Deciding when to sell your home should depend largely on the local market. With the current conditions of the housing market, only homeowners who have to get rid of their home should try and sell right now. While no one can predict when the perfect time to sell will be, generally property will appreciate over time and your home may have more value at a later date. In the last few years, the median price of homes all across America has increased in value. Looking at alternative solutions like renting can help some homeowners, at least for the time being.
Many people are selling their homes due to the pending possibility of foreclosure and from bad mortgage loans they obtained to buy the home. Most of these sellers are at or near a negative equity situation, owing more on their home than it's currently worth. Consumers who find themselves in this situation make up the majority of all short sales. In a short sale, the lender agrees to accept less for the property than the borrower owes on the mortgage, (which will damage the seller's credit rating). We advise clients in this situation to first try and work with the lender to get a loan modification before trying to sell. For homeowners facing foreclosure, we recommend contacting the lender to try and have the back payments put at the back end of the loan or structure a repayment plan.
Some homeowners have good mortgage loans but their home has depreciated in value and they feel they need to also sell. We advise clients against this. A homeowners main concern should be having a place to live not property values, especially right now. If your local real estate market is on an upswing, like many markets are right now, you will regain equity over time.
Unless a seller has a lot of equity in their house, chances for competing with foreclosures currently listed will be difficult. You must be willing to price your home aggressively to compete with the millions of discounted bank owned homes. Knowing the market where your home is located can help determine if your home is in an area where there are a high number of foreclosures. Your home's market value is directly related to distressed sales, especially if they dominate the neighborhood.
Prior to the real estate bubble, most appraisers would often ignore the distressed sales when appraising a home. Since then, appraisers now pay close attention to the number of distressed sales that have closed and those currently for sale. This makes it harder for a traditional seller with equity to compete. Buyers want a good deal and bank owned homes are priced to sell, which make them attractive.
The three most important things to selling your home is to price the properly right, prepare it for the market and select an agent who will market the property aggressively.
Pricing Your Home For Sale-
Many homeowners price their homes too high because they need a certain amount to pay off their mortgage or they want to make a good profit. The amount you want to make off the sale of your property should have nothing to do with how you price the home in a buyer's market. The current market and recent sales will determine what your home is worth and how much you can realistically price it for. If you want to know what your home is worth in the current market, a professional home appraisal is your best option. You can also get a general idea of what your house is worth by using one of the many free online valuation tools.
Unless you are selling your house as a fixer-upper, you should take a good look at the condition it's in prior to listing it for sale. Start with the outside of your home, which is the first thing buyers will see, so the landscaping and the exterior must look nice. The outside is only half of the preparation stage. You also need to work on the inside of the house. Repair anything that's broken. Clean the carpets, update any outdated light fixtures, knobs and faucets, add some fresh paint, etc.
Staging your home is also an important element for market preparation. This is where you go beyond basic repairs to address the aesthetic qualities of the home. Staging includes such tasks as neutralizing color schemes, rearranging furniture to improve the flow of the rooms, de-cluttering and cleaning the entire home, etc. There's nothing worse than showing a messy and dingy house in disrepair. It affects the sale of the home and will drive buyers away.
Current market conditions make it more difficult to sell homes and agents need to put a lot more effort into getting a house sold, yet most of the time this is not the situation. The poor quality of the marketing efforts made by agents in a buyer's markets, could mean the difference between a home being sold or sitting on the market. Having good marketing skills along with a well planned strategy for selling a home is important and will help start the phones ringing and generate interest in your home.
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