A very common question that I get a lot is, “We’d like to sell our home and buy a new one, but we don’t want to sell until we find our next home. We’re very picky about what we want. When homes are selling so fast, how is this possible?” In reality, this is one of the most challenging questions for most real estate agents in the Kansas City area, but my real estate team deals with this on a daily basis. Home sellers get a little panicked and they are unsure what to do. I’ve actually had many of them say to me, “We’re afraid our home is going to sell too quickly and we won’t have time to find our next home. We don’t want to be homeless.”
After selling over 600 homes in Kansas City, I can assure you there are only four choices that involve selling your current home and buying the next home.
Option ONE: Get pre-approved with a lender to buy your next home without selling your current home first. Some people have the ability, income levels, and high credit scores that will allow this, but most do not. Only a qualified lender can make that determination for you. We suggest using Darren Copeland, Vice-President of LeaderOne Financial, Phone: (816) 268-4025 www.kcloantips.com. If you are able to qualify for this, then we can begin looking for your next home, knowing you are pre-approved to write an offer. We can negotiate with the sellers of that home and they will know you are a very strong buyer that does not have a home to sell first. You will be able to beat out other potential buyers that do have a home to sell first. Once we have the next home under contract, we can then discuss whether you’d like to go ahead and put your home on the market now, or maybe wait and get moved into the new home, then sell your home once it’s vacant.
Option TWO: Assuming you are not qualified for option one, we put your current home on the market, but when we get an offer on your home, we negotiate a closing date that’s 60 to 90 days out. Most of our clients today are worried about putting their home on the market and having it sell too quickly. Their fear is they will be forced to make a quick decision and take whatever’s available on the market when their current home gets an offer. To solve this problem, we will let all potential buyers know that we simply cannot close in 30 days. We will only consider offers that allow us to have plenty of time to find our next home, typically 60 to 90 days out. Believe it or not, this is possible and my real estate team has done this for many of our clients this last year. To be honest though, almost everyone starts out by telling me, “we’re being very picky about the next house,” yet when we get their home under contract they usually find several homes that would work for them within the first week of looking. This option does give us plenty of time to look as we only need about 30 days from acceptance of an offer to the final closing date.
Option THREE: Put your home on the market and find a buyer that is willing to close in 30 days, but allow you to rent back the home from them for another 30-60 days after that. When I tell our clients this may be an option, some will say, “Why would anyone want to do that?” Well you may be surprised, and we’ve presented this opportunity to several of our clients in the past. Sometimes the buyer just wants to lock down their next home and know that it’s done, before putting their own home on the market. Other times I’ve found an investor that was looking for a great rental property and was more than happy to begin collecting rent the day after closing. You just never know what’s possible until you ask.
Option FOUR: Sell your current home, then move into a short term rental apartment or possibly live with friends or family until you find your next home and close on it. For most people, this is the last resort, and I will tell you that it rarely needs to be this way. It’s not uncommon at all for our clients to consider doing this and then once their current home is under contract, we are able to find their next home immediately. They never have to worry about moving twice.
Ok, so I know what you’re thinking. “What about Option FIVE, writing an offer on our next home and making that offer contingent on the sale of our current home?” Well that’s simply not an option in this current real estate market. Right now we are in a seller’s market. Many of the very best homes are selling very quickly and sellers will not agree to take their home off the market while waiting for you to get your home sold. They don’t need to do that because there are plenty of other buyers out there ready to write a non-contingent offer. By the time you get your home repairs completed and on the market, that home you love will be sold to another buyer!
Again, these are your ONLY options. If you have any questions, please call me. I’d love to discuss these in more detail to find out what options might be available in your situation.