Can't Sell? How About a Swap? - NBC Southern California

Can't Sell? How About a Swap?

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    With median home prices in Southern California down nearly 40% from last year, home owners who can't sell are swapping instead.

    With the real estate market being what it is these days, home owners looking to upgrade to a better property may find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle.  They can't take advantage of low home prices, because those same low prices have made it impossible to sell their current home.

    But there might be a way out.  How about a trade?

    Home swapping or trading is essentially agreeing to buy someone's home, but only if they buy yours.  The exchange should take place on the same date with a simultaneous closing.  Both parties pay off any existing loans and get new financing on the home they are buying.

    Perhaps the best part?  No realtor required.  But experts recommend both swappers hire a real estate attorney to handle the transaction.

    According to the website goswap.org, the concept works well for people who are moving to a different location and want a similar place to live. By swapping properties, the sellers have a better chance of getting close to the appraised value.

    "It sure beats waiting for that one person to come along," says Dan Williamson, who has been trying to sell his house for almost a year.  "If you can find something that works for you, and you have something that works for another family, you both benefit."