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What to do if your home sells faster than anticipated...

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

For a home seller, being able to sell your home quickly and for asking price is a great outcome, but what are your options if your new home isn't ready, especially now when inventory is so low or businesses are in quarantine?

Homes, once on the market, take an average of 3-4 months from listing to closing. If you will need additional time, your listing agent can include a clause in the initial sales contract requesting more time. However, if you need more than 6 months from listing, it is best to hold off on listing your home.

If requesting additional time is not an option, the second possibility, and the one most often utilized, is to put everything in storage and rent. However, keep in mind this could get expensive if you have to pay someone to pack and move your things into a storage unit, pay monthly fees on the storage unit, and then pay someone again to move your things out of storage.

There are a couple more options your REALTOR® can help you navigate through. One option is to work through your listing and buyers' agents to form a rental agreement between you and the buyer to rent your own home after closing. You can negotiate the length of the rental to give you time to close on your new home or find other accommodations, but most buyers will only agree to this as a short term option, usually 3 months or less.

Another option to discuss with your REALTOR® is renting the home you are moving into. If the home is already vacant, the sellers may allow you to move in before closing and pay rent until you close. This option only works if your financing is solid, closing is on track, and there are no foreseeable problems with closing since this option is a bigger risk to the seller. Usually sellers will only agree to this after you have gotten the clear to close from your lender, which roughly 15 days before settlement.

In closing, selling your home in a sellers market, where inventory is low and the demand is high, is an ideal situation for a home owner, but there may not always be ideal solutions after closing. It is important to have open and honest communication with your REALTOR®, because they can be your best ally in this situation.

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