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Posted in: Selling a home, Buying a home

A great time to sell, a (sometimes) harder time to buy: Why sellers need a “Plan B” when they list

great time to sell home

Key insights

  • Continued low inventory within the low- to mid-tier market (under $500,000) makes it an optimal time to sell, but many sellers are wondering why they’d want to re-enter today’s market as a competitive buyer.
  • By setting up a Plan A, which includes pre-approval and strategic negotiation, sellers may be able to properly time their home purchase after selling.
  • If timing doesn’t align, having a Plan B with temporary housing can help sellers minimize stress as they continue searching for the right long-term home to purchase.

You hear it everywhere — on the radio and the nightly news and yes, even from our Edina Realty articles and agents. “It’s a great time to sell, because inventory is so tight that you can close faster and for a great price.”

But this leaves many sellers wondering, “Why would I want to sell and then enter this low inventory, higher-priced market as a buyer?”

It’s a good question, and one you’ll have to answer for yourself. What we can tell you, after helping thousands of Minnesota and Wisconsin homeowners sell their homes last year, is that if you work smartly and set yourself up with both a “Plan A” and a “Plan B,” you can ensure that you can sell and buy to your own advantage. Here are some insights on how to do just that.

Aim for Plan A: Get pre-approved and proceed with confidence

When selling your home, you’ll want to work with a REALTOR® who understands the unique current marketplace and how sellers like you are poised to win in multiple offers — and then be positioned to enter the same market as a hopeful buyer.

Get pre-approved

First, your agent can help you get pre-approved with a mortgage loan officer. A pre-approval is a lender’s estimate of how much you can afford to buy. Together with your agent’s estimate of your home’s value, you can begin creating the right budget parameters for your future home search.

Request a slower closing timeline

As a seller, you hold the advantage. Once you’ve listed your home and accepted an offer, you may be able to request a slower closing timeline from your buyer. Some sellers have had luck with reverse contingencies. You can ask your Realtor if this might be the best option for you.

However, keep in mind that buyers nationwide are reporting an average of three months to get an accepted offer on a home —and unless you have a very understanding buyer, you likely won’t be able to hold off your closing for that long. If you end up in a position where you have a pending home sale, but not a pending home purchase, it’s time to move on to Plan B.

Plan B: Have temporary housing available

When you’ve sold your house but haven’t found the right one to move into, it may be time to consider transitional housing. Home buyers often report that this option helps them reduce their stress and focus on finding the right home for their long-term needs.

After all, the worst-case scenario as a buyer would be to settle for a subpar property, only to see your dream home come on the market weeks later.

Together, you and your agent can come up with the best temporary housing plan for you and your family. This may be:

  • Renting a single-family home or townhome on a short-term basis
  • Renting an apartment month-to-month
  • Staying at an “extended stay” hotel or inn, which typically has a kitchen area
  • Staying with friends or family who have extra space

Remember: A good agent will help you identify long-term housing options that match your needs and timing; a great agent will prioritize this house search while ensuring that you have a soft place to land even if things don’t go according to Plan A.

Need help developing your Plan A and Plan B?

Edina Realty agents help hundreds of sellers make important decisions about timing, budget and negotiations each day. To get matched with a Realtor who knows your neighborhood and can help you buy and sell with ease, reach out today.

For more tips on selling and buying a home in Minnesota or western Wisconsin, follow #BuyerInsights and #SellerInsights on Facebook, Twitter,

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings