With low inventory in many markets throughout the country, many homeowners are afraid to sell their homes because they’re concerned that they may not be able to find a new one. I’ve seen this happen all over Portland. Inventory is so low that it’s scaring people on both sides of a transaction. This can be a real problem, but if you are seeking to sell—whether to upgrade or find a new neighborhood—there are a few ways to combat the low inventory.
1. Look to buy first
In most markets, it is a real mistake to put your home up for sale before you start looking for your new property. Identify the geographic area where you are interested in buying. Even if you don’t see anything on Zillow, it doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t find the right home. If you’re in a place where inventory is really low, you’ll have to act quickly if you find anything you love. As long as the home you’re selling is in good condition, it’ll probably sell quickly and you’ll be able to close on the new home contingent on your old home’s closing. It pays to be on the hunt before you’re on the market so you can keep track of market trends and have a good working knowledge of the inventory of that area. A great tool for this is Neighborhood News, which you can sign up for on my website. Just follow that link!
2. Think outside the box
Be proactive! Keep in mind that there are probably many people like you who want to make a move but are afraid as well. Have your real estate agent send a letter to the neighborhoods in the geographic areas where you want to live. The letter should be heartfelt and personal while announcing that you are ready to buy a home in that neighborhood. You could find a home to buy that may not even be currently listed or for sale. Imagine if you got a similar letter. Wouldn’t it put you at ease to know there’s someone out there looking for a home like yours? This would also give you a leg up on everyone else furiously refreshing Zillow and Realtor.com for the newest listings.
3. Protect yourself legally
Each state varies in how the purchase process is conducted. Talk to your real estate professional about adding a clause in the purchase contract for the home you are selling that will enable you to not sell the home if you cannot find a suitable home to buy. Real estate contracts afford buyers and sellers both opportunities to make sure the transaction is going to suit their needs. Just like you can make the purchase of a new home contingent on the sale of the old one, in most states, you can make the sale of your old home contingent on an accepted offer for a new one. This is where the value of a REALTOR® really comes into play. At Windermere, we have a whole class to take just on writing good contingencies!
If you or anyone you know is on the fence about selling, contact me! I’ll help you figure out if now is the right time for you and your family. We sure could use the inventory in the market!