While the current market is favorable to sellers, there are some challenges, including a limited number of home buyers and the ability to buy after you sell. Let’s take a look at some solutions.
The challenge: Fewer buyers in the market
Luckily, the low inventory in the current market has created some buyer competition, which means that your home will still likely find its buyer relatively quickly. However, because of high mortgage rates and high prices, there are fewer buyers in the market now than a year ago.
Solution #1: Work with an expert real estate agent
The best real estate agents have deep local knowledge, an extensive network of connections, and a repertoire of techniques to find the perfect buyer for your home—no matter what the market is doing. Check out a real estate agent’s website, their Google reviews, and their track record. Then have a chat with them about your hopes and expectations to see if it’s a good fit.
Solution #2: Tap your network
Still struggling to sell? Start asking around. It sounds simple, but putting out feelers can help you sell much faster than just sticking your home on Zillow. Talk to friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances, and let them know your home is on the market. If anyone knows anyone looking to buy, they’re likely to put you in touch. And research shows that people like to do business with people they know—so you might end up selling your home faster than you expected.
Solution #3: Give buyers bang for their buck
Prices are high, so anything you can do to make your home offer more for the money is helpful. How do you do this? Make sure your home is updated, and highlight its unique characteristics when you list and during showings.
Do you have an assumable mortgage? Better check with your lender. Assumable mortgages are those that can be transferred to the new homebuyer with the current interest rate intact—so if you have one from before rates started rising, it’s a huge selling point.
Another issue is HOA fees—they’ve been rising across the country, and that’s making homeownership less affordable for many. If you live in an area with high HOA fees, be sure to highlight what makes them worth it for your property. What does the HOA offer, and what makes your community stand out above the rest?
The challenge: Buying after you sell
Generally speaking, once you sell your home, you become a buyer in the same market—and buyers are facing several struggles right now. The major ones are high interest rates and low inventory. If these are concerns for you, here are a couple of solutions to try.
Solution #1: Use your equity to buy in cash
Last year, equity hit an all-time high in the U.S. That means homeowners have more cash than ever upon selling their homes. If you have a lot of equity, you could potentially sell your home and buy your new one in cash, avoiding mortgage rates entirely. Depending on your market, you might need to downsize to do this—or relocate. If your equity doesn’t entirely cover the cost of your new home, another option is to use all of it as a downpayment, greatly reducing your mortgage term or mortgage payment on your new home. That way, you’ll pay far less interest over time, even though rates are high.
Solution #2: Look for an assumable mortgage
For the same reasons you should highlight an assumable mortgage as a selling point, you can look for one when you’re buying.
Are all mortgages assumable? Not quite. Most conventional mortgages aren’t assumable, but many government-backed loans are. There are certain limitations that apply to taking over someone’s mortgage, and you’ll have to look into each case individually.
How do you find a home with an assumable mortgage? Ask your real estate agent. With the market the way that it is, many sellers with the ability to offer this option are listing it as a selling point—just like a big yard or a chef’s kitchen. If this is something you’re interested in, get in touch with your real estate agent and let them know.
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