Monday, December 26, 2011

SELLING YOUR HOME: Choosing to Sell

Today’s market presents a difficult mix of conditions for many sellers. The housing market dipped in recent years in response to recession conditions and continues to struggle.

Accessing credit is challenging. Many of today’s lenders require hefty downpayments of at least 20 percent along with excellent credit scores for the best rates. Many homeowners with “good” credit may indeed find themselves wholly unable to procure a mortgage.

Some homeowners find themselves selling out of necessity instead of a true desire to move. They may be facing foreclosure or have had sizable decrease in their household income and now need to size down.

Making selling even more challenging is the fact that home prices have been on the decline. Many homeowners may be surprised to find their home is now worth less than they bought it for 10 years ago. Prices are now at 2003 levels in many areas of the country.

If a homeowner bought during the peak of the market, during the boom years, they may find they now own a house worth a fraction of what they paid.

How do you know if now is the time to sell?

First, be sure to solicit the advice of a local real estate agent. They have access to mountains of statistics for your area, including how long homes are taking to sell, what neighborhoods are hot, median prices, and so much more.

Find out what your home is worth in the current market. This will help you decide whether you can afford to sell or what kind of loss you mind be facing if you are needing to sell now.

Once you have armed yourself with solid stats, it’s time to evaluate your own
financial standing. Do you have the money to make a move?

Moving is expensive. You will have closing costs totally thousands of dollars. You’ll need to have money ready for the buying process, including downpayment cash, closing cash, and money for incidentals like home inspections and u-haul and storage rentals.

Think about your motivating factors. Why are you wanting to sell? Some people need to sell. They may have been relocated or need to follow job. The recent recession has left other families needing to sell to avoid foreclosure. Families also outgrow their homes and need to size up.

Consider social effects of a move, too. Will your children be changing schools? Will you be moving away from friends and family? Recent studies have shown that owning a home can bring the owner better health, better wealth, and a more stable household. Uprooting a family can affect those benefits.

Selling a home is a large financial and emotional decision. If the conditions are favorable in your area, then selling can be a great idea. Be sure to do your research and consider all of your options. Whether you decide now is the time to sell or not, it’ll be the right decision for you.

Carla Hill December 14, 2011

No comments: