 2008 and can help navigate these waters that are really not that unique. Agents that have decades of experience, at least 20 or 30 years, can help navigate these waters much easier than someone that’s never experienced this type of market.
Your real estate agent will work on getting you prepared to make an offer, how much money you really need in the sale of the property, how much equity will be rolled into the down payment and earnest money on the new sale, and how to prepare as best as possible for making the highest and best offer to other sellers.
Be ready financially.
Anyone can sell their home right now without doing anything… Literally. You could throw a sign in your front yard and probably get a couple of offers just from the drive-bys by the next day. But, that might leave you with nowhere to live so it’s important to understand your finances and your goals before listing the property. Once you list that property, it’s game over. You’ll have more offers than you’ll probably know what to do with and will need to make a decision sooner rather than later so getting prepared ahead of time and being ready financially is key.
Talk to a lender that you trust. This could be your bank, credit union, a mortgage officer or broker, or someone that your real estate agent refers you to. With someone with decades in the business, this is not a bad idea. They worked with people over the years and have built a good book of rapport with people in the industry. They may be able to help you financially prepare yourself for the move with the right lender.
Where will you go?
Just because you’re selling your home doesn’t necessarily mean you need to move right into another purchased home. Perhaps you want to wait a while and play the market. There are a lot of things you can do besides jumping right back into your own home ownership.
- Stayed with friends or family.
- Put your personal belongings in storage and travel for a bit.
- Rent in the new location, town, city, or even state until you get a feel for the area, if it’s really where you want to be.
- Consider a townhouse or condominium with lower maintenance.
- Is a 55+ community in your future?
- Consider housesitting for a while until you get your bearings.
- Consider a leaseback agreement with the owner of your previous home until you find a house.
When and How to Make an Offer
When the time comes you don’t have to be scared to buy. By preparing yourself ahead of time when the right house comes along, you’ll be ready with a solid and tight offer. Talk to your real estate agent about waiving certain contingencies. If you have a backup plan of where you want to move to, you may not need to find a house before selling your own and vice versa. Just like you, other sellers want this to be easy and as stress-free as possible, which means having a great earnest money deposit, waiving certain contingencies, having your finances ready to go, and potentially making an all cash offer if you can.
Personal letters, or love letters as we call them in the real estate industry, don’t necessarily work. Sellers in today’s market want to know that you are approved, you have a good credit score, you have money in the bank, and you are serious about buying. If the sellers have to do much of anything, they may not want to sell so being is prepared, honest, and direct as possible is really the best way to go.
This is no guarantee that you’ll be able to get the home. However, being as armed as possible for the transaction, ready to go financially, and with a great team behind you, your chances of getting the home after selling is not as impossible as you might think.
More Great Tips for Home Sellers Today
- 20 Things That Could Kill a Real Estate Sale
- 4 Things You Should Be Doing if You Want to List
- 4 Neighborhood Features That Sell a Home
- 4 Easy Steps to a Clutter-Free Kitchen
- 10 Ways You Could Sabotage Your Own Real Estate Sale
- How Much Value Does a View Add to a Property?