Sellers Have Nowhere to Go After the Sale

May 22, 2014

More home owners say now is a good time to sell, surveys show, but low inventories have them worried about what their next move would be. With fewer homes on the market and quickly rising home prices, sellers are becoming less confident that they will be able to trade up at an affordable price. So where do they go from here?

Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, says he repeatedly hears this concern from sellers: “I’m afraid to sell my house because I can’t find another one.”

Tim Brampedach, a business owner who lives in San Francisco, tells CNNMoney that his home’s value has risen from $1.2 million to $1.6 million in the past three years. He and his wife want to move to a bigger place, but “[we] are effectively locked into the house. We can’t sell because we can’t afford anything else nearby. … It's people like us, who live in a fully turnkey home, who can't supply homes because we have nowhere else to go in the city,” Brampedach says.

The competition for the limited number of homes for sale has heated up in some parts of the country, with buyers facing increasing competition from all-cash buyers. All-cash deals reached a record 43 percent of home sales in the first quarter of this year, according to RealtyTrac.

Some real estate professionals are actively looking for home owners who may consider selling, even mailing them letters or knocking on doors to ask them if they considered it.

One home owner, Kathleen Jackson of South Boston, says she and her husband recently received such an unsolicited offer that they felt was too good to pass up. But they worried if they’d be able to find another home. When the buyer agreed to give the couple until October to find a new home, they accepted the offer. Agents say this tactic is becoming more popular, with some sellers making the sale of their home contingent on their ability to find another home to move into.

Source: “‘I’m Too Afraid to Sell My Home,’” CNNMoney (May 20, 2014)

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