Can’t Sell? SWAP!

What do you do if you have to move but can’t sell your home? Not take the job? Forgo the chance to be closer to family?

No way.

Craigslist.com has a solution.

When you click on their homepage you’ll see in the middle column a “Housing” section. I’ve used this to move all over the country under ‘Rooms for Rent.’ People also advertise homes and vacation rentals.

Check out “Housing Swap.”

MSNBC has an article about Swaps. Realtor organizations say that this is still a very small niche of the housing market…but it seems to be gaining traction based on the growing number of postings seen online for people looking to trade their patch of grass…versus going through the hassle of putting it on the market.

Here are some postings from Wilmington’s Craigslist…

“Raynham, MA home for your Wilmington, NC home”

Beautiful home for swap. My work has me moving to Wilmington and I sadly need to swap houses. My home has been completely updated and remodeled making it too costly to sell. Please e-mail for pictures. 3/4 of an acre, quiet wooded area, conveniently located to highways. 30minute drive to Boston, Providence, Plymouth, Cape Cod and Newport, RI.

 

Wilmington house for your Harrisburg, PA house or other properties

Relocating to Harrisburg area, would swap my Wilmington house in a great neighborhood with your Harrisburg, PA properties. Serious parties only.

This isn’t as simple as exchanging keys though….

OnlineHouseTrading.com offers a few words of wisdom:

1. Use one title company.

2. Both closes should happen at the same time so that one party is not paying double duty on mortgages. You also want to make sure that YOU do not agree to take on THEIR property…and then they jump ship on yours.

3. If the homes are not of the same value…you need to work out a cash or mortgage agreement to equalize the swap.

 

Complete house swaps seem like a (a-hem) ballsy move to me. Make sure that you have everthing down in writing and I would seriously consult a real estate lawyer. However, if you are in a complete bind, needing to move before both the market..and your real estate agent can play ball…this might actually work!

Perhaps a better usage of housing swaps is for vacation…and that is a **great** avenue for anyone here in Wilmington. We live at the beach…and since we live at the beach…we maybe dont care that much about *being* at the beach 365 days per year. It was 80 degrees this past weekend…there are A LOT of other people in this country who would take a weekend in March…at the beach…in 80 degree weather. On the flip side, maybe you would like to visit family in Idaho…spring ski in Colorado…or you just have an unsatiable desire to spend time in the rain in Seattle….

Instead of $200 a night on a hotel, sights like HomeExchange.com allow you to post an ad to find a match in your intended destination.

For my vacation this fall…I hope someone with a five bedroom mansion in Barbados will be interested in crashing at my palatial 1BR/1Bath apartment with sometimes-working light switches…

I’ll even include my Netflix subscription…..

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