House-Swap Attractive To Those Struggling To Sell
Homeowners Seek Alternatives To Unload Property
Last Updated: 1834 days ago
Sellers desperate to unload their property during the housing crunch are doing just about anything to reel in buyers, including offering fancy food and agreeing to pay closing costs.A growing number of services are pairing up anxious sellers to help each other out, hoping to put an end to homes languishing on the market for months or years, 6News' Todd Wallace reported.House-swapping is basically matchmaking real estate-style.Gary Upchurch's home on Geist Reservoir features a spacious kitchen and large entertainment area -- just two reasons he thinks his Brigantine Drive home is priced as a steal, relative to the location."This house is the lowest-priced house on the main body of the lake," Upchurch said.Upchurch's home has been on the market for several months, despite the price and view, so he decided to think a bit out of the box.The home is now listed on house swapping sites that pair compatible homeowners to trade properties."You can contact other people and you'll get two or three a week -- people offering to trade you a house in Colorado or a motel in Texas," Upchurch said. "(There are) a lot of different opportunities out there."House-swapping has been around for quite a while, but it was typically limited to vacation and rental homes.On Craigslist.com, trade offers have tripled since property postings began in 2006, Wallace reported."In this market, sellers are typically having to drastically reduce the price of their homes, and with this they are not having to do that," said Daniel Westbrook, of onlinehousetrading.com.Once a homeowner registers, the companies send a list of potential matches based on the criteria.There are plenty of success stories, but the National Association of Realtors cautions that it doesn't always work out."You don't have access to the entire marketplace, so you are only limited to the properties that are in a swapping type of environment," said Dale Mattison, of the National Association of Realtors.Upchurch said he gets a couple of calls or e-mails a week. He hasn't closed a deal yet, but believes it's just a matter of time.Experts said it is important to check the property in person once a deal has been reached and hire a professional to close the deal.