New jobs and moves are so exciting. I love the idea of a new start in a new city where you can meet new people, start fresh and really create a new life for your family. Not that I’ve ever done it, but I would be so open to it. Now that both my husband and I work remotely, the idea of relocating and living life somewhere we really want to be is quite an allure for us. Of course, we are Floridians so we already live in paradise, but we’d love to experience real seasons and a different way of life at some point (kids really make that difficult, don’t they?).
Fortunately for us, we’d be free to sell our house and move when it sells. Unfortunately for many, that’s not the case. Some people have to leave right away after they are offered a new job, and it means that they have to pack up and go before they are even have a buyer for their current house. I have to acquaintances that were both recently in this situation. Both of the husbands had new jobs that required a relocation. One was several states away, so the family had to put their house on the market and go. They were fortunate that it sold just a week or so after they left. Another family had to do the long distance commuting thing for a year since it took a year for their house to sell.
What happens when you have a new job, you have to go and you have a house to sell and it’s just not selling? Well, you can stay put and split up your family, but we know that no one wants to do that. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to get your house sold as quickly as possible so that you can really enjoy your new location without the added stress of two mortgages, or rent and a mortgage. Thinking about selling your home? Here’s what you need to do.
Price the house right
Looking for a big profit on a house that is not worth it is not going to happen. Sorry, people; you can’t sell your home for $50,000 more than the other houses in your neighborhood just because it’s a little bit bigger than theirs. You have to be justified in asking that price, and you have to make sure your appraisal supports the price you’re asking. Additionally, if you price to sell, you probably will sell.
Rent; don’t buy
One of the biggest pieces of advice that I can give anyone relocating to a new city and selling their home is to rent a new home. For one, you can do this without worrying about the cost of two mortgages (rent is typically less) until your other house sells. Additionally, you don’t know much about your new city, which means you’re going to want that time to find a new neighborhood and really get to know the area.
You don’t want to buy in a neighborhood just because you find a nice house and then find out later that it’s not zoned for the best schools or that it’s not as nice of a neighborhood as you really thought it was. You want to know these things for certain.
Rent your old home
Another thing you can do is rent your old home if it doesn’t sell. We do this with our first home. We built our first home 12 years ago, and we couldn’t sell it for what we paid for it in the middle of the boom when we bought our dream house. Instead, we’ve spent the past two years renting it to my mother-in-law. She’s an amazing tenant since she’s never once called us to ask us to fix anything. She just does it herself. As far as we are concerned, it’s her house and we will never question that as we trust her implicitly. It’s a good option if you just need the income to help support your two housing expenses at the moment.
Keep an eye on the comps
If you can’t sell your house but everyone else seems to be able to sell theirs in the same area, find out what they have that you don’t. Do they have more neutral paint colors, nicer landscaping, a more upgraded kitchen, a better staging design? Find out what it is, and see if you can apply that to your own house.
It might really be as simple as painting the purple kitchen you adore a simple shade of off-white or hiring someone to come out and handle the lawn and the landscaping so it doesn’t overgrow. Find out what it is by keeping an eye on the comps in the area so you can see what’s selling. Seeing what is selling might help you figure out what isn’t selling – and why.
Photo by Getty Images