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Selling house, but don't want to move until September


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After graduating from undergrad in 2011, the last thing I wanted to do was go to grad school.

I rented an apartment for 6 months, said "To hell with rent" and bought a house. I'm very glad I did, but I now have the responsibility of selling it in a 5 month timeframe, and figuring out where to live until September.

Best case scenario: Buyer agrees to let me stay in the house until I 'm ready to move regardless of closing date. I'd even continue to pay my current mortgage note to the new owner.


But what if they refuse that arrangement? I can't afford not to sell my house just because I want to stay an extra few months. But I, my SO, and our 3 dogs cannot easily find a place to stay on short term either.


Anybody have any experience with this?

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I was/am in a similar situation. Got my MS and a good job so decided buying a house was the way to go, thinking I was done with school for good. Then decided I really didn't like my job and needed a PhD in order to do what I really want, which means moving out of state and selling my house. Very scary when you're on a time crunch and also when you have little to no wiggle room on the price without going underwater! You have a few options:


1. Find a buyer and get them to agree to wait until you move. This can be a little risky because they can back out (of course losing their escrow deposit) which leaves you at square one. I am doing this, but only have to make them wait 2 months for my move since I'm starting in the summer (they wanted to close in 10 days, not possible!!). And they put a very impressive deposit down, enough to pay my mortgage for 4 years if they do back out.

2. Find a buyer, sell it to them now, and make an arrangement to "rent back" your home from them until you move. This decreases risk because it has been sold immediately so there are no worries on that end, and you get to stay there until you're ready to move.

3. Find an apartment with a month-to-month lease, 3 month, or 5/6 month lease to stay until you move. Since you have 3 dogs, this may be difficult and may leave you with only some very bad options in run down areas. This was at least what I found when I was looking into this option a few months ago - all of the short leases that allow pets were in roach infested apartments in high crime areas. You may have much better luck around where you live though.


Have you already listed it for sale? You may find in this messy economy that you won't receive your ideal offers until closer to your move date, which makes things a lot easier. Also, if they are financing, they likely won't be able to close immediately and this will give you some more time. If your move is 3 months or less away at that point, I'd say you'll have a better chance of getting them to let you stay until your move. Of course, anything is possible, you just have to talk to the buyer about your situation and see if they can accomodate it. If they really want your home, waiting may not be an issue at all for them! :)

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Does your new school offer on campus housing or university owned off-campus housing? At my current school, the school year starts in October, but they let you move in as early as July (even earlier if there's vacancies). So, maybe check on how early you can arrive at your new school and move sooner if the house sells faster?


Also, some schools will let you start the PhD program (and thus get paid) if you arrive earlier too! It wouldn't hurt to check :)

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Did you do FSBO or use an agent?

What caused them to put such a large deposit down? Did you ask for one?

The option 2, renting back from them, does sound ideal to me. I did not know if this was commonplace or if the buyer would laugh at the thought.

I am about ready to list it, just trying to decide how to do so- FSBO (and if so, which website(s) to use) or a realtor. I'm almost sold on the FSBO route.



There is no university housing at my school that will allow 3 dogs  :(  I would like to move in sooner if they will allow it. I'll have to check into that.


Thanks, I'm glad to know others are in my shoes, and I look forward to all future responses!

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DStory, I started off with an agent actually and had it listed for about 40 days with no action. My realtor was TERRIBLE. She took a week to respond to my emails, she only listed my property on MLS and not on the other sites (realtor.com, trulia, etc), and she told me my home had dozens of inquires and yet never showed my place once in 40 days. Her reason? "Oh, I know you work a lot so we don't want to bother you.."....um..what??? So I got rid of them and listed on my own. I found a realtor that charges a flat rate of about $300 and for that they list you on MLS and >20 other real estate websites, send you a For Sale sign and a lock box, and you become your own realtor...they don't get any commission from you, just the $300 to list and send you supplies. I would HIGHLY recommend doing this because it gets your property out there and once it's on the MLS, all relevant realtors will get a notification of your property's listing once it's up. I had my offer within 48 hours. You can also list it yourself on craigslist for extra exposure (I got several hits this way too).


I didn't ask for the huge deposit they put down, they just offered it. The offer came from an investor company that buys out properties all across the state and rents them so they seem pretty professional and that's probably why the deposit was so good. They are also purchasing with cash, which is even better. From my personal experience, I would never sell with a realtor again. I am a total control freak and it was amazing to be able to get it done myself, promote it myself, and know that something was being done to sell it, rather than my realtor sitting around waiting for the buyer's realtor to sell it so they can make their 3% commission for doing nothing.


TakeruK has a great point - that is exactly what I did. Most schools will let you start in the summer and pay you (as long as there is funding) so this is a good option to look into.


Don't worry, this whole process is certainly maddening but 6 months from now it'll all be a distant memory :)

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MadScience, that sounds like the way to do it!

How did you find this $300 service? I, too, am a control freak and don't have the patience for a realtor's bullshit.

Sounds like you've got it made in the shade! I hope I'm half as fortunate. You mind me asking what state you're in?

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Real estate law will vary by state. However, unless a buyer has cash and doesn't care about appraisal, inspection, title search etc, it will still take 60-90 days to close. Most buyers will be getting a mortgage and that will certainly take 60-90 days. So, list your house ASAP and consider renting it out if it doesn't move in your time frame.

I'm in a very fortunate position. My neighborhood is hot and there is not much inventory. I went with a broker because I have no time to be showing the house to real estate gawkers or pre-qualifying buyers. This broker has been working my neighborhood, and lives in it for 30years. She has a list of buyers anxious to live here. We've had two private showings and already an offer near the list price. The Open House is this weekend where the broker will have a staff of five people here while I am looking at real estate in my new home town. While we have considered a short term rental that accomodates pets, they are very expensive and it just makes sense to buy again.

My biggest fear is that I'll sign a contract with someone who doesn't get financing at the last minute. While there are no guarantees, that's also why I have a broker and may not choose the highest bid. I will take the highest bid from the most qualified buyer and keep my fingers crossed. In NY, you no longer own your home the moment after closing, so we have to be out before we all sit down for the paper chase. We're hoping to have a place of our own by then but are mentally preparing for storage or Pods just in case. I'm not gonna panic about all that for another week when we'll likely be accepting an offer. We will try to set a July 1st closing date so our younger daughter can graduate from high school without a full fledged move going on. Hopefully, the prospective buyer will respect that. If they want us out sooner, we will ask for more money to cover our costs. No telling what would happen at this point.

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RandiZ, congrats on your fortuitous circumstances, and thanks for the tips!
I hope everything goes off without a hitch for you.

I'm just about ready to list my home with a flat-fee-MLS service: anything else anyone wants to contribute before I hit "go"?!?

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