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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

It Takes Courage (and a Good Realtor) to Sell One House and Buy Another

[Published March 12, 2015, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section. An abbreviated version also appeared in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers.]

A big reason why would-be sellers don’t put their homes on the market is that they can’t count on finding a replacement home to buy.

Homeowners know there is no better time than now to sell their home for top dollar, but at the same time they know it will be challenging to find and buy a replacement home. No one wants to be homeless!

Those who can buy their replacement home without selling their current home are in the best position to compete for homes to buy.  These buyers wait until they have moved into their new home before putting their old home on the market, and they have the luxury of moving from one house to the next without being rushed.

Others who can “play” in this tight market are those with someplace to live temporarily (such as a relative’s house) if they’re not able to find their replacement home quickly.

Other sellers have negotiated extended occupancy after closing (called a rent-back), moved into extended stay hotels and even moved into their RV’s temporarily.

If a buyer wants to maximize their chances of coordinating the two transactions, my recommendation is to list their current home at price that is low enough to attract multiple offers.  That way, they can pick and choose the buyer who gives them the most flexibility on closing dates, rent-backs or other accommodation.

In “normal” times, a seller might choose to rent until he finds a home to buy, but nowadays rentals are just as scarce as homes to purchase, so that option is basically unavailable.

I’ve written previously about how the agents at Golden Real Estate are able to compete effectively on behalf of their buyer clients in multiple offer scenarios, such as by offering free moving to the seller.  In this market you need a skilled Realtor both as a seller and as a buyer. Succeeding without such help can be much harder.

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