Questions From Home Sellers
Home sellers have been contacting me about selling their homes with the question: "Should I discount my home to sell it before the market goes down or wait until I fix it up first?"
If you're selling your home or investment property, you should consider a few facts.
First, the real estate market may not go down in value. Some cities have decreased in value while other areas keep appreciating. Study your local employment trends and keep abreast of the job market. Are people moving in for employment opportunities or moving out for jobs?
Also, study your local housing market. People always need housing. Are there many vacancies and a huge supply of listed homes in your area?
Should you put your home on the market right now, or should you wait?
There are indications that it may be worthwhile for you to put your home on the market now. The first indicator is increasing interest rates. Interest rates have been rising steadily for several months, and it appears that they are going to continue to rise.
Higher interest rates carry with them several consequences. Fewer buyers will be able to qualify for homes as interest rates increase, which in turn increase payments. All real estate markets are somewhat different, of course, but with higher interest costs, there is often a dip in real estate values to compensate, which means that you might get a lower price for your house as 2006 wears on than you would if you put it on the market right away.
With adjustable mortgages becoming more and more standard, homeowners will find their payments rising, as well. That means more people will find themselves in a financial bind, prompting them to sell their homes. As with all supply and demand situations, a glut of house on the market will mean more competition, and lower prices. Check with your loan officer and find out if there is a significant increase in mortgage defaults in you local area.
If you happen to be one of those financially-strapped sellers, you may find yourself in an increasingly difficult situation because of the combination of fewer buyers and more available houses on the market. That could translate to a longer time on the market and/or a lower sales price for your home in order to sell it quickly.
Another consideration, in areas with traditional schools, buyers like to move before school starts in September. So, you may want to put your home on the market right away.
Finally, if your home is not in prime condition, your prospective buyer will be either an investor who will only pay a discounted price or a home buyer who needs a bargain with seller concessions, like help with closing costs. If you can't fix your home up, don't over price it because it will just sit on the market and won't attract showings or buyers.
The best way to sell your home is to make needed repairs, deep clean every inch, get rid of clutter, pack up your personal effects, and touch up paint. To sell for top dollar in a buyers' market, you need to use home staging strategies.
Before you list your home, take a look at other homes in your area for sale. Get a real feel for your market. After looking at your competition, you will know what you have to do to sell your home--fast--for top dollar.
Copyright © Jeanette J. Fisher
FREE Credit Help Teleseminar. Get expert advice on building your credit from mortgage experts and real estate college instructor Jeanette Fisher. More free credit tips http://worryfreecredit.com/
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