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Four Alternatives to Selling your Home


Around the country, the inventory of homes for sale remains record high. Estimates indicate there are now some 3.5 million homes currently for sale. With buyers remaining on the fence and lending practicing still restricted, there are too many homes for sale and too few buyers willing and/or able to buy them. As homeowners trying to sell their homes are well aware, it is not uncommon for homes to sit on the market for several months. Being behind on the mortgage payment is now a stark reality for many homeowners waiting for their homes to sell. When selling isn't working, there are a few alternatives homeowners may wish to explore.

Rent Out your Home

The easiest option for some homeowners could be to simply rent out their home while they wait for it to sell. The option is often ideal because it allows sellers to generate some much needed income, especially if their home has been on the market for a long time and they are behind on the mortgage. If a seller has had to relocate for a job and the home is now vacant this option can also be ideal. While homeowners should not expect to make a profit on the rental of their home, even breaking even will make it possible to build equity. There is also the possibility that if your home is rented long enough you might actually begin to see an improvement in the local market, allowing you to sell your home at a higher price. Of course, it should be kept in mind that renting is not a good option for everyone. If you do not think you will have the time to handle the responsibilities that come along with being a landlord it might be to your advantage to pay a small percentage of the rent to a property manager and have them handle all of those matters for you.

Short Term Rental

If your home happens to be in a resort or vacation area or even in one of the areas of the country where there is currently an employment boom due to an influx of temporary workers you might consider a short term rental. By renting your home for a few days or even just a few months you may be able to bring enough income to make it possible to hold on to your home. In many areas, there are property management companies that specialize in short-term rentals.

Lease to Own

Leasing is another option you may wish to consider. Today, leasing has become far more commonplace than it once was. An increasing number of consumers now lease cars, drive them for a certain period of time and at the end of the term either return the car or purchase it at a price that is already predetermined. This concept can be applied to real estate as well. Under a lease to own agreement you collect a standard rental payment each month along with an additional fee that will allow your renter to purchase the home in the future at a specified price if they wish to do so. If the buyer elects not to buy your home at that time you are able to keep the monthly rental payments along with the extra money. The option is often very attractive for prospective buyers who may have credit problems and would not be able to currently qualify for a mortgage loan.

Short Sales

If you find yourself facing imminent foreclosure, you might also wish to consider a short sale. Keep in mind that your lender must authorize this type of sale; however, if they do give their permission, a short sale will allow you to sell your home for less than the balance owed. Both the seller and the lender are able to benefit. The seller avoids foreclosure and the bank is able to remove a bad loan from their records while also avoiding the hassle and expense involved in the foreclosure process. Of course, there are some drawbacks to this option. Your credit will still be negatively impacted, although not likely as much as a foreclosure and the lender may still try to obtain the difference between the balance on the home and the sales price from you.

The reality in today's market is that many homes remain on the market for a year or even longer. If you are on an extremely tight budget, this simply may not be possible for you. Taking advantage of other options, even if they are not ideal, may provide you with the flexibility and income you need to weather the market.


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