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What to do when you can’t sell your home

Mukul “Micky” Lalchandani
Jan 28 5 minutes read

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

At first, it may sound like a bad dream any seller would want to avoid: You want to upgrade to a new home, but the market is saturated with too many properties and a lack of buyers. Transactions are tepid, and sellers continue to undercut each other. While this is true for many homeowners in New York City, this is also an opportunity as a buyer to find a better value on a new place.

This is an increasingly common situation in our current market, which remains soft due to the pandemic that began in March 2020. Though inventory continues to rise into the spring selling season, there’s a conundrum - you need to sell your home before you can upgrade to a new one.

Still, the upsides of finding a deal on a new place now outweigh the inconvenience of possibly being in-between homes. You have more leverage on the buy-side, more purchasing power, and a better chance of finding a nicer home than if you were in a seller's market. I can help you plan ahead by following these strategies before you list your home for sale.

Ask about a contingency clause.

A home sale contingency is a clause in your contract that essentially states that you 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 would make sense for you.

Consider a bridge loan.

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. Need some advice? Let's connect.

Add rentals to your home search.

Yes, you should have a look at the rental complexes in your area to get a sense of their availability and price, just in case. I have great insight into our local market and connections to agents that specialize in rentals. Additionally, some of our clients may be on the fence about listing their home and be open to considering a rental arrangement, maybe former buyers who purchased rental properties 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 in which you're considering buying. From there, I'll have conversations with each interested seller and set appointments to preview their home for you. If I 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, I 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 considering your unique situation, I 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 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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