Help — I Sold My House and Can’t Find Another One

You put your house on the market and thought you had some time to begin looking for another one. 

But suddenly…

Killer Tips on How to find another one

Someone bought your house, and you haven’t yet found another one yet! So, obviously, you are probably in a panic.

We get it. 

But don’t worry, there are options out there for you—options that will enable you to take your time finding a new house. This is important because you don’t want to go out and buy just any house simply because you are in a rush to find something. 

Doing so generally leads to regret and a costly mistake. If you make a rush decision buying a house—a house you might not totally love, you will probably end up wanting to sell it sooner rather than later and that will cost you!

That’s why we are going to provide you with a list of options you can utilize if you end up selling home more quickly than you anticipated.

Nine Options to Consider If Your House Sells More Quickly Than You Anticipated

1. Leaseback

A leaseback sometimes called a rent back or sale-leaseback is when a seller sells his or her home then the new owner leases that home back to the seller for a designated amount of time. This allows the seller to stay in that home giving them time to find another one. But just like anything else, there are pros and cons of a leaseback.

Pros:

Help - I Sold My House and Can't find Another One
  • A seller can sell their home and not risk losing the sale. In other words, this provides both parties with a sooner closing date. This also ensures the seller of the exact amount of money they will have to work with and doesn’t carry the risk of the sale falling through.
  • It keeps the seller from having to move twice. 
  • This gives the seller time to clean the home for the buyer.
  • A leaseback will also give the seller time to fix up or renovate his or her new home.
  • In a sellers’ market, you might even be able to get the buyer to agree to a free-of-charge leaseback. 

Cons:

  • With a leaseback, the seller will have to pay rent to the buyer for the agreed-upon amount of time. Depending on how long that is the seller might also have to pay for their new mortgage at the same time as well.
  • If the seller damages the property, he or she could be liable for rectifying those damages and possibly be taken to court. However, this doesn’t happen very often—but it could. 

2. Short Term Rental Home

Homeowners or rental home business owners will sometimes allow short term and/or month-to-month rentals. However, the shorter the term, the higher the rent will be. You might also be on the hook for a non-refundable deposit, pet deposits, and other fees. Additionally, you might also be required to put up several months’ deposit in advance to cover any potential damages. But short-term rentals and month-to-month rentals will generally be much cheaper than signing a long-term lease then breaking that lease. 

There are several ways to find a short-term or month-to-month rental. The best and safest way to go about doing this is to talk with your real estate agent. This route will ensure you find the least expensive home for your money and one that best suits your needs. 

You could also take this upon yourself by going to Craigslist or another online marketplace, but the risk of being taken advantage of or swindled is significantly higher. 

3. Vacation Rental 

Vacation rentals, Airbnb homes, VRBO homes, or any other vacation rental type of living arrangement is another option you could use to hang your hat until you find another home. If you are thinking that these types of homes would be extremely expensive because they charge by the night and assess an exorbitant amount of fees, you would be right. 

However, if you need to rent one of these homes for a longer stay, many vacation rental owners will negotiate a reduced rate for you. A longer stay means a solidly booked rental, less cleaning, maintenance, and hassle for them. Therefore, a long-term guest is usually extremely appealing to most vacation rental owners. 

You might consider finding several homes you would consider renting and checking to see which of those rental owners gives you the best rate. This option will oftentimes be your best bet because there are no leases or other commitments to deal with. 

4. Extended Stay Hotel Suites or Executive Suites

An extended-stay hotel suite or an executive suite is another great option for a short-term living arrangement. A hotel suite will provide you with all the basics such as a living area, bedroom(s), kitchen, and bathroom but not much else. It’s a very minimalist type of rental and usually, you won’t have a yard or a garage. 

However, if you choose an extended stay hotel suite, you will potentially have access to its amenities such as a pool, fitness center, business center, tennis courts, restaurants, snack lounges, and bars, etc. So, you might really enjoy having all these conveniences available to you. 

5. Temporary Housing 

Temporary housing such as short-term apartment leases or month-to-month apartment leases is another great option for an interim living arrangement. And just like a hotel suite, a short-term apartment rental will give you access to all the community amenities as well. However, just like the short-term and month-to-month home rentals, a temporary apartment lease will cost you.

A short-term or month-to-month apartment lease will generally require a large up-front deposit that might even be non-refundable, pet-fees that might be partially non-refundable, admin fees, and higher monthly rents for the convenience of providing you with a short-term rental. So, this may or may not be the best option, it will just depend on the specific policies and fees of each apartment community. 

If you want to explore this option, check with your real estate agent for more information. Real estate agents often have relationships with the area apartment managers and might be able to get you a better rate. Or, at the very least point you in the right direction so you don’t have to spend so much time searching for who does and doesn’t offer short-term leases and the rates and terms of those leases. 

6. Rent a Home That Has an Option to Buy

If you can’t seem to find a home you like, why not consider looking at rental homes on the market. Sometimes rental homeowners will consider a lease with an option to buy. This is great in that you can basically try the home out before you decide if you want to commit to buying it. It will also give you the chance to make sure there aren’t any hidden issues or large ticket items that might seem OK now but will probably need to be replaced sooner rather than later. 

However, if you decide to go this route, please be very careful. You will need to make sure everything is executed by a real estate attorney and that you are covered to the fullest extent. If you don’t, you could stand to lose a significant amount of money. 

Let’s say you lease that home and paid the rent on time for many years. Then suddenly you receive a letter that the home is going into foreclosure. Wait, what? What did the owner do with all that rent money that was supposed to be going towards the purchase of that home? You may never know anything other than your money is gone! So be careful and don’t let that happen to you. 

7. Look for Houses that Haven’t Hit the Market Yet

Buying a house that hasn’t hit the market yet is a great way to find a house. Doing so will enable you to beat the crowds so to speak. Many sellers are more willing to negotiate at this point. This is because if they sell their home before it hits the market, it will save them loads of time and the inconvenience of hoards of people tromping through their home and having to drop everything and show their home at a moment’s notice, etc. 

The best way to find these homes is to talk with your real estate agent. Ask him or her if there are any listings that they or their network agents are working on where the seller has yet to sign on. This simply means the agent will contact potential sellers and let them know they have a possible buyer for their home. This is a huge incentive for the seller to commit to signing the listing agreement making this a great way to find a home that hasn’t hit the market yet.

8. Shop for Off-Market Listings

Off-market listings have their own set of pros and cons. A seller who wants to maintain their privacy, test the waters, save on the commissions, or any other reason might opt for an off-market listing. Off-market listings have gained popularity in recent years making this somewhat of a secondary market so to speak. 

The best way to find off-market houses is to talk with your real estate agent who probably networks with other area agents and will know if there are any of those homes available. 

Now, with that being said, off-market homes have hit somewhat of a hiccup in the last year or so when the National Association of
Realtors® implemented a new policy. The MLS Statement 8.0 Clear Cooperation Policy states that as of January 1, 2020, it requires any real estate broker who uses and participates in the multiple listing service to submit their home listings to the MLS within one business day from when they began marketing the property. So this policy greatly restricts off-market listings. 

This policy is not a law, it’s just a policy by the governing association. However, all MLSs, brokerages, and real estate agents who use it must abide by this policy. 

So what the heck then you might ask? 

Well, fortunately, the National Association of Realtors® has come out with a new policy that provides options for its member agents and brokers so they can maintain both a limited and full off-market listing. This new policy gives sellers the option of opting out of the MLS IDX (internet display) which is also known as an exclusive listing for maintaining privacy, etc. So without going into all the details of such, it’s best to talk with your real estate agent about looking at off-market listings, and he or she will be able to help you with how to go about doing this. 

9. Talk to Neighbors in the Area Where You Want to Buy

If you have looked at what seems like every available home in the area, there is still one other place you can look to find that home of your dreams. You simply drive around the neighborhoods you are interested in living in and talk with some of the neighbors. 

Ask any people you see if they know if any of their neighbors are thinking about or would be willing to sell their home. You can also talk with the area merchants such as restaurants, dry cleaners, coffee shops, banks, etc. if they know if any of their patrons are thinking about selling their home. When people are thinking about selling their home, they often mention it to their neighbors and in casual conversation with the people they do business with. So this is another great way to find a home that isn’t on the market. 

If you find someone who does want to sell their home, refer them to your real estate agent who can then assist that seller in the sale and the other details of selling their home. It’s a win-win-win for you, your real estate agent, and the person wanting to sell their home. 

What’s Next?

If you want more information about selling or buying a home, or if you have questions about interim living options, please Contact Lakeland Real Estate Group today. We are proud members of the community and have been helping the people of Lakeland and the surrounding areas find the homes of their dreams for more than 20 years, and we would love to do the same for you too!

Other Valuable Resources to Consider

While we are still in a pandemic, Sharon Paxson provides important tips when viewing homes in today’s real estate market.

Are you considering buying into a homeowners association? Then you may want to check out Bill Gassett’s article about what do HOA fees cover.

If you are looking for a luxury home, this article written by Paul Sian looks at the important steps luxury home buyers should be taking to be competitive.

About the author: The above real estate article “Help — I Sold My House and Can’t Find Another One” was written by Petra Norris of Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.  With over 20 years of combined experience of selling or buying, we would love to share our knowledge and expertise. Petra can be reached via email at petra@petranorris.com or by phone at 863-712-4207

We service the following Central Florida areas: Lakeland, Auburndale, Mulberry, Winter Haven, Bartow, Plant City, Seffner, Valrico, Polk City, Lake Alfred, Lake Wales, Haines City, and Davenport FL.

2 Responses to “Help — I Sold My House and Can’t Find Another One”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Gabe Sanders says:

    With the inventory so low, this is a tough problem for many. I am expecting this problem to get a little better fairly soon.

  2. I’m not sure if there will be any inventory available anytime soon. This is definitely an issue with so little available homes to choose from, buyers are having a hard time right now.

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