How to Solicit a House Swap

House swap is an act of exchanging a house for another house of equal or similar value. It can be done on either temporary or permanent basis. In recent years, this method of selling is becoming more and more common, as more people struggle to sell their homes. While the idea seems fairly straight-forward, house-swapping is actually a complicated process.

You need to find a house that suits you needs. You need to find a person you can trust. You need to find a house that you would be willing to live in. And, most importantly, you have to be sure that the deal is exactly what you want - if the house you swapped your for winds up disappointing you somewhere down the line, you will not be able to get your house back.

How House Swapping Works

Housing swaps can be either temporary house swaps or permanent house swaps. In temporary house swaps, no money is exchanged. Instead, both parties use their respective houses as collateral. They sign a written agreement that states how long the swap will last. Once the keys are exchanged, the swap period begins.

With permanent swap, on the other hand, money does change hands. Both parties sign an agreement that stipulates that they will sell their respective houses to each other on the same day. If either party backs out, the deal is off. Each party uses his or her respective home as equity.

Getting Started

There are a two ways you can solicit a house swap. You can either use classified ads in your local newspapers and/or on the Internet or take advantage of the house swapping websites that are ran by real estate companies. The later tend to be the safer options, since real estate agencies usually screen potential house swappers when they sign up for their services. This is especially important if you want to swap your house permanently - it's the only way you can have some measure of assurance that the other party is on the level.

With classified ads, the process is fairly simple. You write an ad, pay the fee and wait until it appears in your local paper or website. Since many of those outlets will charge you per word (or impose a word limit), your ad will need to be descriptive, attention-getting and concise. It will probably take you several tries before you can find a balance between the three.

As you wait for a response, you can browse other house swapping ads. You should try to look for a similar type of house - same type of rooms, similar utilities, etc. The ads probably won't have many details, but you can call the owner and ask for clarification. Try to arrange a personal visit so that  you'll be able to examine the house and its features with your own eyes.

If you decide to go with a real estate company house swapping website, you will be asked to register. You will have to fill out paperwork about your financial status, the condition of your home and other real estate related information. The company will verify this information and use it to create a listing that describes your house and all of its relevant attributes. You can then browse other listings. They will be more detailed than most other classified ads. You should still try to arrange an in-person visit. Even the most detailed listing will inevitably omit something you will consider important.

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