If you’re putting off selling your home because you’re nervous you won’t be able to find a new place to live, one local real estate expert is saying don’t worry, you have options.
Tiffany Balanoff, ABR, PSA, RENE, SRES, SRS, Realtor at Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Long Island, said she’s currently seeing a lot of homeowners hesitating to sell for two main reasons: trouble finding a new home and worried about giving up a low mortgage rate for a higher one.
As a result, we are stuck in a low inventory market causing prices to stay high regardless of the increasing mortgage rates; people who want to upsize are trying to make their current home work for them with large, costly, and long renovations; and people who want to downsize are stuck maintaining a house that they no longer want to keep up with.
“What I’m seeing is homeowners who are hesitating to sell right now even when prices are very much in their favor,” she explained. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution for these concerns, but there are solutions.”
“If selling is something you’re thinking about, then it’s worth having a conversation with a qualified real estate professional about options,” she explained. “I believe that it has to be the right time for you to move. When we peel back the layers and find your ‘why’ in regards to why you are looking to sell, that should be the number one driver of the transaction.”
Balanoff shared with us a handful of suggestions for those homeowners who may be hesitating.
Tiff’s Tip #1: Second Home Scarcity
Balanoff said she’s hearing a lot of “If I sell now, where am I going to go?” because a large number of people are fighting over a lower number of homes on Long Island.
Her recommendation? Look into long- or short-term rental apartments or whole house rentals, consider temporarily moving in with friends or family, or have post-possession built into the closing deal when selling your home.
What works for each seller depends entirely on their situation, she explained, so while rentals or moving in with family may work for some, it may be off the table for others—which is why she has found that post-possession clauses for many of her clients have been the solution. A post possession clause in a contract allows a seller to continue living in the home after the property has sold.
“People need to know that they can stay in their homes after closing. It may not be ideal but it can certainly work. There are so many buyers out there right now and a lot of them just want to know that they will finally be getting a house so they are willing to give the seller time” Balanoff said.
How long a seller normally stays in a home after selling varies from client to client, based all on what your Realtor is able to negotiate on your behalf.
“You can put your house on the market today and tell the buyer you haven’t found something so you’d like a certain number of weeks or months after the closing,” Balanoff said. “That’s something I can negotiate for them that can then be part of the deal.”
Tiff’s Tip #2: Interest Rate Volatility
The other element driving sellers to stay in their homes are concerns over high mortgage rates.
“We have a lot of people saying, ‘I’m paying such a low interest rate on my current mortgage, but if I sell and then buy right now, I’m going to be paying at this higher rate on my new mortgage,’” she explained.
Balanoff and her office work with their preferred mortgage lender Michael Bomparola of CrossCountry Mortgage, who reminds buyers they are marrying the home, not the rates.
“Don’t get hung up on the rates and let that dismay you because it’s all about the monthly payment,” Bomparola said. “You can marry the home and just date the rate—you can refinance in the future. Talk to your lender about your goals for your monthly budget and work out a custom monthly plan that will work for you.”
Another added benefit of not hesitating? You know what you can get right now, whereas who knows what may happen in the future.
“You know what your equity will be today versus what the future may bring and that can impact your equity. A lot of folks are saying they’re not ready to sell and they’re going to wait. If you wait for that ‘right time’ to come when everybody is ready to take action, the competition will be way more fierce. It creates a much more challenging situation because you’ll be competing with way more buyers.”
Balanoff and Bomparola, who have been working together for many years, also both recommend working with a Realtor’s preferred network. It adds an extra level of care.
If your Realtor has a preferred lender they can recommend, such as Balanoff does with Bomparola, there’s an added ease throughout the entire process because of that preexisting relationship.
“When you receive a referral, you’re in a different position because it’s important you deliver for that client because there’s a relationship behind that. It becomes more than just about the client, but about the Realtor, the lender, and everyone else in that deeper connection,” Bomparola said. “Now you have an entire team partnering together to achieve your goal, and buyers may not always realize that because they’re hyper focused on things like the interest rate.”