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A Seamless Transition from California to Idaho? Here’s How HomeLight Trade-In Made It Possible

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When a work opportunity meant that homeowner Molly Porter and her husband, Jason, would need to relocate from San Diego to Idaho, they were nervous about how to navigate a tricky transition.

“We were concerned about our ability to sell our home in California and seamlessly buy a new home in the new state,” says Porter. “For us, it was about the timing of leaving a job in San Diego and being able to have a good living situation to start a new job, but without having to support two households in two different states.”

As many homeowners know, having to wait on one property to sell before being able to comfortably move forward with the purchase of another is inconvenient to say the least. Having a sales contingency can mean losing out on a new home that would otherwise be a perfect fit. But selling the original home before shopping for the next can lead to the expense and hassle of having to move into temporary housing to bridge the gap between properties.

“It was really about not being held up to buy a new place waiting for the other house to sell,” says Porter.

A house in san diego for trade in.
Source: (J.C. Agajanian / eXp Realty of California Inc)

A sunny solution with HomeLight Trade-In

Fortunately for the Porters, their agent, J.C. Agajanian, introduced the idea of HomeLight Trade-In.

A modern solution to an age-old problem, the HomeLight Trade-In program allows sellers to become buyers first by making a guaranteed offer on the existing home. This eliminates the sales contingency and frees up cash to allow buyers and their agents to write highly competitive offers. Even better, clients can remain in their home until they’ve closed on their new one.

“HomeLight Trade-In solves one of the biggest issues that we’re facing in the San Diego market — probably nationwide, too — which is that it actually helps find more home inventory because so many sellers don’t want to move until they know where they’re going next,” says Agajanian.

Having used the program with several clients, Agajanian knows the value of a seller being able to shop for a new home first and worry about their own home later.

“HomeLight Trade-In really made the process way less complicated and way less stressful than we were thinking it was going to be,” explains Porter. “We were able to just sign everything with HomeLight and then we didn’t have to worry about who was ultimately going to buy our house in San Diego.”

The Porters decided to purchase a new-construction home in Idaho. While they didn’t have to worry about competing against other buyers on their specific house, they knew they couldn’t just assume the purchase would be easy.

“Once you reserve your place [with the builder] there’s no competing, but the area of Idaho we chose to buy in is a fast-growing community, so we were anticipating it being a little scarier to try to buy,” Porter says. “But it was nice knowing that we didn’t have to worry about the other house getting sold. That had made us nervous and that’s one of the reasons why we chose to go with HomeLight Trade-In.”

Living room of a san diego house trade in.
Source: (J.C. Agajanian / eXp Realty of California Inc)

Great communication and a seamless transition

Since HomeLight Trade-In is designed to make life easier for clients and agents alike, it’s no surprise that communication is a major component of the program’s success.

“Between HomeLight and our agent, we knew everything that was going on,” recalls Porter. “All of our options and all of the details were explained really clearly. The communication was great and it all happened really, really quickly.”

The Porters signed their HomeLight paperwork in September 2021 and closed on their new home in Idaho in late October. And the couple couldn’t be happier with their customized abode.

“The other part about HomeLight Trade-In that was great was getting the majority of our money upfront. We were able to buy this new-build [home] and put in a lot of upgrades. We didn’t have to wait for the house in San Diego to sell,” says Porter. “It was really nice to be able to buy something with basic features and then be able to do what we wanted with it right away because we had that money.”

Since HomeLight Trade-In returns any earnings above the agreed-upon price to the seller, when their San Diego property did sell, the Porters took home a cool $10,000 more than they anticipated.

“We probably could have waited a little longer and maybe gotten a little more money, but to us, it was worth it to just get the money we’d been expecting,” says Porter. “We were happy with the three offers we got and those all came in within the first week that they showed the house. We didn’t feel the need to hold out for anything more.”

The Porters’ original home only needed a few minor cosmetic repairs and staging to make it ready for the market, and they appreciated the transparent, honest process there, too.

“It was all within or under the budget that HomeLight had estimated, which I really appreciate,” says Porter. “Everything was really transparent and we didn’t come out on the other side where they were like, ‘Oh, well, we estimated $5,000 but it was actually $10,000.’”

All told, the couple is happy to recommend HomeLight Trade-In and says they would use the program again.

“I’m so glad we did it this way,” Porter says. “It would have been so much more stressful. It was already a big move. We’re from Southern California and have, for the most part, always lived there. To be making a big life change like this was already a lot, and I feel like selling the house was probably the easiest part. It was really seamless.”

Header Image Source: (J.C. Agajanian / eXp Realty of California Inc)