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. 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.
• Look to buy first. 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. There are many other resources an agent can use to find you the right home.
• 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. This is a great way to flush out the “fence sitters”. I have successfully done this many times.
• Your agent is your greatest asset. Real Estate is a local business. Having an agent who is immersed in the geography you are interested in is key. Often, top agents will know of homes “headed” to market but not yet listed. They owners may be willing to have their home shown anyhow. Your agent knows how to make this happen. This might get you in the door without competition. A good position in a competitive market.
• 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.