Wed. May 25th, 2022

With two college-aged children, homeowner Alice Coleman found herself on the brink of becoming an empty-nester in the spring of 2021. Suddenly, her 3,400 square-foot home in Katy, Texas, felt unnecessarily large.

And she had the big property tax bills to match.

“The taxes were steadily increasing, and that was expected,” says Coleman. “But I’m an educator so, you know, I’m not bringing in a whole lot of money. My last tax bill was about $10,500 and I knew it was going to go up again for 2022.”

Knowing that the Katy housing market was as hot as the impending summer weather, Coleman decided to explore her options for downsizing. Her biggest fear? Where she would live if her own house sold before she had a chance to find a new one — which is a very real possibility in a fast-moving market.

“I didn’t want to be in a position where I sold the home and then couldn’t find or couldn’t buy another home because of the bidding wars and everything going on,” Coleman explains.

A Katy house that used HomeLight Trade-In.
Source: (Jennifer Voskuhl of The Sears Group at JPAR)

HomeLight Trade-In brings relief

Fortunately, Coleman’s real estate agent, Jennifer Voskuhl, had just the solution: HomeLight Trade-In.

HomeLight Trade-In allows sellers to become buyers first. By making a fair purchase offer on the existing home, the program eliminates the sales contingency and allows buyers to make a competitive offer — all the while working alongside their trusted agent. After the move is complete, HomeLight sells the previous home and any earnings above the agreed-upon price are returned to the seller (minus the low program fee).

“So I had a meeting with the HomeLight Trade-In team and learned what they had to offer, and it lined up with what I needed to do,” says Coleman. “Everything took off very quickly and I was very happy.”

Since she hadn’t purchased a home since 2004, Coleman had anticipated a need for extra legwork on her end — either to tediously prepare mountains of financial information or otherwise polish up her credit history before she’d be ready to make a move — but she was pleasantly surprised to learn the opposite.

“I didn’t have to pay off anything. I didn’t have to write any letters. I didn’t have to do anything except pull the normal bank statements.”

Relieved that she wouldn’t have to worry about temporary housing or jumping through approval hoops, Coleman was ready to find her new home.

A swift move to cozier quarters

It didn’t take Coleman and her agent long to find the perfect house, and she didn’t have to leave Katy or compete with other buyers in a chaotic market.

Coleman had a friend who tipped her off to a neighbor who was moving just a few houses down, and suggested that the home they were leaving might be the perfect fit.

As it turns out, Coleman’s friend was spot-on. And not only was the house ideal, but the sellers also weren’t interested in the potential stress of bidding wars either.

“We happened to catch the house before they put it on the market, and they took my offer right away,” says Coleman. “My new home is 1,800 square feet and I love it, love it, love it. It is so much easier to maintain!”

And her new tax bill? It was just $4,400 for 2022.

“It feels like a weight has been lifted to be able to cut that huge bill down as much as I did,” she says. “And I still have a nice home. I’m still in Katy — I’m just here at a much more reasonable rate than where I was before.”

As icing on an already sweet cake, Coleman’s previous home sold just as quickly and even for a little more than she expected. After a small allowance for carpet, Coleman’s former home sold for $18,000 over the asking price.

A Katy house that used HomeLight Trade-In.
Source: (Jennifer Voskuhl of The Sears Group at JPAR)

HomeLight Trade-In made it possible

“I don’t think I would have been able to do this without HomeLight Trade-In,” she says.

“My biggest fear was selling my home and not being able to purchase one, so the fact that HomeLight told me, ‘Hey, go find your home first and then we’ll sell yours’ — for me, that was security.”

Coleman further valued the clear communication and efficiency of the HomeLight Trade-In program; especially as someone who hadn’t been involved in a real estate transaction in nearly two decades.

“I’m a stickler for working with people who know what they’re talking about, and everything happened the way the HomeLight team said it was going to happen. Everybody on both sides made sure everything went according to plan.

“It was very fair and it was to my benefit.”

Header Image Source: (Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock)

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