Can’t sell your home? Try a swap.

By swapping homes, owners can avoid real estate agent fees


Can’t sell your home? Try a swap.

It’s the latest strange twist from the U.S. housing meltdown. Thousands of Americans are discovering that no one wants to buy their homes—at least not at a reasonable price. But some just have to move. So here’s their creative solution: rather than selling and then trying to buy, they just find someone else in the same position and swap.

These aren’t temporary home swaps of the sort that vacationers do. They’re permanent, with each party taking legal title of the other’s property. In a recent listing on the Vancouver Craigslist site, for instance, a realtor posted an ad for a “4-bdrm, 2-bath home on a corner lot in a desirable area of Torino in Port St. Lucie, Fla.,” complete with “marble and granite countertops and upgraded appliances.” The owner is looking to trade it for a place in Vancouver, and is “open to suggestions.”

Similar ads are now appearing daily on Craigslist and a host of other sites devoted to swaps. Most listings are placed by Americans wanting to relocate to another state, but some hope to trade their undervalued luxurious poolside homes with Canadians.

David Moskowitz launched the U.S.-based house swapping site DomuSwap last year after having problems selling his own Nokomis, Fla., property. He says people like the idea of swapping because they can avoid real estate agent fees (though you still need a lawyer to finalize the deal), and because you can buy and sell property in one smooth transaction. “The simplest cases are where both people own property and they exchange deeds,” says Moskowitz. “In some cases a difference is paid, where one party owes the other money if the homes have different values.”

Moskowitz says he sees realtors getting in on the action by charging to broker swaps, and he may very well be right. After all, with the U.S. housing market mired in the worst slump it has seen in decades, there’s plenty of them out there looking for work.

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Can’t sell your home? Try a swap.

  1. I feel sick and unable to properly sleep over the Liberal, New Democrat, P.Q. promise of a house revolution against elected authority. Take Quebec out of the figures and the Conservative Party would have formed the government. This is a devious threat to our whole nation and will throw it into a tailspin to “Banana Republic” position in world its own image and in the world view. I am an ex-liberal and left in the Alliance Party days. I am am a Canadian by choice not birth and grew up in the U.S.A. We are blessed to have a Prime Minister who has a bottom line and takes stands. God save us from political hacks taking over. We have had the best government since I arrived in Canada in 1967 and are now threatened by a Party who believes in its Divine Right to Rule. Throw in Quebec and you have a weak nation enslaved by greed and avarice who love this country like a lice loves tramps. Far from seeking its best interest they only seek to suck its blood. Oh that the opposition would see themselves for who they are and give up their evil manipulation for the good of the whole nation.

    I note the C.B.C. has already blended the update to not enough bail out and avoided completely the
    substance. So much for its left wing forever stance.

    Rev. Paul A. Schult

  2. And that has exactly what to do with house-swapping, Reverend Conbot?

    People can avoid real-estate agents fees now simply by not using real-estate agents. It is actually legal and all that. So I’m not sure how this is much different.

    I guess the interesting part is that it’s gaining popularity. This is actually a really bad sign. Because it’s when people stop using money that we start to realize how little money is worth.. and that pushes us one step closer to the deflationary spiral. For those who remain in debt, that’s not a good thing at all.

  3. When buyers and sellers (supply & demand) come together we have a market. Real Estate Agents help bring homebuyers and homesellers together. But when it is difficult to get credit or it becomes expensive to do so, your buyers are limited; the price of homes decrease but demand/need to move out of a home increases, there needs to be a solution. Using todays technology to identify and collaborate homeowners who need to move to swap their homes is a solution. Solutions like http://www.MyHouse4Trade.com or http://TrySwappingIt.com are essential they not only satsify the need that two homeowners have, but they also, decrease the number of "For Sale Signs." As a result of less "For Sale Signs," the supply is decreased, and hence we lessen the decreasing home values in the market.

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