clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tales From The Seattle Housing Market: The Sale-Leaseback Option

Welcome back to another tale from the crazy Seattle housing market

Between the soaring housing prices, plummeting inventory, and insane bidding war stories, we keep hearing about how crazy the Seattle housing market is. So we've asked local real estate agents, sellers and buyers to share their nutty stories about a recent home sale or purchase to prove just how true it all is. Do you have a crazy story to share about prices gone mad or ludicrous offers? Let us know and we might share it.

Jessica Piha, who works for home improvement site Porch.com as the director of communications, started a search for a home to call her own in mid-January 2016. After bids on two potential places fell through, she started working with a new team consisting of Windermere's Seamus Pelan and Caliber Home Loans' Allie Lord and they set their sights on a house in Shoreline's Ridgecrest neighborhood.

As she told U.S. News, she made a very high offer (25 percent over ask) but that alone wasn't going to be enough. Piha had to find a hook that she could offer that other buyers couldn't. She found that hook in her flexibility.

The current owners of the home were building a new property, so they wanted to close on their current home sale and lease it back from Piha. That way, they could continue living in the home for a few weeks while the new property was completed. Piha allowed them to lease back the property for free until May 15, and that flexibility got her the house she wanted. "I waived utilities, rent, everything," she says. "The only thing I required them to have was renter's insurance," she adds. Piha stayed in her apartment a few weeks longer and, fortunately, the previous owners moved out ahead of schedule and she was able to take possession of her new home.

Piha closed in under three weeks thanks to her flexibility with the deal and was able to lock in "the starter home of my dreams." She wrote more about her new home and how she's begun furnishing it at her own blog.

We've been hearing so much about bidding wars and all of the things buyers need to do in order to beat out the other offers on a home they want. If it's possible, you'd be wise to consider adding a sale-leaseback option to your buyer toolbelt.

It's not always as smooth as this example, as there can be complications if timing shifts for either party or if there's some kind of damage caused after the agreement. But in a market where options are limited and a bit of risk is sometimes required, it's a possibility to be considered.
· What to Know About Leasing a Home Back to Its Previous Owner [USN]
· There's no "I" in "Let's Close" from a First Time Homeowner [JVP]
· Bay Area is Only Bigger Bidding War Zone Then Seattle [CS]
· Tales From the Seattle Housing Market: Shoreline Offer Surprise [CS]
· Tales From the Seattle Housing Market: $335K Over Ask in Phinney Ridge [CS]