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Stop Being a Seller – Trade

Everyone believes their situation is unique, that is true, we are all unique in some way.  But when it comes to real estate the transactions are all very similar.  I have had tens of thousands of conversations with sellers.  Every single one of them have the exact same outlook about selling their home. They want buyers to come to them.  They want their Realtor® to find a buyer which is simply an extension of the “come to me” attitude.  I call this passive marketing.  Yard signs, the MLS, adds, flyers, open houses and every other form of traditional marketing is necessary yet they are all still passive in nature.  These marketing efforts are all an attempt to attract a buyer to step forward. 

Do not stop using the traditional marketing methods, but consider something much more aggressive.  Use the equity in your existing home to purchase the next home.  The reason I call this aggressive is because you are not acting like all of the other sellers in your market. There are several ways to do this but let’s review trades first.

All real estate transactions are trades.  The seller trades his or her home for a pile of money.  Then they trade all or part of the pile of money for another property.  This would actually be two trades.

Find another seller moving in the opposite direction as you and trade properties.  It is not as complicated as it sounds.  I have financed scores of trades, it is very common in new construction and I have worked closely with builders for decades.

Suppose you desire to move to a specific neighborhood.  If there are twenty homes for sale in that neighborhood why not approach each of them and see if there is any interest in trading homes.

After exhausting that avenue expand to surrounding neighborhoods.  The broader your list of acceptable parameters the more possibilities there will be to make a trade. 

Your Realtor® may not be able to personally contact all of the possibilities; initially shooting a brief email to the Realtor® on the other side is the most efficient method.  Screen the properties first and only approach the ones that interest you.  If you drive by a property that is for sale by owner jot down the address and contact info and forward it to your Realtor®. 

Now you are acting like a buyer instead of a seller!  See why I call it aggressive, you are not waiting for a buyer to come to you.  You are going to them.  Does this in any way weaken your position?  Absolutely not, if anything it strengthens it. 

How does it work mechanically?  One method is to write two sales contracts that both contain a contingency clause requiring the other party to accept the terms in both contracts and also to have simultaneous closings.  It can also be done in one contract specifying the terms on both properties.  I like the first method because it makes it easy for the realtors and the mortgage companies to process the transactions. 

Think of your home as equity instead of a property.  Spend the equity to purchase the next property.

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